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Russia/U.S.: Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Stalled


Geneva, August 13 (RFE/RL) -- U.S. arms negotiators are accusing other countries of trying to derail a comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty under discussion in Geneva.

U.S. chief negotiator Stephen Ledogar said yesterday that Iran is the only country that wants negotiations on the treaty to continue.

Representatives from several other countries were grinding the session to a halt with red tape. He called yesterday's session on the proposed agreement "most distressing."

Iran's delegate to the Geneva conference said after today's meeting his country has several concerns and if they are not addressed "we cannot allow the text to go further."

India also says it cannot accept the draft and has threatened to veto the pact.

Negotiations on the treaty are to continue today. If a breakthrough is achieved, the conference would approve a final text on Thursday. It would be presented to the UN General Assembly for approval next month.

The current draft makes it mandatory for the five declared nuclear countries--Russia, the United States, France, China and Britain; as well as three nuclear threshold states, India, Israel and Pakistan, to ratify the treaty.
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