During last week’s speech at Cairo University, President Obama reaffirmed his commitment to promoting steps toward a world free of nuclear weapons:
“I understand those who protest that some countries have weapons that others do not. No single nation should pick and choose which nation holds nuclear weapons. And that’s why I strongly reaffirmed America’s commitment to seek a world in which no nations hold nuclear weapons.”
This statement strongly reiterated policies Obama has supported over the last few months. For instance, in a recent NPR interview, Obama said:
“…I think one of the things that we need to do is to describe to the Iranians a pathway for them achieving security, respect and prosperity that doesn’t involve them possessing a nuclear weapon. But we have to be able to make that same argument to other countries that might aspire to nuclear weapons and we have to apply some of those same principles to ourselves so that, for example, I’ll be traveling next month to Moscow to initiate start talks, trying to reduce our nuclear stockpiles as part of a broader effort in the international community to contain our nuclear weapons.”
These statements follow the remarkable Prague speech, where Obama declared “America’s commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.”
Obama’s remarks over the past months represent some of the most significant commitments ever made by a U.S. president to nuclear non-proliferation. This trend of high profile statements – not only by Obama but also by Vice President Biden, Secretary of State Clinton, and others – is just what we need.
The repetition drives home how serious the issue is to the United States and signals our willingness to undertake the cooperation necessary to achieve security from nuclear weapons. The strong public statements clear the field for vigorous diplomatic action on START, Iran, and missile defense in the months ahead.