The USA bombing of the two Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki with nuclear bombs gave the world its first taste of the enormous destructive power of these terrifying Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). The United Nations decided that it would be in the interests of everybody on the planet if such weapons would be banned, so the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) came into existence in 1970. The NPT was signed and ratified by all except four nations, India, Israel, North Korea and Pakistan.
The NPT divides parties into two classifications: those that tested nuclear weapons before 1968 and those that did not. The former states, known as "Nuclear-Weapon States" are China, France, Russia (then the Soviet Union), the United Kingdom and the United States. These states were temporarily allowed to maintain their nuclear status. Other countries joined the NPT as "Non-Nuclear-Weapon States". In return for committing never to develop or receive nuclear weapons, these countries were given two promises:
Unfortunately in a continuing breach of the NPT that is occurring to this day, the nuclear-weapon states ignored their commitment to nuclear disarmament. With the end of the Cold War, nuclear arsenals have somewhat declined in size. However, most non-nuclear-weapon states have expressed frustration at the slow pace of disarmament.
It is patently obvious that the five nuclear weapon states have not complied either with the letter or the spirit of the NPT, making this international treaty fairly worthless.
The four nuclear weapon nations that have so far refused to sign the NPT obviously do not have any incentive to do so, after observing the flouting of this treaty by the five nuclear weapon states. These nations do not submit to any scrutiny or inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and are not required to do so. Thus it is very difficult to ascertain how many nuclear weapons are in their arsenals.
Although the USA has never complied with its obligations under the NPT, it has been very selective about which nations it thinks should be permitted to even have civilian nuclear programs. Although the NPT guarantees all signatories the INALIENABLE RIGHT to develop their own civilian nuclear energy programs and even demands that nuclear nations assist in furthering these aims, the USA is currently attempting to prevent certain nations acquiring not only nuclear weapons, but even operating civilian nuclear energy projects.
In other words, the USA is demanding the right to dictate which nations can or cannot develop nuclear programs, regardless of their rights under international law. This is much the same as the USA stating that it has the right to deny access to outer space to any nation that the USA regards as being against America's interests. Of course the Russians, Chinese, Iranians and most other nations are treating this stupid pronouncement with the utter contempt that it deserves.
Not only has the USA not complied with its obligations under the NPT, it is obvious that the Americans have no intention of doing so anyway. For instance, a contest was launched between the Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos National Laboratories to design a Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator, a nuclear bomb designed to withstand a high-speed collision with the ground and bore through 20-30 feet of rock or concrete before exploding. This high-yield weapon, at least 75 kilotons and probably much larger than the Hiroshima bomb is intended to destroy deeply buried and hardened targets. Its use would result in a huge, deadly, radioactive mushroom cloud.
The Americans are continuing to conduct research on both low-yield nuclear warheads and on targeting techniques to make nuclear weapons more usable, particularly against deeply buried targets and chemical and biological weapons facilities. However, at the same time, The USA opposes the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty which would block possible US proof-testing of new or modified nuclear weapons. Some new or modified weapons could be and have already been, deployed without such tests.
The USA demands that North Korea and Iran refrain from acquiring nuclear weapons and submit to IAEA inspections in accordance with the NPT. But Article VI of the NPT also requires the USA and other existing nuclear powers to eliminate their arsenals through good-faith negotiations. In a blatant show of hypocrisy, the USA has rejected NPT commitments it made in 2000 to apply the principles of irreversibility and verification to reduction of its arsenal.
The Chinese are not without fault either. China supplied rogue nuclear state Pakistan with a nuclear reactor in 1991 and work began on a second reactor in 2005. Apparently, China decided to build reactors in the USA to compensate for the nuclear deal that the USA had made to supply rogue nuclear state India with nuclear technology and material.
The Chinese have completely abrogated their responsibilities to the NPT with these nuclear deals, especially supplying such technology and assistance to a rogue nuclear state that is already armed with nuclear weapons. It would be completely hypocritical of the Chinese to complain about any other nation acquiring such nuclear assistance.
Iran is a signatory to the NPT and according to this treaty, Iran is perfectly entitled and has the "INALIENABLE RIGHT" to develop an indigenous nuclear energy program which includes uranium enrichment. Moreover, although the IAEA reported that Iran's uranium enrichment programme continued to grow. it also affirmed that no enriched uranium had been diverted for any illegal use.
Yet, Israel, Pakistan, and India, who refused to sign the NPT continue to develop and even increase their nuclear weapons programmes. In the case of Israel, no inspectors have been allowed into Israel's nuclear facilities since the 1960s when Israel is believed to have developed nuclear weapons.
The USA has embarked on a continuing course of claiming that Iran is actually attempting to acquire nuclear weapons, however the Americans have not produced any hard evidence to support these allegations. On top of that, the IAEA has been intrusively inspecting Iran's nuclear facilities for many years and has not found any diversion of nuclear work or technology to military purposes.
Iran quite rightly claims that under the NPT, it does have the right to enrich uranium and is ignoring demands from the USA and its European allies for it to abandon this program, even though the USA has managed to generate three United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions to try to force Iran to stop uranium enrichment. Most international lawyers consider these three resolutions to be illegal, obviously because the UNSC does not have the right to punish a nation for merely conducting legal activity under an international treaty or to try and coerce a nation to abandon its rights under international law.
In flagrant violation of their obligations under the NPT not to help disseminate nuclear weapons and not to help other countries acquire them in any way, France and the USA actively helped Israel develop its nuclear weapons arsenal. France clandestinely sent experts and technicians to help Israel build its Dimona nuclear facility in the Negev desert.
As for the Americans, the Nixon and Johnson administrations privately endorsed Israel's nuclear status and refused to make US sales of weapons to Israel conditional upon its signing of the NPT. Moreover, the USA supplied Israel with nuclear triggers and supercomputers that facilitated Israel's development of its nuclear weapons programme. The George HW Bush administration sold more than 1,500 nuclear dual-use items to Israel.
This action, along with the Chinese proliferation of nuclear assistance to Pakistan, weakened the NTP to the extent where this treaty can be considered to be a complete failure. Its ostensible object was to prevent dissemination of nuclear weapons by striking a bargain between the nuclear powers and the non-nuclear countries. The latter undertook not to develop or acquire nuclear weapons and in return, the nuclear powers committed themselves not to help any country develop nuclear weapons, and further undertook to start the process of disarmament. The exact opposite has happened. More countries developed nuclear weapons: India, Pakistan and Israel, with the active support of at least three nuclear powers.
In November 2010, the whistleblowing Wikileaks website published the biggest exposť of US diplomatic cables in history. Among the revelations was the fact that some decades ago, the Americans had supplied NPT non-signatory Pakistan with a batch of highly enriched uranium. Now there is only one use for this material and that is for nuclear weapons.
This merely shows the massive hypocrisy and double-standards of the Americans, who deliberately proliferated nuclear material and technology to three rogue nuclear nations, Israel, Pakistan and India in complete violation of their obligations under the NPT, yet they demand that other nations not only stick scrupulously to every requirement of this treaty, but demand that some nations actually abrogate their legal and inalienable rights as well.
It is interesting to see that Brazil is running an almost identical nuclear energy program to that of Iran. However, the USA and its cronies have been remarkably silent, even though Brazil will not allow the IAEA to inspect its facilities to anywhere near the extent that Iran has done. One can only come to the conclusion that Iran has been singled out for special treatment by the USA, acting as a self-appointed world policeman and the reasons are quite obvious, when one considers that a strong Iran is a threat to US ambitions in the Middle East.
Of course any nuclear-armed nation would have a phenomenal deterrent against an attacking force, such as in the recent US invasion of Iraq. If Iraq had WMD, the USA would have never dared to invade it, knowing that one nuclear-armed missile fired at an aircraft carrier fleet would vaporise it completely. The loss of tens of thousands of US lives and billions of dollars of military hardware would not be tolerated by the American people. This attitude was very evident in the dealings that former US President Bush had with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il, where Bush literally grovelled to this tyrant, because there was no way the Americans were going to risk attacking a nuclear-armed North Korea, but were willing to attack and invade Iraq, knowing there were no WMD and thus no risk.
South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu pointed out the utter hypocrisy of the nuclear-armed nations with a speech in March 2013.
The USA and a handful of its European allies are trying to force Iran to abrogate its legal rights to a nuclear energy program by offering inducements. Article IV of the NPT states:
The full text of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is available on the Downloads page.
It is obvious that under Article IV of the NPT, Iran indeed has the inalienable right to enrich uranium and thus continues to exercise this right. Logically, if Iran has such a right, nobody can take it away, therefore the sanctions placed on Iran by the UNSC must be illegal. Most lawyers specialising in international law have stated so.
As well as ignoring those illegal UNSC sanctions, it is also obvious that Iran is not going to succumb to the bullying of the USA and its friends. Iran quite rightly has stated that it will not be the first of thirty nations that conduct nuclear programs to abandon its legal rights to uranium enrichment under any circumstances.
One of the very interesting observations from this was that American spokesmen constantly stated that the "International Community" was demanding that Iran cease its nuclear enrichment. However on analysis, this is easily shown to be a massive lie, simply because out of the 192 nations in the UN, at least 150 countries, including all of the nations in the Non-Aligned Movement, support Iran's rights to a nuclear program, along with many other countries. Therefore, those White House references to the "International Community" being against Iran is completely spurious. In fact, the nations against Iran's nuclear program are a very small minority.
In October 2008, the USA signed an agreement with India to provide that nation with civilian nuclear technology and assistance. As India is a non-signatory to the NPT, by making this agreement, the USA has completely abrogated its obligations under this treaty. One of the main pillars of the NPT is the requirement for all signatories to completely refrain from providing nuclear information, material and assistance of any sort to non-signatories. But the Americans had already trashed the NPT by providing highly enriched uranium to Pakistan and nuclear technology and material to Israel.
Declared nuclear state China has also abrogated its obligations to the NPT by supplying Pakistan with nuclear reactors, knowing that Pakistan is not a signatory to the NPT and is also armed with nuclear weapons. This deal makes a complete mockery of the NPT.
The Americans and Chinese, along with France and Britain, have literally killed this treaty completely and using this as a precedent, no signatory to the NPT need comply with any of its provisions. If one signatory, especially a nuclear power state such as the USA, can completely ignore its obligations from the day it signed the NPT and proceed to supply a non-signatory nation with nuclear assistance and material, then there is no point to this treaty whatsoever. Now any other nation can also ignore it and do whatever it wants, including developing an arsenal of nuclear weapons and disallowing IAEA inspections. If it's good enough for the USA and India, it's good enough for any other nation.
The only conclusion that could be reached by any reasonable person is that because of the flouting of obligations by the nuclear weapon states and the illegal attempts by some of them to bully signatories to the NPT to abrogate their legal rights, the NPT is well and truly dead. It is certain that if the USA attacks Iran's nuclear facilities in any way, Iran will immediately withdraw from the NPT, kick out the IAEA inspectors and then embark on a massive nuclear weapons program. That is when the nuclear cat will really be out of the bag, as a revengeful Iran, led by a bunch of Islamic maniacs, starts spreading nuclear weapons technology to every enemy of the USA.
It is probably a good time for the NPT to be completely scrapped and a new and equitable treaty put into place. However, a new non-proliferation treaty would have to be completely enforceable, ensuring that all nuclear-armed nations, without exception, be forced to divest themselves of every solitary nuclear weapon. Only then will the world be safe from these dreadful killing devices.