“Undoing the Iranian nuclear deal would be unforgivable” – Dr. Kantor
“Proliferation of nuclear weapons is the most serious threat today to the fate of humankind” – Tony Blair
London / Moscow / Paris – October 9, 2017 – Leading international experts on nuclear non-proliferation and world leaders met today in Paris for the International Luxembourg Forum on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe (“The Luxembourg Forum”) to express their deep concern on the escalating crisis in nuclear weapons control.
More than 50 eminent authorities met in the context of the Luxembourg Forum’s 10th anniversary conference to hear Dr. Viatcheslav Moshe Kantor, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, former US Secretary of Defense William Perry, Hans Blix and other experts to discuss the proliferation of nuclear weapons in context of the North Korea escalation and concerns over the Iran nuclear deal.
Speaking at the opening of Monday’s two day conference, Dr. Viatcheslav Moshe Kantor, President of the Luxembourg Forum, warned that “the North Korea crisis could spark a global chain of nuclear strikes”, a reality made more likely given “that the possibility of a deliberate provocation by North Korea cannot be dismissed entirely”. With the added risk posed by key regional partners and fellow new nuclear states Pakistan and India, “even a single nuclear strike could trigger an unpredictable spiral of nuclear reprisals”, added Dr. Kantor.
On Iran, Dr. Kantor stated that “undoing the Iranian nuclear deal, concluded between the ‘six’ and Tehran, would be unforgivable. We have to ensure that Iran fully complies with the obligations it pledged to and now the most important issue is what happens when the deal is concluded,”.
The agenda paid particular focus to prioritising Russian-US relations, in the context of nuclear disarmament and international security concerns, following the news last month that former United States Secretary of State and Nobel Peace Laureate Henry Kissinger joined the International Luxembourg Forum’s Supervisory Board.
“Leaders of the leading nuclear states must resume cooperation on securing weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear material security, to prevent the threat of catastrophic terrorism. In particular, emphasis should be given to improving the security of radiological materials to counter the growing danger of terrorist acts using a dirty bomb,” added Dr. Kantor.
“We believe that the two nuclear superpowers, Russia and the USA, should be the first to take major steps to strengthen the nuclear non-proliferation regime,” said Dr. Kantor. “The balance of forces between these two countries, the two nuclear superpowers, has always been an essential precondition for global strategic stability,” he concluded.
During his opening remarks, Tony Blair warned that “the proliferation of nuclear weapons is the most serious threat today to the fate of humankind”. Mr Blair further said that “Proliferation begets further proliferation leading to risk of additional terrorist capability”.
On Iran, “the deal has been done…it means that for now Iran’s nuclear proliferation can be stalled and so the sensible thing is to preserve the current agreement. Most now see that the conventional risk of Iran’s activities poses a more immediate concerning than its nuclear threat”.
Mr Blair concluded by saying that “multi-lateral diplomacy is out of fashion. It shouldn’t be. It is critical and unavoidable to forestall today’s risks.”
Also addressing the opening of the conference, Secretary William Perry, former US Secretary of Defense and Luxembourg Forum Board Member, commented that “we are beginning a new cold war…with the worst possible outcome a nuclear war between US and Russia. Relations today between the US and Russia are comparable to the dark days of the Cold War. How could we have let that happen?”.