Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is expected to attend the conference, which opens on Monday and runs until May 28. He will be facing off with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who heads the U.S. delegation at the meeting at U.N. headquarters.
Diplomats expect Ahmadinejad to take a defiant stand against the United States and its Western allies, accusing them of trying to deprive developing states of nuclear technology while turning a blind eye toward Israel’s nuclear capability.
The 189 signatories of the landmark 1970 arms control treaty — which is intended to stop the spread of nuclear weapons and calls on those with atomic warheads to abandon them — gather every five years to assess compliance with the pact and progress made toward achieving its goals.
The last NPT review conference in 2005 was widely considered a disaster. After weeks of procedural bickering led by the former U.S. administration, Egypt and Iran, the meeting ended with no agreement on a final declaration.
Analysts and U.N. diplomats hope things will be different this time and that the conference can breathe new life into a treaty that has failed to prevent North Korea from building a nuclear bomb or force Iran to stop uranium enrichment. A Pakistani-led illicit nuclear supply network and slow progress on disarmament have also highlighted the NPT’s weaknesses.
Israel is presumed to have a nuclear arsenal but neither confirms nor denies having one. Like India a… >>>