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Donald Trump

Trump keeps up US nuclear hypocrisy by leaving the Iran deal

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 05 June, 2018, 9:03pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 05 June, 2018, 9:02pm

From 1945 to 1992, as part of the nuclear arms race, the US conducted around 1,054 nuclear tests by official count, including 216 atmospheric, underwater and space tests. The peak occurred between 1961-62, when 340 megatons were detonated in the atmosphere by the United States and Soviet Union. During the final stages of the second world war, the US detonated two nuclear weapons over the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, on August 6 and 9, 1945.

Commenting on the unprecedented devastation, science fiction writer Ray Bradbury said: “After Hiroshima was bombed, I saw a photograph of the side of a house with the shadows of the people who had lived there burned into the wall from the intensity of the bomb. The people were gone, but their shadows remained”.

With Bradbury’s haunting words in mind, it would behove the Trump administration to remember that America is the first and only nation to use a nuclear weapon on other humans.

Pompeo threatens Iran with ‘strongest sanctions ever’ if it doesn’t comply with revised nuclear deal

As a political strategy, it is no mystery why President Donald Trump ultimately abandoned the Iran nuclear deal: he wanted to assuage Israel, punish Iran, exert power in the Middle East, send a message to North Korea, Russia and Syria, embarrass Barack Obama (for whom it was a major policy achievement), fulfil a campaign promise, renegotiate a deal that favours American interests and so on.

Watch: Trump cites Iranian regime’s ‘dangerous pursuit of nuclear missiles’

But, despite these justifications, Trump cannot erase the hypocrisy of history. Whereas Iran was at least willing to limit its nuclear programme in return for a lifting of economic sanctions, the US has more nuclear weapons than any other nation in the world, the US has tested more nuclear weapons than any other nation, and the US has actually used them on another country.

George Cassidy Payne, adjunct professor, State University of New York