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G8 Muskoka: Non-proliferation and Iran

President Obama recognizes that the threat of nuclear proliferation constitutes one of the gravest national security issues confronting the United States.  Since taking office, he has sought to strengthen and revitalize the global nonproliferation and disarmament regime.  Based on the comprehensive strategy that he described in his speech last April in Prague, the Obama Administration is achieving substantial progress on the agenda, including in the following areas:

Nuclear Security Summit: On April 13, 2010, President Obama hosted a Summit meeting of nearly 50 world leaders who agreed to a communiqué and work-plan dedicated to achieving the President’s goal of securing all vulnerable nuclear material around the world in four years, as well as specific national actions to pursue that goal. This was a critical step forward in the effort to prevent nuclear terrorism, and was backed by concrete steps by a range of nations. A second Summit is planned for 2012 hosted by South Korea.

New START Treaty: On April 8, Presidents Obama and Medvedev signed the new START Treaty.  This Treaty will limit U.S. and Russia to significantly fewer strategic arms and delivery vehicles, while permitting each Party the flexibility to determine the structure of its strategic forces within the Treaty limits.  The Treaty demonstrates U.S. and Russian leadership on non-proliferation, while also strengthening our cooperation with Russia more broadly. President Obama has submitted the New START Treaty to the U.S. Senate for advice and consent to ratification. 
The Nuclear Posture Review:  The NPR was a crucial step in moving toward a world without nuclear weapons. It elevated preventing nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism to the top of the U.S. policy agenda and outlined concrete steps for reducing the role and numbers of nuclear weapons in U.S. security strategy.  The NPR changed U.S. declaratory policy to strengthen non-proliferation: The U.S. will not use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapons states in compliance with their nuclear non-proliferation obligations.

NPT Review Conference: On May 28, NPT parties adopted by consensus a Final Document that advances a realistic path towards achievement of the President’s vision for the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.  This document includes calls for strengthened verification and compliance, recognizes the New START agreement and the need for deeper reductions of nuclear weapons, entry into force of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, and the immediate start of talks on a Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty, and supports efforts to pursue international fuel banks and related mechanisms to broaden access to peaceful nuclear energy without creating new proliferation risks. 

UN Security Council Summit Meeting on Nonproliferation and Disarmament: In September 2009, President Obama presided over an historic Security Council summit meeting on nonproliferation and disarmament.  As a result of this meeting, the Council reaffirmed its support for broad progress to halt the proliferation of nuclear weapons and ensure reductions in existing weapons stockpiles, as well as control of fissile material.  The Council reaffirmed strong support for the NPT and called on NPT States parties to establish clear goals for the 2010 NPT Review Conference to strengthen all three of the NPT's pillars -- disarmament, non-proliferation, and the peaceful use of nuclear energy for all.

UN Security Council Resolution 1887:  The U.S. presidency of the UN Security Council and President Obama’s historic Council Summit on nonproliferation and disarmament led to the unanimous passage of UN Security Council resolution 1887 on September 24, 2009.  This resolution reaffirmed the international community’s commitment to the global nonproliferation regime based on the NPT, expressed the unified view that all countries enjoy rights and responsibilities under the NPT, and signaled particular concern that all countries need to comply with their obligations.  Resolution 1887 also reinforced ongoing work based on UNSC Resolution 1540 to strengthen the nonproliferation regime. 

Global Partnership:  In Muskoka, the G-8 reaffirmed their commitment to joint efforts to address global threats, which will ensure the G-8 will continue its support for important initiatives like the Global Partnership against Weapons of Mass Destruction.  The U.S. looks forward to working closely with other Global Partnership supporters to advance progress in addressing key priorities such as nuclear and radiological security; biological security; engagement of scientists; and facilitating the implementation of UNSCR 1540.  The Global Partnership positions resources to address commitments made at the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington and provides the financial basis for international cooperation to secure all vulnerable nuclear material in four years.

The international community’s reinvigorated commitment to the global nonproliferation regime and President Obama’s accomplishments based on the principled approach of “rights and responsibilities” have strengthened the world’s resolve to address the challenge of Iran’s nuclear program and Iran’s failure to fulfill its obligations.

  • Since taking office, President Obama has pursued a new and more effective approach that has broadened the scope of U.S. and multilateral efforts to confront the Iranian government with a clear choice: advance its own security and prosperity by living up to its obligations, or face growing consequences and deeper isolation. 
  • Our comprehensive strategy has produced a stronger global determination to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and persuade Iran to engage seriously with the international community.  These accomplishments include:
    • The adoption of UNSC resolution 1887 in September 2009 reaffirming the rights and responsibilities of the global nonproliferation regime, which demonstrated Iran is an outlier of the international nonproliferation system;
    • The strong November 2009 resolution adopted by the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Board of Governors censuring Iran for pursuing a secret nuclear enrichment facility – the first such resolution since 2006;
    • The December 2009 European Council declaration that the EU would support action by the UNSC if Iran continues to not cooperate with the international community over its nuclear program, and that the EU stands ready to take the necessary steps to accompany the UNSC process;
    • UN Security Council Resolution 1929, which established the toughest and most comprehensive sanctions on Iran to date by building on three previous rounds of UN sanctions, expanding existing measures, targeting new entities and individuals, and breaking new ground in several new areas of proliferation concern;
    • The June 17, 2010 declaration by European Union Heads of State that the EU will adopt strong measures to implement and accompany UN Security Council resolution 1929, including on trade, financial, banking and insurance, transport, and oil and gas sectors as well as new visa bans and asset freezes; 
    • The announcement by Australia of additional steps that it is taking pursuant to resolution 1929, including in banking and shipping and against the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), and;
    • The announcement by the U.S. Treasury of a new set of U.S. designations targeting Iran’s nuclear and missile programs to begin to implement resolution 1929 and expand upon actions mandated by the Security Council, which focus on Iran’s use of its financial sector, shipping industry, and the IRGC to support its proliferation activities.
    • The United States Congress earlier this week passed comprehensive legislation aimed at holding Iran accountable for failing to meet its international obligations, and complementing the multilateral strategy. The Administration is commited to implementing this legislation fully in a manner that advances our multilateral dual-track strategy of engagement and pressure.

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