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  Friday, December 13, 2019
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The Bush administration said Monday that Iran was trying to build atomic weapons in secret
The Bush administration said Monday that Iran was trying to build atomic weapons in secret and suggested the international community should respond by taking away Tehran's right to nuclear energy technology. Other world leaders attending a nuclear conference seemed to dismiss the U.S. call for punitive measures. Instead, they spoke of incentives and negotiations as a way of encouraging the Islamic republic to give up worrisome aspects of its energy program that could be diverted for weapons work. The Bush administration went into the conference hoping to increase pressure on Iran, but its speech highlighted the differences between the United States and its allies over how best to handle emerging nuclear issues, reports the Washington Post. According to Xinhuanet, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has challenged world leaders to breathe life into a key nuclear disarmament treaty. Annan opened a month-long conference on the 1968 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty in New York on Monday. The UN chief called on the have-nots to renounce potential bomb technology. And he also urged former Cold War rivals to slash their nuclear arsenals. Annan urged the non-weapons states to renounce potential bomb technology, in return for civilian nuclear help. Annan said, "A first step must be to expedite agreement to create incentives for states to voluntarily forgo the development of fuel-cycle facilities." And to nuclear powers, he has this to say, "An important step would be for the former Cold War rivals to commit themselves - irreversibly - to further cuts in their arsenals, so that warheads number in the hundreds, not the thousands. " At the last meeting in 2000, the nuclear powers committed to what they called "13 practical steps" toward disarmament, but critics complain the United States - by rejecting the nuclear test-ban treaty, for example - has come up short
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