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No military action will prevent nuclear proliferation

February 8, 2012

[The following statement was issued today by IPPNW’s Executive Committee.]

International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) opposes all military action against Iran’s nuclear program.  Attacking Iranian facilities will cause widespread devastation, increase the risk of nuclear proliferation, and halt the chances for peace in the region.

IPPNW urges all nations, and Israel and the United States in particular, to refrain from launching military strikes against Iran, and to work with the international community to resolve, through the many diplomatic and non-violent pathways that remain open, the legitimate concerns that Iran may be developing a nuclear weapons capability.

IPPNW also calls upon Iran to reestablish full and transparent relations with the IAEA, and to provide IAEA inspectors with the comprehensive access and information they need to assure the international community that Iran is in compliance with its obligations under the Non-Proliferation Treaty and is not engaged in weapons development activities.

An Israeli military strike against Iranian facilities, with or without the support of the US and its other allies, would almost certainly provoke violent retaliation and cause potentially significant releases of radioactivity.  The human cost would be enormous and would threaten regional and international peace and security.  Such a conflict could escalate into a regional war, and could ultimately lead to the use of nuclear weapons — the very thing the entire world most needs to prevent.

There is no military solution to the problem of nuclear weapons proliferation anywhere in the world, particularly in the Middle East.

IPPNW supports regional and international efforts to negotiate a nuclear-weapons-free Middle East, and urges all States in the region, including Israel and Iran, to participate in good faith in the United Nations-sponsored conference that will be hosted by Finland to prepare the foundations for such an agreement.

The only way to ensure that nuclear weapons will never be used again, however, is to negotiate and complete a Nuclear Weapons Convention that will eliminate all existing nuclear weapons and prevent all states from acquiring or reacquiring them in the future.

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