No UN mandate for armed attack on Iran, says Blix
DOHA THERE is no United Nations mandate for any country to launch an armed attack on Iran as the country has not carried out any armed attack against any other country, former UN Chief Weapons Inspector for Iraq Hans Blix has said.
Blix was delivering the keynote address on the opening day of the conference on ‘Nuclear Non-Proliferation in the Gulf’ at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar (SFS-Q) on Wednesday.
The two-day conference has been organised by the British- American Security Information Council (BASIC) in association with British and Qatari foreign ministries.
Blix also warned that regional uranium enrichment programmes could prove a catalyst for escalation of the race for development of weapons of mass destruction in the region.
“The threat of new nuclear buildup in the Gulf area is part of a wider renaissance of nuclear power that has led some people to worry that any expanded use of civilian nuclear materials could increase the risk of proliferation.
More fingers on or near the nuclear trigger spells greater danger. A development leading to fewer fingers on or near nuclear triggers should also be considered,” he said.
As regards to the potential Iran-Israel conflict, Blix said, “After the invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003, the war was commonly branded as a violation of the UN Charter. In the case of Iran, a UN Charter justification for armed action could be sought in Article 51, if the action was carried out in self-defense against an armed attack or if it was authorised by the Security Council. It would seem improbable that a majority could be mustered in the Security Council for such an authorisation.” The Chairman of Qatar’s National Committee for the Prohibition of Weapons Brigadier- General Nassir al Ali gave details of Qatar’s position on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) from the time it joined the NPT in 2002, and said that Qatar considered nuclear energy as a great tool for socio-economic development.
Opening the conference, Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs at SFS-Q, Dr Kai- Henrik Barth, said, “Most experts are convinced that the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty prevented further proliferation.
Many students, however, do not share this view. It is our job as educators to give our students the tools and the confidence to think creatively about nuclear nonproliferation and to highlight the strengths of the NPT.”