The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

Statement by the President on the Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference

The United States welcomes the agreements reached at the 2010 Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference to strengthen the global non-proliferation regime.

The NPT must be at the center of our global efforts to stop the spread of nuclear weapons around the world, while pursuing the ultimate goal of a world without them.  This agreement includes balanced and practical steps that will advance non-proliferation, nuclear disarmament, and peaceful uses of nuclear energy, which are critical pillars of the global non-proliferation regime.  It reaffirms many aspects of the agenda that I laid out in Prague, and which we have pursued together with other nations over the last year, and underscores that those nations that refuse to abide by their international obligations must be held accountable.

The document includes an agreement to hold a regional conference in 2012 to discuss issues relevant to a Middle East zone free of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their delivery systems.  The United States has long supported such a zone, although our view is that a comprehensive and durable peace in the region and full compliance by all regional states with their arms control and nonproliferation obligations are essential precursors for its establishment.  We strongly oppose efforts to single out Israel, and will oppose actions that jeopardize Israel’s national security. 

The greatest threat to proliferation in the Middle East, and to the NPT, is Iran’s failure to live up to its NPT obligations.  Today’s efforts will only strengthen the NPT as a critical part of our efforts to ensure that all nation’s meet their NPT and non-proliferation obligations, or face consequences.  Together, we must work for a world where nation’s benefit from the peaceful power of nuclear energy, while also being secure from the threat posed by nuclear proliferation.

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