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Nuclear powers say Iran threatening nuclear treaty goals

[JURIST] The world's five major nuclear powers - Britain, China, France, Russia, and the US - cited Iran's uranium enrichment program as a major threat to the goals of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) [PDF text; JURIST news archive] in a joint statement [PDF text] issued Thursday at the end of a two-week meeting [official website] of 106 NPT member nations. The five urged Iran, currently under UN sanctions for its nuclear program, to accept an incentive package [JURIST reports] in exchange for abandoning uranium enrichment. The statement also addressed the nuclear situation in North Korea [JURIST news archive], which opted out of the treaty in 2003 to restart disarmament negotiations. Conspicuously absent from the statement was any mention of a secret reactor [BBC report] that Syria is suspected of building, which some speculate is because of a lack of confidence in the related US intelligence.

Iran maintains that it is pursuing nuclear capabilities solely for use in producing electricity [Iranian backgrounder, PDF], a use allowed under the treaty, and has repeatedly balked [JURIST report] at the UN sanctions targeted at the country. The US and other western powers are particularly concerned that energy-related uranium enrichment processes could be easily altered to produce weapons-grade material. Reuters has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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