Nuclear deal with Iran should be just the start

A deal struck by Iran and major powers to ensure the Iranian facilities producing nuclear material are not used for the purpose of constructing nuclear weapons has been a long time coming, Labour’s Disarmament spokesperson Phil Goff says.

“Undoubtedly Iran’s position in reaching agreement was influenced by the sanctions imposed by Western nations, which will be lifted when the final deal is signed.

“Most importantly the deal is not based on hope or simple promises but will be verified by inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency.

“The IAEA is experienced in the verification process and the deal should ensure that Iran will not progress to producing nuclear weapon-grade plutonium.

“It reduces Iran’s nuclear centrifuges from 19,000 to 6104 and curbs its nuclear capabilities by reducing its enrichment capability.

“While this deal will be opposed by some, including right-wing Republicans in the US Congress and by Israel, it should be welcomed as a much more positive alternative to Prime Minister Netanyahu’s call for Iranian nuclear facilities to be bombed.

“It’s a bit rich for Mr Netanyahu, whose own country possesses nuclear weapons, to be threatening other countries with air strikes to prevent them developing the same capabilities.

“While Labour strongly supports this deal we are also calling on the nuclear weapons states which negotiated the deal, to themselves start a process of disarming their nuclear weapons.

“In three weeks time the UN will convene the Nuclear Non-proliferation Review Conference. The non-proliferation treaty was struck 45 years ago and under it other non nuclear countries promised not to develop nuclear weapon capabilities in return for the nuclear weapon states making an unequivocal undertaking to begin the process of nuclear disarmament.

“Those states have not honoured their promises, despite repeated undertakings to do so. We welcome the deal reached with Iran and now call on the nuclear weapon states to finally deliver on their promise,” Phil Goff says.