Scaling the Mountain: The UN Ban Treaty & the Quest for a Nuclear-Free World

At the start of the 21st century, several groups began efforts aiming not just to control nuclear weapons but to eliminate them altogether. The so-called Gang of Four, William Perry, George Shultz, Sam Nunn and Henry Kissinger, wrote numerous powerful op-eds, urging us to work towards a world without nuclear weapons. Bruce Blair turned from academics to founding Global Zero, dedicated to the same goal. And a coalition of activist groups led by Swedish lawyer Beatrice Fihn, formed the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, ICAN. In 2017, the United Nations adopted the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, and ICAN was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

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The Iran Deal

Blocking a Persian Bomb Donald Trump called it “the worst deal ever negotiated”. Benjamin Netanyahu called it an “embarrassment” which “paves Iran’s path to the bomb”; Lindsey Graham called it “a death sentence for Israel”. They were talking about the JCPOA, or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, commonly known as the Iran Nuclear Deal, an…

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