World dignitaries launch anti-nuclear plan

Former world leaders and arms-control negotiators have joined entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson and Jordan's Queen Rania to launch a project aimed at eliminating the world's nuclear weapons over the next 25 years. The group wants to reach the impossible-sounding goal by reviving nuclear disarmament efforts that have lagged since the end of the Cold War. It is proposing deep cuts in US and Russian nuclear arsenals, a worldwide verification and enforcement system and phased reduction leading to elimination of all stockpiles. "We have to set an example," Branson said Tuesday. The group, called Global Zero, wants to start with US-Russian negotiations to cut back nuclear stockpiles. Then a second phase would bring in countries such as China, Britain and France. Finally, it hopes to attract other countries such as Iran - which the West fears is seeking nuclear arms. Teheran insists its nuclear program is aimed at generating electricity. Delegations from the group will go to Moscow for talks with Russian officials Wednesday and to Washington on Thursday.