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US physicists urge Bush to respect Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

[JURIST] A group of prominent physicists has urged President Bush not to use tactical nuclear weapons against Iran [JURIST news archive] in violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty [PDF text], after recent articles in the Washington Post [April 18 report] and the New Yorker [April 10 report] reported the administration's willingness to consider nuclear strikes. The Bush administration has denied the reports [JURIST report].

The protest came in the form of a letter [PDF text] from thirteen of the nation's leading physicists, including five Nobel Laureates. According to the authors:

Using or even merely threatening to use a nuclear weapon preemptively against a nonnuclear adversary tells the 182 non-nuclear-weapon countries signatories of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty that their adherence to the treaty offers them no protection against a nuclear attack by a nuclear nation. Many are thus likely to abandon the treaty, and the nuclear non-proliferation framework will be damaged even further than it already has, with disastrous consequences for the security of the United States and the world.
One of the authors of letter, University California Professor Jorge Hirsch, has also collected the signatures of over 1900 physicists from around the world on a petition [text] to the Bush Administration. Physorg.com has more.

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