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Posts Tagged ‘Nuclear weapons’

International Day Against Nuclear Tests Should Push Us All to Demand Global Zero

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 31, 2014

By Valerie Plame WilsonFmr. CIA covert operations officer

Valerie_Plame_Wilsonn-NUCLEAR-TESTING-large570According to the 2000 Report of the UN Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation, the long-lasting effects of nuclear testing can be qualified in simple scientific terms: “Radiation exposure can damage living cells, causing death in some of them and modifying others.” Translation: death, cancer and birth deformities, to name but a few.

These long-lasting effects aren’t limited to nuclear testing. They are the same horrors that afflicted victims in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But what the rest of us should know, and need to know, is that the nuclear threat has only grown more dangerous.

Today marks an important milestone in our fight to eliminate the nuclear threat. Five years ago when the UN General Assembly adopted the resolution to declare August 29 the International Day Against Nuclear Tests, they said that “the end of nuclear tests is one of the key means of achieving the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world,” reminding us that there is still much more work to be done.

The truth is, as long as nuclear weapons exist, we are not safe. The human and environmental devastation caused by nuclear weapons — whether by testing, mistake or malice — is the very reason we need to eliminate them altogether. The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, which in 1996 set out to ban nuclear tests, is an important step, but we need to do more — and we can.

With political will and public pressure, we can achieve a world without these weapons of mass destruction. Just 10 days ago, we saw all of Syria’s chemical weapons destroyed because of bold leadership and effective diplomacy. And as I write this, the U.S. and other P5+1 leaders are amidst talks with Iran on a final end to the Iranian nuclear-weapons impasse. What we need now is intense public pressure. We must hold leaders accountable and demand a safer future.

Global Zero, the international movement to eliminate nuclear weapons, is spearheading the effort to put this critical human-rights issue at the top of the public and political agenda. Their activists are hitting the streets with bold action, pushing world leaders to make this an urgent priority. In fact, earlier this month on the anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki, Global Zero turned out more than 400 activists in a global day of action that spanned three continents, five countries and seven cities to commemorate one of the world’s most shattering tragedies and to demand progress toward a world without nuclear weapons.

Together, they’re calling for the first-ever Nuclear Weapons Summit. There, key nuclear and non-nuclear countries will come to the table to advance the phased, verified elimination of all nuclear weapons by 2030. But that starts with a global commitment to achieve a nuclear-free world.

@HP

To learn more about how you can make a difference, including signing the Global Zero declaration to commit to a world without nuclear weapons by 2030, visithere.

 

 

 

 

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Global Zero: This is how we’ll get President Obama’s attention

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 23, 2013

Dear friends,

Thanks to you, R.E.M., Pearl Jam and major organizations like MoveOn.org have jumped on board to support Global Zero, and the media is buzzing about our biggest campaign ever to set the world’s course to zero. But we need you to build on this momentum if we’re going to get President Obama’s attention.

Earlier this month, we sent you an incredible video that shows how this unstoppable global movement can bring about the end of nuclear weapons. More than 50,000 people have already watched it. We know that the more people who see it, the more likely it is to get in front of President Obama — so this week let’s double that number. Have you shared it with friends and family yet?

Read the rest of this entry »

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Tell President Obama: We demand zero!

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 9, 2013

bannerFour years ago in Prague, President Obama announced his commitment to seek a world without nuclear weapons. He called for perseverance. He dared us to overcome our differences. He challenged us to ignore the voices that tell us the world cannot change.

We’ve just launched a massive grassroots campaign urging him to put those historic words into action. To tell him not only can the world change, but that we demand it to change. Please sign the petition and join us as we call on President Obama to set the world’s course to global zero.

 Make history. Demand zero.

 This is our moment. It’s going to be big.

All indications are that President Obama wants to make good on his commitment to eliminate nuclear weapons. As a second-term President, he’s in a dare-to-be-great moment to make that happen by calling on world leaders to join him at the negotiating table to eliminate nuclear weapons once and for all. And we’re urging him to do that on April 5th, the anniversary of his historic Prague speech.

We only have a few weeks to make sure the White House gets the message loud and clear! Sign the petition and let President Obama know you demand zero. Read the rest of this entry »

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President Obama, this is the time to act for Peace and respect Peace Messenger

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 7, 2012

Dear President Obama,

Recently we highlighted these photos and the news when you visited Great Buddha in Japan and Hilari Clinton was placing Lotus flowers on a Buddha statue.

The Buddha is revered as a Messenger of Peace. He is also known as the Light of Asia who is actually the Light of the World as his message of peace and non-violence has become more relevant as the world is facing many violence problems today. The world today has become more violent than ever before. Therefore, it was decided to spread the messages of the Buddha all over the world by observing Lumbini-Kapilvastu Day every year.  Read the rest of this entry »

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What Lies? Beneath the Mysterious History of an Iranian Nuclear Site

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on May 23, 2012

On the northwestern edge of Tehran, a wooded hill rises abruptly out of the gray low-rise cityscape. The roads meandering to the top are lined with grills and picnic tables, and from the north slope it was once possible to peer through the trees and make out where the of the Physics Research Center used to stand. The vacant lot looked just like it did on the satellite photos.

The day I visited, in June 2004,  it was also possible to wind back down the hill and pitch up at the site itself, still surrounded by a 20-foot wall. Inspectors for the IAEA had not been there yet but Iranian demolition crews certainly had: All the topsoil had been trucked away, along with every building except a guard shack. The man inside it came out and lied to us.

“It was a municipal sports complex,” he said, speaking without losing the ash on his cigarette. “It wasn’t big enough so they demolished it. And they want to build a bigger one.”

But there are lies and there are lies. And as the Iranians apparently prepare to sign a pact promising to allow the International Atomic Energy Agency to investigate suspected military components of its nuclear program, the question is how in heaven’s name the mullahs will manage to save face for their fibs of the past. A case in point is embedded in the mysterious history of that vacant lot at the base of Lavizan Park – a trapezoid of ground that once held nearly as much interest to U.N. inspectors as the Parchin military base the IAEA is keen to revisit now, in search of evidence of nuclear triggering experiments. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty – At the Heart of the Global Nuclear Debate

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 28, 2012

By Alistair Burt, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Foreign & Commonwealth Office

The word “nuclear” is often on the front pages of the press, whether you’re in Tehran, Tokyo or Tunis. In the last few weeks alone, we’ve seen international talks about Iran’s nuclear programme and united international concern that it is developing a nuclear weapon. We have also seen the DPRK rocket launch – ostensibly a failed satellite launch, but widely suspected to be part of a nuclear weapons programme. Yet at the same time we’ve seen unprecedented agreement by world leaders at the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul to work together to tackle the threat of nuclear terrorism.

The issue of nuclear safety was thrust onto the front pages last year during the massive emergency response to the accident at the Fukushima nuclear plant, following the tragic earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Given our expectation that world-wide energy demand is set to double by 2050, and the stark reality that we must reduce global greenhouse gas emissions if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change, then it is clear that the debate about the peaceful uses of nuclear power and the risks of the spread of nuclear weapons is set to continue. The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is at the heart of our approach to this debate.

The Treaty, borne out of fear that the Cold War era would lead to a nuclear arms race, has in many ways surpassed expectations in terms of longevity, participation and meeting its counter proliferation objectives. Today, with 189 States Parties to the Treaty, it has more signatories than any other treaty of its kind. The three non-signatories India, Israel, and Pakistan, are the only additional states believed to have gained possession of nuclear weapons since the Treaty’s inception in 1968. Read the rest of this entry »

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Must-Reads From Around the World: April 26, 2012

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 26, 2012

PETER DEJONG/AFP/GettyImages/Pool

PETER DEJONG/AFP/GETTYIMAGES/POOL
Former Liberian President Charles Taylor takes notes at the start of the judgement hearing of his trial on charge of arming Sierra Leone’s rebels who paid him in “blood diamonds,” on April 26, 2012 at the Special Court for Sierra Leone, based in Leidschendam outside The Hague

Life For Death? – The five-year trial of former Liberian president Charles Taylor, accused of 11 counts of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other offenses, is finally coming to a close in The Hague on Thursday, with a possible life sentence for the ousted leader. The Guardian, live-blogging the verdict from the tribunal, noted that Taylor is “clearly listening with care,” as it is read out. And judges found Taylor guilty of aiding and abetting war crimes during the Sierra Leone civil war.

New Front in Drone War – The White House expanded the authority of the Pentagon and CIA to carry out drone strikes in Yemen, which is widely believed to be a safe haven for al-Qaeda operatives, the New York Times reports. U.S. Defense Secretary LeonPanetta has defended the strategy, the Guardian says, but international legal experts argue that drone strikes amount to execution of suspects before trial, making them illegal – especially when carried out in Yemen where the U.S. is not engaged in war.

Questioning Misogyny – Following the fierce debate over its cover story, “Why Do They Hate Us?“ which casts Arab societies as deeply misogynistic, Foreign Policy shares critiques and commentary from six Muslim observers, including the senior editor of the Muslim Brotherhood’s official English-language website. Also chiming in is The Atlantic’s Max Fisher, who argues that while misogyny is a problem in Arab countries, it’s not a distinctively Arab problem. Read the rest of this entry »

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Will Pakistan and India’s Back-to-Back Missile Tests Spoil the Mood?

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 26, 2012

Reuters

REUTERS
A Hatf-VI (Shaheen-II) missile with a range of 2,000 km (1,242 miles) takes off during a test flight from an undisclosed location in Pakistan, April 21, 2008.

Another nation decided to flex its ballistic muscle this week in what is shaping up to be a missile-happy month in Asia. On Wednesday, Pakistan announced it had successfully launched what it called an intermediate-range ballistic missile into the Indian Ocean, just days after India conducted a similar test launch of its long-range missile, the Agni-V. Like that weapon, Pakistan’s Hatf IV Shaheen IA is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead and is part of Islamabad’s ongoing strategy of deterrence in the region.

Islamabad gave New Delhi due warning that it would be testing the new missile this week, as did New Delhi before its test of the Agni-V, in accordance with a 2005 agreement that the neighbors would notify each other before missile tests. Like India, Pakistan has been developing an indigenous missile program since the 1980s, but analysts have questioned the the veracity of some of Islamabad’s claims about its military’s homegrown technological achievements in the past. Read the rest of this entry »

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Iran Nuclear Talks: Diplomat Says Talks Show Progress

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 14, 2012

 

ISTANBUL — Nuclear negotiators for Iran and six world powers were making encouraging progress in bridging differences that have doomed previous meetings meant to reduce fears over Tehran’s atomic program, diplomats close to the talks said.

But, in a reality check reflecting the gulf dividing the United States and Iran, a powerful Iranian official said his country had rejected an overture from Washington for a one-on-one meeting between the two delegations at the talks. He spoke after the morning plenary session broke and plans were being formed for bilateral encounters between Iran and its six interlocutors.

“No bilateral talks with the U.S. will be formed,” Alaeddin Boroujeddi, head of Iran’s powerful parliamentary committee on national security and foreign policy told The Associated Press. “It is not Iran’s policy to have bilateral talks with the U.S. – Iran will talk to them on the multilateral level.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Iranian Warships Enter Suez Canal As Hague Warns Of ‘Cold War’

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 19, 2012


Iranian warships have entered the Suez canal, via the Mediterranean sea, for the second time since the revolution of 1979.

The Shahid Qandi, a destroyer, and its supply vessel Kharg passed through the Suez canal this morning, although it is not clear what their destination will be. However it is likely to cause tension with Israel, who described a similar expedition by Iran a year ago as “provocation.”

However, Iranian Navy chief Admiral Habibollah Sayari told news agency Irna that the mission was a “show of might” and a “message of peace.”

The ships reportedly docked at Jeddah in Saudi Arabia earlier. The vessels may be on their way to Syria, according to a Suez canal authority source, reports Reuters. Read the rest of this entry »

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Nuclear Iran Could Lead To ‘New Cold War’, Says William Hague

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 18, 2012


Does this mean that world leaders are going to prove this video true? http://ram­kshrestha.­wordpress.­com/2012/0­2/13/this-­video-expl­ains-the-e­nd-of-the-­wolrd-in-2­012/:

Iran’s nuclear ambitions could plunge the world into “a new Cold War” with the Middle East, William Hague has warned.

The Foreign Secretary predicted a nuclear arms race among rival Middle Eastern states that would carry the dangers without the safety mechanisms of the old rivalry between the West and the USSR.

In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, he insisted Britain did not back military action against the Islamic republic – as Israel is thought to be planning.

But he said there was a “crisis coming down the tracks” that could result in “disaster” for world affairs.

“(The Iranians) are clearly continuing their nuclear weapons programme,” Hague said. Read the rest of this entry »

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9 Countries In the Nuclear Weapons Club

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 9, 2012


Nuclear power was developed in the name of establishi­ng peace and now this is threatenin­g the whole human race. Current existing amounts of nuclear power are enough to destroy not a single earth but dozens of equivalent earths. What will happen if the nuclear power will get into terrorists­’ hand? This is today’s one of the biggest concerns for world leaders: http://ram­kshrestha.­wordpress.­com/2011/0­3/27/overc­oming-new-­decade-cha­llenges/:

Many historians argue that the bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki were a turning point in mankind’s history, events that marked the beginning of humanity’s ability to instantly self-annihilate. After the United States had its first successful nuclear test in 1945, the nuclear club was soon expanded to include tests by the Soviet Union (1949), the United Kingdom (1952), France (1960), China (1964), India (1974), Pakistan (1998), and North Korea (2006).

As of today, there are nine countries generally recognized to own nuclear weapons, with Iran actively seeking to join this group. In order of the estimated size of the nuclear arsenal, from largest to smallest, are: Russia, the United States, France, China, the United Kingdom, Pakistan, India, Israel and North Korea. Notably, the five members of the Security Council (Russia, the United States, France, China and the United Kingdom) were the first developers of nuclear weapons and currently have the five largest nuclear stockpiles in the world.

2012-01-06-Nucleardistribution.jpg

While these nine countries are generally recognized as owning nuclear weapons, that doesn’t mean that they are the only countries that possess nuclear weapons. Countries that are not officially recognized as being part of the nuclear club, such as Belgium, Germany, Italy, Turkey and the Netherlands, deploy and store American nuclear weapons as part of NATO agreements. Other non-nuclear countries such as South Korea, Canada and Greece previously had similar arrangements with the United States.

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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Iran Threatens to Block Oil Shipments, as U.S. Prepares Sanctions

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 28, 2011

By  and ANNIE LOWREY

Iran's Navy Commander Admiral Habibollah Sayari points at a map during a press conference in Tehran on December 22, 2010, as saying that Iran will launch 10 days of naval drills from December 24, covering east of Strait of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman to the Gulf of Aden. (Hamed Jafarnejad/AFP/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — A senior Iranian official on Tuesday delivered a sharp threat in response to economic sanctions being readied by the United States, saying his country would retaliate against any crackdown by blocking all oil shipments through the Strait of Hormuz, a vital artery for transporting about one-fifth of the world’s oil supply.

The declaration by Iran’s first vice president, Mohammad-Reza Rahimi, came as President Obama prepares to sign legislation that, if fully implemented, could substantially reduce Iran’s oil revenue in a bid to deter it from pursuing a nuclear weapons program.

Prior to the latest move, the administration had been laying the groundwork to attempt to cut off Iran from global energy markets without raising the price of gasoline or alienating some of Washington’s closest allies.

Apparently fearful of the expanded sanctions’ possible impact on the already-stressed economy of Iran, the world’s third-largest energy exporter, Mr. Rahimi said, “If they impose sanctions on Iran’s oil exports, then even one drop of oil cannot flow from the Strait of Hormuz,” according to Iran’s official news agency. Iran just began a 10-day naval exercise in the area.

In recent interviews, Obama administration officials have said that the United States has developed a plan to keep the strait open in the event of a crisis. In Hawaii, where President Obama is vacationing, a White House spokesman said there would be no comment on the Iranian threat to close the strait. That seemed in keeping with what administration officials say has been an effort to lower the level of angry exchanges, partly to avoid giving the Iranian government the satisfaction of a response and partly to avoid spooking financial markets.      Read the rest of this entry »

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In Kim’s Death, an Extensive Intelligence Failure

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 20, 2011

Televisions at an electronics store in Seoul, South Korea, featured reports on Monday about the death of Kim Jong-il, the North Korean Leader. North Korea said Mr. Kim, 69, died on Saturday. More Photos »

WASHINGTON — Kim Jong-il, the enigmatic North Korean leader, died on a train at 8:30 a.m. Saturday in his country. Forty-eight hours later, officials in South Korea still did not know anything about it — to say nothing of Washington, where the State Department acknowledged “press reporting” of Mr. Kim’s death well after North Korean state media had already announced it.

For South Korean and American intelligence services to have failed to pick up any clues to this momentous development — panicked phone calls between government officials, say, or soldiers massing around Mr. Kim’s train — attests to the secretive nature of North Korea, a country not only at odds with most of the world but also sealed off from it in a way that defies spies or satellites.

Asian and American intelligence services have failed before to pick up significant developments in North Korea. Pyongyang built a sprawling plant to enrich uranium that went undetected for about a year and a half until North Korean officials showed it off in late 2010 to an American nuclear scientist. The North also helped build a complete nuclear reactor in Syria without tipping off Western intelligence. Read the rest of this entry »

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Time Person Of The Year 2011: ‘The Protester’

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 14, 2011

Huffington Post

“The protester” has been named Time’s Person of the Year.

The magazine unveiled the choice on Wednesday morning. Managing editor Richard Stengel also revealed the decision on the “Today” show. Stengel said that finalists included Kate Middleton, Admiral William McRaven and Congressman Paul Ryan.

Steve Jobs and Rep. Gabrielle Giffords did not make the short list because they appeared elsewhere in the magazine. “It’s not a lifetime achievement award,” Stengel said of the award. Read the rest of this entry »

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