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US physicists against nuclear attack on Iran
Tue Feb 6, 2007 21:22

22 U.S. Physicists Petition Congress To Restrict Bush's Authority To Use Nuclear Weapons

February 2, 2007 6:02 p.m. EST

Linda Young - All Headline News Staff Writer

Washington, DC (AHN) - The recent nuclear saber rattling of Pres. George W. Bush in response to the perceived threat of Iran developing nuclear weapons has made some leading U.S. physicists nervous. Bush's threat to use nuclear force against a nation that does not have nuclear weapons jarred 22 physicists to the point of asking Congress to restrict the president's power to use nuclear weapons.

On Thursday the group petitioned Congress "to restrict the authority of President Bush to order nuclear strikes against non-nuclear-weapon states," they said in a statement.

As to why they were petitioning Congress now, the group said, "the rising tensions with Iran and the potential for military confrontation, as well as the public statement by President Bush on April 18, 2006, that a nuclear strike against Iran is an option 'on the table,'" caused them to act.

"The very fact that nuclear weapon use is not being ruled out as an option-against a state that does not have nuclear weapons and does not represent a direct or imminent threat to the United States-illustrates the extent to which the Bush administration has changed U.S. nuclear weapons policy," Kurt Gottfried, chair of the Union of Concerned Scientists, said in the statement. "The use of such a weapon against deeply buried targets would create massive clouds of radioactive fallout that could spread far from the site of the attack, including to other nations."

In their petition, the physicists told Congress that they "are firmly convinced that Congress should have a say on which course of action would best serve the American people on the use of the terrible weapons our profession helped create."

The 22 physicists include twelve Nobel laureates.


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