A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Monday, May 3, 2010

Ahmadinejad's Speech

The US, Britain and France walked out during Mahmod Ahmadinejad's speech at the UN nonproliferation conference. More here.

Think what you will about Iran, but it's clear the regime is determined to defend its program as peaceful (despite evidence to the contrary) by hanging tough, not to say grandstanding. Ahmadinejad will strike a chord, I suspect, with other countries not entirely happy that the NPT regime sometimes looks like an oligarchic club. His decision to attend — no other heads of state are coming — was itself grandstanding, but what could the UN do? If they said no, he'd claim Iran was not being allowed to defend itself.

The NPT was signed in 1968, much closer in time to Hiroshima than to today. The fact that four non-signatories have nuclear weapons suggest it has not been as successful as one might hope; Israel, Pakistan, India and North Korea have not suffered severely from going nuclear outside the NPT framework, though in the North Korean case it has suffered sanctions. I certainly am not eager to see more proliferation, especially if Iran is the proliferator, but I do find it interesting that Iran is defending its program so fiercely.

1 comment:

Irreverent Tim said...

Walked out?

Left in a huff did they?

In the good old days, the civilized countries banged on their desks with their shoes.