Germany slams US nuclear plan, seeks Europe disarmament push

Europe must take steps in nuclear disarmament after the US proposed upgrading and expanding its nuclear arsenal, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel (pictured) said on Sunday.

He was responding to the ‘Nuclear posture review’ released on Friday by the Pentagon spelling out the US military’s vision of nuclear threats and its response in the coming decades.

This renewed call by the US for nuclear race puts Europe in danger again as in the Cold War era. Europe must apply brake on this nuclear race, Gabriel said.

The Pentagon has classified Russia and China as the biggest threats facing the US. Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine and moves to re-arm itself with nuclear weapons are causes for concern. But instead of developing new weapons, Berlin would persuade its allies for further global disarmament and for existing arms control treaties to be upheld unconditionally, Gabriel said.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani decried the Pentagon’s proposed policies on Sunday and accused Trump of hypocrisy in opposing Iran’s missile programme. How a nation can talk about world peace while at the same time also talk about new nuclear weapons and threaten its enemies, he asked.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif warned on Saturday that Washington’s nuclear policy would bring humanity closer to destruction.

China joined the chorus against Pentagon’s nuclear plan and described the speculation about Chinese intentions as “wild guesses”.

The Pentagon report says China has added new types of nuclear capabilities “with little to no transparency into its intentions”.

The report makes “wild guesses” about China’s intentions and exaggerates the threat of its nuclear force, defence ministry spokesman Ren Guoqiang said.

Moscow on Saturday denounced the “bellicose” and “anti-Russian” nature of the new US nuclear policy, warning it would take necessary measures to ensure its own security.