Egypt, Israel, Iran urged to sign nuclear test ban treaty

Ahmed Eleiba , Tuesday 18 Jun 2013

Egypt, Iran, and Israel must ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty if it is to come into force globally

Hans Blix, former Director General of the IAEA, delivers a keynote lecture at the opening session of the CTBT Science and Technology 2013 conference (Photo: The Official CTBTO Photostream)

Experts have urged Egypt, Israel and Iran to ratify a treaty which all three states have signed, which calls for a ban on all nuclear explosions, whether for civilian or military purposes.

Around 800 nuclear experts have gathered for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty: Science and Technology 2013 Conference in Austria, which is being held from 17 June to 21 June.  

The conference is being hosted by the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation, which aims to ban "nuclear explosions by everyone, everywhere: on the Earth's surface, in the atmosphere, underwater and underground" through putting forth a treaty with comprehensive nuclear curbs, according to the organisation's website.

While 159 states have ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), the treaty cannot enter into force until all 44 of the so-called Annex 2 countries, which at the time of the treaty's negotiations had nuclear capabilities, ratify the treaty.

Of the Annex 2 countries, China, Egypt, Iran, Israel and the United States have signed but not ratified the treaty ,while India, North Korea and Pakistan have not signed it.

All eight states were urged by the commission to ratify the agreement.

A group of Egyptians scientists took part in the conference  Rashad Kebeasy, the former director for the commision's international desk, told Ahram Online that Egypt and Israel have signed but not ratified the treaty for political reasons related to regional struggles.

Kebeasy warned in his speech at the conference that the nuclear arms race in the Middle East was underway.

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