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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Renewing Trident could jeopardise NPT review, warns Brown advisor

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

London, April 23, IRNA -- Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s advisor of non-proliferation is at odds with the British government’s refusal to delay controversial plans to renew the UK’s Trident nuclear missile system.

Pressing ahead with the renewal would be “unhelpful” with US President Barack Obama’s highest priories to strengthen the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which is being reviewed in New York next month, Baroness Shirley Williams warned.

“It would encourage would-be nuclear states to demand such a position for themselves. It would weaken the argument that the nuclear powers are themselves seeking to disarm, and therefore make a successful outcome of the NPT review much less likely,” Williams said.

“And it would draw resources away from the UK’s own conventional military capacities which are indeed deeply valued by the United States,” said the veteran politician, who is also the only British board member of the Washington-based Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI), led by former Senator Sam Nunn.

Williams, a Liberal Democrat peer, was appointed as an advisor to Brown as part of his initiative to include politicians of different persuasions in his government of all talents after he took office nearly three years ago.

But in a letter to the Times newspaper Friday, she expressed support for her party’s alternative to the government’s plans to renew Trident, including increasing the life span of the existing submarine-based nuclear missile system and other options.

“The future of Trident should be discussed in the context of President Obama’s objectives, the safeguarding, reduction and ultimate elimination of nuclear weapons. Our support for these objectives is the surest guarantee that the special relationship will survive,” the Lib Dem peer said..


End News / IRNA / News Code 1072923

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