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Iran Urged To Sign Nuclear Test Ban Treaty To Prove Good Intent

Iran should ratify the treaty banning nuclear weapons tests to prove to doubters that it does not intend to ever develop a nuclear bomb, the head of the organization overseeing the test-ban treaty said September 11.

Iran's nuclear deal with world powers is designed to ensure that it does not develop a weapon only for the next 15 years.

"People say that after 15 years, how can we be sure that Iran will not start," Lassina Zerbo said. "The only assurance with teeth that Iran can give is to ratify" the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. "To me it's a low-hanging fruit."

Iran is one of only eight nations that haven't signed the treaty, including the United States, China, India, Pakistan, North Korea, Egypt and Israel; 160 nations have ratified it.

Zerbo said Iran's hesitation to sign the treaty previously may have been a "question of timing," since ratifying during the years Iran was negotating the nuclear accord would have reduced its leverage.

Now, with the deal done and apparently headed toward implementation, there's no reason not to ratify, he said.

Based on reporting by dpa and Reuters