US Signs, Then ‘Regrets’ Call for Nuclear Free Mideast

NPT Declaration Urges International Disarmament, But Mentions Israel

by Jason Ditz, May 28, 2010

The Obama Administration’s somewhat bipolar position on nuclear disarmament was in full view today, as the administration publicly signed an NPT declaration calling for a nuclear-free Middle East, then publicly condemned the same deal.

The Final Declaration of the NPT conference, which ended today, calls for an eventual nuclear weapons free zone encompassing the entire Middle East, as well as calling for sped up arms reduction among the current declared nuclear powers the world over.

But almost immediately after agreeing to the pact, US Undersecretary of State Ellen Tauscher expressed “deep regrets” over the deal, saying it “singled out Israel.

Yet how could it be any other way? Israel is simultaneously the only nuclear weapons power in the Middle East and the only nation in the region which has refused to sign the non-proliferation treaty.

The Obama Administration has repeatedly promised to keep Israel’s nuclear arsenal a “secret,” free of international scrutiny, but this has run afoul of pressure to live up to his disarmament pledges. For the time being, Israel’s “strategic ambiguity” policy has spread to the Obama Administration, which is trying to simultaneously support Mideast disarmament while opposing the disarmament of the only Mideast state with nuclear arms.

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