Nazarbayev on K’Stan, the NPT, and Iran

Receiving Israeli President Shimon Peres in Astana today, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev “gave an assurance”: that “no nuclear material will reach Iran from our territory.” That’s good to know, since Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been “courting Kazakhstan”: recently, visiting Astana in early April.

The President of K’stan also took a moment to reflect on the legacy of his own country’s “nuclear disarmament”:

bq. “After independence 18 years ago, Kazakhstan voluntarily gave up the fourth-largest nuclear stockpile in the world. We set an example for the world, but unfortunately that example wasn’t followed,” he said.

According to the “version of his remarks”:,7340,L-3739226,00.html in _Yediot Ahronot,_ he added that “The Non-Proliferation Treaty lacks teeth.”

_Kazakhstan Today_ quoted Nazarbayev describing his country as a “victim of nuclear weapons”:

bq. “Kazakhstan itself suffered from the consequences of the nuclear tests – for 49 years. More than one million Kazakhstan citizens suffered from radiation due to the explosions on the Semipalatinsk range, therefore, the issue of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons – for us very important,” the President of Kazakhstan said.

Meanwhile, the _Jerusalem Post_ shared this “worthwhile anecdote”:

bq. “When (Iranian President Mahmoud) Ahmadinejad was here for a state visit, I told him that even if he had enough material for 10 nuclear bombs, it wouldn’t bring him security. We improved our security by giving up nukes.”

Here’s hoping that Iran’s President isn’t a “Spinal Tap”: fan.

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