External Affairs

Asia-Pacific Leadership Network Urges Trump, US To Resolve Nuclear Crises Diplomatically, Not Militarily

In a statement, the organisation urged the US to address the facts of Iranian compliance on the terms of the nuclear deal, not on other points.

Credit: Reuters

New Delhi: The Asia-Pacific Leadership Network (APLN), in a statement on September 26, said that nuclear crises are best resolved diplomatically, not militarily, and that internationally negotiated deals to resolve nuclear crises should be respected by all parties.

The statement also went on to support the European Leadership Network’s (ELN) statement released on September 18, which said that any unilateral US action that jeopardises the July 14, 2015, Iran nuclear deal – the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – would harm US-Europe relations, particularly if US nuclear-related sanctions on Iran were resumed.

“We believe that such developments would also cause profound damage more broadly to global nuclear orders and adversely affect the prospects for a diplomatic resolution of the North Korean nuclear crisis,” the APLN’s statement read.

“The JCPOA imposes a robust transparency, inspections and consequences regime. Iran’s nuclear activities are capped under close international inspection in return for easing of sanctions. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) monitors the arrangement,” it went on to say.

Highlighting that a failure to implement the proliferation norms will have consequences all over the world, the statement endorsed the ELN statement –  published by 78 European political, diplomatic and military leadership figures – calling on US President Donald Trump and the US administration to uphold the JCPOA.

The APLN said, “In mid-October, the Trump Administration will report to the US Congress on whether Iran continues to comply with the nuclear deal. Credible reports suggest that the president is looking for a way to justify declaring that Tehran is no longer in compliance with the deal.”

The statement, signed by more than fifty political, diplomatic, military and civil society leaders from the Asia Pacific region, said, “A unilateral finding of non-compliance by the US would cast doubt on the integrity of the global nuclear monitoring system of the IAEA, which has assessed that Iran remains compliant. It would also threaten the viability of the multilaterally negotiated JCPOA, and reopen a pathway to an Iranian nuclear weapon. The cascading effect would in turn further deepen the East Asian nuclear crisis, raising doubts about the good faith commitment of the US Administration to any international negotiations to resolve the North Korean nuclear crisis peacefully. This would benefit Pyongyang and damage the East Asian non-nuclear weapon states.”

Its signatories include former United Nations under-secretary general for disarmament Nobuyasu Abe, counselor to the nuclear threat initiative John Carlson and former Indian foreign secretary Lalit Mansingh, among others.

The statement concluded by urging Trump and the US Congress to address the facts of Iranian compliance on the terms of the deal, not on other points.