Argentine foreign minister insists UK must explain what happened to 1982 nukes – MercoPress

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Argentine foreign secretary insists UK must explain what happened to 1982 nuclear weapons

Tuesday, March 1, 2022 – 09:48 UTC


Newly declassified documents prove UK sent between one and 20 Hiroshima bombs to South Atlantic during 1982 war, Cafiero points out

Argentine Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero insisted on Monday that the UK sent nuclear weapons to the Falkland Islands in 1982 and said British authorities should be clear on the issue.

Cafiero’s remarks were made during his attendance at the Conference on Disarmament at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, during which he also condemned Russia’s actions in Ukraine.

The Foreign Secretary referred to documents “which prove that during the South Atlantic conflict of 1982 the UK sent ships equipped with 31 nuclear weapons to the region”. He insisted that the UK must explain what had happened with this military equipment.

“The UK still owes Argentina and the world information on exactly how many kilotons it carried to the South Atlantic in 1982 and what happened to that nuclear material,” Cafiero said during the Geneva conference.

“The mere presence of these weapons implied, not only for Argentina but for the entire region, a serious nuclear risk both in terms of radioactive contamination in the South Atlantic, as well as the catastrophic humanitarian consequences associated with nuclear weapons” , said the Argentinian official. keep on going.

“Our country has clearly demonstrated its vocation for peace and its commitment to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation,” Cafiero added.

The minister also focused on recently declassified documents in the National Archives in London “which prove that during the 1982 South Atlantic conflict the UK sent ships armed with 31 nuclear weapons to the region, which at the time represented 65% of its territory”. stockpile of nuclear bombs in deep waters.

The kiloton power involved could have been equivalent to between one and 20 Hiroshima bombs. Because the Hiroshima bomb had a power of 15 kilotons and the arsenal of depth charges of the British ships represented between 15.5 and 310 kilotons, one reported.

“During the 49th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, I expressed Argentina’s undeniable commitment to the protection and defense of human rights,” Cafiero said. . He also pointed out that London’s assertions before Opanal (the Agency for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean) and the United Nations Security Council that nuclear weapons had never been sent to the South Atlantic had been proven false when the documents were declassified. .

“Argentina denies the falsity of the information provided at the time by the United Kingdom in said forums. This behavior violates the obligation to act in good faith and demonstrates the lack of guarantees of transparency regarding the presence of nuclear weapons in the South Atlantic,” Cafiero also said.

“In our case, and as recognized by the United Nations in numerous resolutions, there is a sovereignty dispute between my country and the United Kingdom over the Malvinas Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands and the surrounding sea spaces that need to be resolved. peacefully and negotiated [upon]”Cafiero explained.

The minister added that the situation was “aggravated by the British military presence which contravenes United Nations General Assembly resolution 41/11, which recognizes the South Atlantic region as an area of ​​​​peace and cooperation”. .

Cafiero also pointed out that Argentina’s more than seven-decade nuclear program was strictly focused on non-military goals. He also stressed that international agreements against nuclear weapons are the way forward to achieve lasting peace.

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