“Iran threat a reason for US to ratify CTBT”

“Iran threat a reason for US to ratify CTBT”
October 20-November 3, 2009
     Deepti Choubey writes that US ratification of the CTBT would undermine Iran’s drive for prestige by making nuclear tests illegal while preventing any would-be proliferators from conducting clandestine tests (The Hill). However, US Senator Jon Kyl argues that the CTBT will be no more effective than the NPT in stopping Iran’s nuclear program, adding that states unfriendly to the US on the CTBTO’s executive council would undermine enforcement mechanisms. Kyl believes US ratification would not convince Russia and China to pressure Iran and adds that the CTBT monitoring system failed to detect radioactive particulates during North Korea’s nuclear tests (Wall Street Journal).
     In a direct response to Kyl, Daryl G. Kimball counters that CTBT verification measures would prevent would-be proliferators from confidently conducting clandestine nuclear tests. Kimball also points out that North Korea’s test explosions were in fact detected by the CTBTO’s seismic and gas monitoring stations, and argues that the CTBT’s inspection provisions prevent “frivolous or abusive” inspections but require states to cooperate with inspectors. Kimball discounts Kyl’s arguments that nuclear tests are necessary for the US to reliably maintain its nuclear arsenal and that the CTBT’s definition of a “nuclear test explosion” is too ambiguous to support (Carnegie Endowment).
The Hill | Wall Street Journal | Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

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