LAWRENCE WITTNER – When all is said and done, what the recently-approved Iran nuclear agreement is all about is ensuring that Iran honors its commitment under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) not to develop nuclear weapons. But the NPTâ€”which was ratified in 1968 and which went into force in 1970â€”has two kinds of provisions. The first is that non-nuclear powers forswear developing a nuclear weapons capability. The second is that nuclear-armed nations divest themselves of their own nuclear weapons. Article VI of the treaty is quite explicit on this second point, stating: â€œEach of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.â€
JOHN LAFORGE – An Appeals Court has vacated the sabotage convictions of peace activists Greg-Boertje-Obed, of Duluth, Min., and his co-defendants Michael Walli of Washington, DC, and Sr. Megan Rice of New York City. The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals found that federal prosecutors failed to prove — and that â€œno rational jury could findâ€ — that the three had intended to damage â€œnational defense.â€
ERIKA SIMPSON – The most high-profile nuclear issue is the interim accord between Iran and six world powers to restrict Iranâ€™s development of nuclear power. And if the fundamentals of the Iranian deal could be treated as a template for all countries, the international community would be well on its way to choking off the supply of weapons-usable material everywhere.
LAWRENCE S. WITTNER – Given all the frothing by hawkish U.S. Senators about Iranâ€™s possible development of nuclear weapons, one might think that Iran was violating the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). But itâ€™s not.
RALPH HUTCHINSON – [Editorâ€™s Note: In the wake of the sentencing of 3 nonviolent objectors at the Y12 bomb plant in Oak Ridge, TN to long prison terms, this author takes the judge to task for the advice he offered the defendants from the bench. He develops his challenge into an insightful explanation of the way nonviolent direct action works to effect social change.]