‘Obama must step up fight against secret nuke trade’
* Experts say trade goes far beyond AQ Khan’s network that may still be active
WASHINGTON: Incoming US president Barack Obama must step up ways to stop secret nuclear trade involving Pakistan, Iran and North Korea that goes far beyond an AQ Khan network that may still be active, experts say.
The US State Department on Monday unveiled sanctions against detained nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan, 12 associates and three firms linked to his nuclear proliferation network.
The sanctions forbid the 16 from having business dealings with the US government or private US firms in what the State Department says is a renewed bid to make sure the network has been shut down entirely.
The sanctions were welcomed by former United Nations arms inspector David Albright and US House Committee on Foreign Affairs Chairman Howard Berman.
“It’s a slap in the face of Khan. The US is saying you can’t deny what you did and expect people to believe you", Albright said.
Albright feared that dozens of people who were not sanctioned may still be involved in the network through hubs like Dubai in the United Arab Emirates and in Malaysia, which he said has no export control laws.
“The priorities for the Obama administration is to look again at how you try to slow it (illicit nuclear trade) down, stop it. And it’s a much bigger problem than Khan, he said.
“Iran creates its own networks. They’re very good at it and they’ve been doing it for a long time, he said.
Berman welcomed what he called ‘belated’ sanctions.
“But the sanctions do not put an end to the matter; equipment and technology from this network may still be circulating, and new suppliers could well spring up to take Khan’s place, Berman warned.
PS: As if God's slap on the facing of those who wish to slap every nation into economic subjugation is not enough!