Welcoming the Iran Nuclear Deal and Calling on Israel to Dismantle Its Nuclear Arsenal for a Nuclear-Free Middle East By Mairead Maguire, Nobel Peace Laureate

portrait_hr2All Peace loving people around the World, and particularly those who have worked for many years for the Abolition of All Nuclear Weapons, must have been encouraged and given hope, with the announcement on 14 July, 2015 of a Nuclear Deal between Iran and the Six World Powers.

Congratulations are in order to all those who persevered in face of much opposition and remained at the negotiating table to get this deal, Foreign Minister of Iran Mr. Zarif, USA Sec. of State, John Kerry, the EU High Rep. for Foreign Affairs, Ms. Mogherini, and many others fulfilled their political responsibilities in negotiating a Nuclear Deal with Iran, that according to Iranian Foreign Minister has delivered, not what everyone wanted, but a win/win situation for all.

This Agreement is indeed to be welcomed, and it is a triumph for dialogue and diplomacy and proves that problems can be solved at the negotiating table instead of using the unethical, immoral and counter-productive method of military threats and attacks.   The West has for too long been threatening to bomb Iran (indeed during a peace visit to Iran in 2014, this was the greatest fear expressed to me by young Iranian women) and isolation all of which methods were counterproductive, but now through diplomacy and excellent political leadership, an Nuclear Deal with Iran has been reached, and the World can breathe a sigh of relief and be hopeful, that yes change can happen.

Everyone knows that Iran has no nuclear weapons and yet the 5 Nuclear weapon states at the table all have nuclear weapons and continue to violate the Non Proliferation Treaty (telling Iran not to have them!).   So too Iran’s neighbour Israel, has nuclear weapons and refuses to admit to have these weapons, much less allow Weapons Inspections or sign the Non Proliferation Treaty.   Israel, the only nuclear weapons state in the Middle East, has a moral and legal responsibility to move to disband its nuclear weapons and create a nuclear free middle east.

The process followed by all and leading to this historic Nuclear Deal with Iran, could also be applied and used working with North Korea Political Leadership, based on assurances of a peace treaty and security and leading to it getting rid of its nuclear weapons. In May during a visit of 30 international peace women to North/South Korea, many people expressed their desire for a Korean peace treaty and peace and reconciliation in the Korea Peninsular.

This Historic Iran Nuclear deal gives hope to all, and is a model for other countries with Nuclear Weapons that the time is now for Disarmament and a World without dangerous unethical Nuclear Weapons anywhere.

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Mairead Corrigan Maguire, co-founder of Peace People, is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace, Development and Environment. She won the 1976 Nobel Peace Prize for her work for peace in Northern Ireland. Her book The Vision of Peace (edited by John Dear, with a foreword by Desmond Tutu and a preface by the Dalai Lama) is available fromwww.wipfandstock.com. She lives in Belfast, Northern Ireland. See:www.peacepeople.com.