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Saturday, October 6, 2012

Sanctions WMDs: UN concerns west ignores

U.S. Iraq
double standards
Deadly game, 
innocents caught in consequences
Editing, re-reporting by 
Carolyn Bennett

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks but big guns refuse to hear.

While western post-World War II warriors were executing sanctions warfare, the Secretary-General was ever so gently, as is his style, raising the alarm about dangerous double standards in weapons of mass destruction, arms trafficking, law, human harm and human rights.
In his report at the September 2012 Conference on Disarmament, Ban Ki-moon said that the “lack of progress on disarmament and non-proliferation within the United Nations arena is troubling.”

The international community in 2011, he said, had worked to implement new nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation commitments and agreements growing out of the 2010 Review Conference, but “the United Nations bodies responsible for advancing those recommendations have faced protracted deadlocks” and have been “unable to reach consensus in 2012.”

Squabbling, delay, obstruction

The inability of the Conference on Disarmament to overcome its differences and agree on a program of work that would allow for the resumption of substantive work, including negotiations on a fissile material cut-off treaty, has impeded progress in the nuclear field, Ban Ki-moon said.

War Profiteers (government and trafficker)
U.S. Boeing bombs

At the same time, the Secretary-General said, “Poor regulation of the global trade in arms continues to present a significant challenge.” While there is no single-cause relationship between the poorly regulated arms trade and conflict, armed violence and substantive human rights abuses —  the connections between misuse of Government-owned arms and the questionable legitimacy or responsibility displayed by their original provider or between massive quantities of illicit arms and ammunition in circulation and lax national controls are clearly discernible.

Weapons of mass destruction
By type


China (PRC)
North Korea
Saudi Arabia
South Africa
Taiwan (ROC)
United Kingdom
United States



 Wikipedia image

Children suffer
Human costs

Failure to agree on disarmament has serious consequences for UN agencies and for the inhabitants of the world’s countries.

The United Nations’ missions are “directly confronted with the consequences of the arms flow: brutal crackdowns, armed conflict, rampant crime or violence and the widespread human suffering that they cause.”

The Conference’s failure to agree on the Arms Trade Treaty, Ban Ki-Moon said, “frustrates the hopes of the millions of people all over the world who bear the brunt of the negative consequences of armed conflict and violence fueled by the poorly regulated international arms trade.”

war on children

Sanctions warfare

In the same month in which the Secretary-General reported on the human suffering caused by the unregulated spread of arms trafficking, the UN Security Council tightened the choke hold on Iran, deepening human suffering. Led by the United States, Britain and France, the Council voted for tougher sanctions against Iran.

Casting its vote for stricter sanctions on Iran, France charged Iran with bypassing the sanctions regime and violating its obligations regarding the arms embargo for the benefit of Syria.

Ignoring its own arsenal, infractions and failures to cooperate in disarmament and restriction of arms sales, the United States voted for sanctions, alleging Iran’s “continuing defiance of obligations under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and Security Council resolutions.” The U.S. representative, as is the U.S. style, lectured Iran on what it termed an “approach … to deny, deceive and distract.” 
China and the Russian Federation expressed opposition to “the use or threat of use of force” and support of “dialogue and cooperation.”

However, regardless to counter arguments or calls for conversation over violence, the United States pressed on, expanding WMD sanctions against Iran. 

The UN Secretary-General voiced his concern for widespread harm inflicted on the Iranian people. In a report to the UN General Assembly released yesterday (Reuters reported), Ban Ki-moon said,   “The sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic of Iran have had significant effects on the general population, including —
Sanctions harm people - Syria

an escalation in inflation,

a rise in commodities and energy costs,

an increase in the rate of unemployment, and

a shortage of necessary items including medicines to treat such conditions as cancer, heart and respiratory disease and multiple sclerosis.

“Even companies that have obtained the necessary license to import food and medicine are facing difficulties in finding third-country banks to process the transactions,” Ban Ki-moon said.

Sanctions are also negatively affecting humanitarian operations — suggesting, almost laughingly, if it were possible to laugh at this stuff, that a western foreign policy of war by sanctions supersedes their wars wrapped in humanitarianism.

Iran has suffered four rounds of UN Security Council sanctions between 2006 and 2010 for refusing to halt its nuclear enrichment program. 
Sanctions harm people - Iran

Western countries originally said the sanctions would hurt only the government and not the people of Iran, a claim anyone knows is false on its face. They now acknowledge the wider impact of this warfare. “Britain, France, and Germany have called for more EU sanctions,” says a news report in today’s Tehran Times, “but it is unlikely that further UN sanctions will be imposed on Iran because of resistance from Russia and China. Moscow and Beijing have repeatedly criticized unilateral U.S. and EU sanctions against Tehran.”


Nuclear powers
Five nations are considered to be nuclear-weapon states’ (NWS) under the terms of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

NPT nuclear powers

In order of acquisition of nuclear weapons these are: signatory United States (2,150 / 8,000 warheads active/total), ratifier Russian Federation (1,800 / 10,000 warheads active/total), ratifier United Kingdom (160 / 225 warheads active/total), ratifier France (290 / 300 warheads active/total), and signatory Peoples Republic of China (n.a. / 240 warheads active/total).

Non-NPT nuclear powers

India (n.a. / 80–100 warheads active/total), Pakistan (n.a. / 90–110 warheads active/total), and North Korea (n.a. / <10 active="active" p="p" total="total" warheads="warheads">

Undeclared nuclear powers

Israel (n.a. / 80–200 warheads active/total)

Eight states have successfully detonated nuclear weapons.

Since the NPT entered into force in 1970, three states not parties to the Treaty have conducted nuclear tests: India, Pakistan, and North Korea.

North Korea had been a party to the NPT but withdrew in 2003.

Israel, not party to the NPT, is widely believed to have nuclear weapons but has refused to confirm or deny this and is not known to have conducted a nuclear test.

South Africa developed nuclear weapons but disassembled its arsenal before joining the NPT.

Large stockpile with global range (dark blue), smaller stockpile with global range (medium blue), small stockpile with regional range (pale blue) Wikipedia image

On October 5, 1986, the British newspaper The Sunday Times ran Mordechai Vanunu’s story on its front page under the headline: ‘Revealed – the secrets of Israel's nuclear arsenal.’Wikipedia image

Red = Nuclear weapons states; Orange = Nuclear sharing states; Blue = Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones;   Golden/yellow = None of the above, but party to NPT Wikipedia image

Sources and notes

Report of the Secretary-General on the Work of the Organization: G. Disarmament
United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty (July 2-27, 2012) 2012 session of the Conference on Disarmament ending September 14, 2012, Conference on Disarmament 2013 session will be January 21-March 29 (part one), May 13-June 28 (part two), July 29-Seotember 13 (part three)

“Security Council Members Urge Tougher Sanctions, Deeper Diplomacy on Iran’s Nuclear Program” as Non-Proliferation Committee Briefs Members Subsidiary Body’s Report Details Activities from June12 to  September 12, 2012, Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York, http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2012/sc10770.doc.htm

 “UN sec gen says sanctions hurting ordinary Iranians” from a  report dated August 22, 2012, to the 193-member General Assembly on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran (Tehran Times, October 6, 2012), http://tehrantimes.com/politics/102120-un-sec-gen-says-sanctions-hurting-ordinary-iranians

Wikipedia notes


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