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US introduces draft nuclear treaty at UN disarmament conference

[JURIST] The United States on Thursday introduced a new draft nuclear weapons treaty at a meeting of the United Nations Conference on Disarmament [official website] in Geneva. The Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty (FMCT) [FAS backgrounder], tabled [press release; prepared statement] by Stephen G. Rademaker [official profile], assistant secretary of the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, would legally bind its signatories to a ban on the production of plutonium and highly enriched uranium that could be used to create atomic weaponry. Rademaker contended that a pressing need exists for a new FMCT, pointing to the developing nuclear programs in Korea and Iran [IAEA backgrounders].

The draft received immediate support from several speakers, but Iranian representative Hamid Eslamizad focused discussion on his country's ongoing case with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) [official website] and its accounting of Iran's nuclear material. AP has more.

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