Peace Groups Welcome Weapons Inspections For Iraq, United States

September 1, 2002

Peace Groups Welcome Weapons Inspections For Iraq, United States

Australian Peace Committee
People For Nuclear Disarmament
Australian Anti-Bases Campaign

Australian peace groups and antinuclear groups have welcomed calls by the European community and mr Downer to send weapons inspectors back into Iraq and have called for inspectors to be sent to the United States, to determine progress toward the elimination of the worlds largest and by far the most sophisticated stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, which the US is legally bound to eliminate under the nuclear nonproliferation treaty.

According to the groups:

"We strongly support the idea of inspections to eliminate weapons of mass destruction in ALL countries that have them, not only Iraq but in the countries that really do have the monster weapons stockpiles - The US, Russia, China, France, the UK, India, Pakistan, and Israel."

"The elimination of weapons of mass destruction and in particular of nuclear weapons is an absolute imperative if, in the long term, the human race is to survive. The weapons stockpiles held by the US and Russia in particular will, in 2012, when the Moscow treaty is supposed to reach fruition, still be four or five times as large as is needed to create a nuclear winter, with round 2000 warheads. Deadly stockpiles are still held by the UK, France, China, India, Israel, and Pakistan. India and Pakistan stood on the brink of nuclear destruction only months ago, while Israel is openly threatening Iraq with nuclear destruction in response to a scud missile attack right now. "

"To prioritise the elimination of weapons of mass destruction is quite right. But the very existence of a tiny, pathetic, Iraqi WMD arsenal is open to question, while we know that the nuclear powers continue to maintain massive arsenals with the capability to wreak the kind of damage associated with the impact of a large asteroid, in spite of unambiguous and internationally recognised legal obligations to eliminate those arsenals. Nobody has suggested invading the west coast of the US when a subcritial nuclear test was carried out last thursday, or a missile was tested some weeks ago. Nobody even suggested military action when India and Pakistan carried out highly provocative and dangerous missile tests months ago. Where is the balance?"

For further information contact:

John Hallam
Friends of the Earth Australia
Ph: (02) 9567-7533

Irene Gale
Ph: (08) 8364 2291