Iraq Signs the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty

08.20.08 | 1 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

The Government of Iraq yesterday signed the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, which prohibits all nuclear explosive testing.

“We welcome the decision by Iraq to sign the CTBT,” Tibor Toth, the Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) said in a statement. “This is particularly significant given the multitude of challenges facing the Government of Iraq today: It is a strong political signal for nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. My hope is that it will encourage other countries of the region and beyond to follow suit.”

A total of 179 States, now including Iraq, have signed the CTBT. The Treaty does not take effect, however, until it is signed and ratified by the 44 States that participated in the Treaty’s negotiations in 1996 and possessed nuclear power or research reactors at the time.

Thirty-five of those States have ratified the Treaty, including three declared nuclear weapon States: France, Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom. The nine remaining States which have not yet signed ratified the Treaty are China, North Korea, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Pakistan, and the United States. India, Pakistan and North Korea have neither signed nor ratified the Treaty. The others have signed it.

For additional background, see “Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty: Background and Current Developments,” Congressional Research Service.