The US has enough conventional weapons in its arsenal to destroy the world and had promised to reduce its arsenal. Why then is it continuing to develop smaller deadlier chemical bombs?
Press TV talks with Nader Mokhtari, columnist and political commentator in Tehran about the International deadline of April 2012 to rid all countries of chemical weapons and the US refusal, but not inability to abide by that binding deadline. Following is a transcript of the interview.
Press TV: Concerning the US weapons of mass destruction – America is upgrading its nuclear weapons and at the same time it is not wanting to get rid of its chemical weapons. Is this a violation of international law?
Nader Mokhtari: Yes it is a clear violation of international laws. The US had 31,000 tons of chemical weapons and it has destroyed 81 percent of this arsenal. I don’t see why the US should want to hang on to the rest; perhaps because Russia had 41,000 tons and its only been successful in getting rid of 41% of it s arsenal.
But Russia lacks the funds to take care of total destruction of its arsenal within the given deadline…maybe. The US on the other hand does not lack the funds – it only takes another 20 billion to 40 billion dollars estimated to get rid of what is left of the US arsenal.
However, the major problem we have with the US is that other variations of chemicals weapons are being experimented on; also biological weapons although it hasn’t come to the convention yet. And as a matter of fact the arsenal is expanding. Although the size of the arsenal is reducing i.e. the tonnage is going down, deadlier weapons are being manufactured and being experimented on. So, it’s a self-defeating thing. The US cannot carry on as it is doing at the moment.
Press TV: Against whom does the US want to use these chemical and biological weapons?
Nader Mokhtari: This is a good question. The US – the mentality is a bunker mentality that the US has maintained – it’s almost as if it believes that the entire worlds wants to go at its throat the whole time. But really, if there are negative feelings toward the US, the US is the guilty party; it is itself responsible for having caused such feelings.
You had an item of news just before about the United Arab Emirates getting bunker buster bombs, well, the UAE lacks the expertise; lacks the weapons systems to operate these weapons so we can only look at this as a stockpile of highly advanced weapons ready for use in the region. The last thing they need at the moment is more weapons.
The US Military Industrial Complex has been making big bucks from the Arab regimes in the region and the last thing they need is weapons; they need to spend that money on the welfare of their people so that we don’t see the scenes such that we’ve seen in the Arab Spring with people going up against despotic regimes backed by the US, Britain, France, Germany and other western countries.
Press TV: How do you see the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons reacting come April 2012 when the US fails to scrap its chemical weapons arsenal?
Nader Mokhtari: The US will be referred to the UN Security Council for non-compliance and that goes without saying. But it isn’t as if there is going to be any action assumed against the US because the US itself has the right to veto the resolution or the referral.
A solution has to be found – perhaps an inspection party should be put together to oversee the destruction of the rest of the US chemical arsenal in as quick a time as possible.
We simply don’t have another decade to rid the world of terrible weapons. Even nuclear weapons – the US is just converting the older bigger weapons into smaller tactical weapons. That’s not really getting rid of weapons at all.
We live in dangerous times. The US ought to, as a self-proclaimed world leader in such affairs, really ought to start getting rid of these weapons. It has enough conventional weapons to destroy the world many times over without all its other nasty bits and bobs that it keeps holding in its arsenal.