The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) came into force March 05, 1970, with the aims of ensuring that firstly, the five recognized nuclear states (the USA, China, France, the Societ Union and the United Kingdom) did not sell or give nuclear weapons to non-nuclear states. , The second pillar requires signatories to deliberately solidify international trust and relieve tensions between states. Thirdly, the treaty discourages non-nuclear states from developing nuclear weapons but allows them to import and develop neclear technology for civilian purposes.
Since 1970, other states have joined the nuclear ranks, whether openly or secretly. These include India, Pakistan, North Korea, Israel and Iran. The U. S. foreign nuclear non-proliferation policy towards Iran has failed badly. The primary reason for the failure is President Bush’s choice of adopting a confrontational stance against Iran. One of the reasons why Iran has pursued its nuclear campaigns relentlessly is the fear of an attack by the U. S. , whose forces occupy Iraq and Afghanistan. The U. S. could attack Iran directly or through Israel.
Iranian nuclear proliferation is therefore motivated to a large extent by the need to deter external aggression. Tehran would invest even more in its nuclear programme as long as there were signs of an imminent attack from the USA or her sympathizers. The second reason for the failure of the US non-proliferation policy is the selective nature of the policy. The selective approach is seen in USA and other NPT signatories’ pre-occupation with the Iran and North Korea, while saying nothing about India’s, Pakistan’s and Israel’s nuclear programmes.
Iran’s nuclear programme is roughly as old as these new nuclear states yet the U. S. has acted as if only Iran and North Korea had nuclear ambitions. Predictably, both Iran and North Korea resisted U. S. selective pressure and continued their nuclear programmes. Policy Recommendations to the problem The US and other powerful states must pursue a non-discriminative approach to nclear non-proliferation. The US loses all moral authority to direct Iran, North Korea or Libya to destroy their nuclear projects while doing and saying nothing against Israel’s.
If any international counter-proliferation laws are to bear fruit, then they must be followed by all states. The result of the selective approach is that Iran has won some support from China, Turkey and India, making it difficult for the USA to take disciplinary measures against Iran. Lack of China’s approval for another round of sanctions on Iran, or a possible military attack, to destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities shows that even the recognized nuclear states are divided on the issue, a state of affairs which makes it difficult to arrive at a decision.
The second recommendation is that the US must drop its confrontational stance against Iran. Iran, which seeks to become the regional supremo in the Middle East, responds with aggresiveness and bravado to US threats of sanctions and attacks. In case of an attack, Tehran is most likely to hit back with its nuclear weapons, leading to a nuclear confrontation. The US, despite its superpower status, must drop its dictatorial mentality and seek instead to explore economic and diplomatic options.
Like most other sovereign states, Iran will oppose nuclear non-proliferation policies which discount its security concerns or show no respect for its sovereignty. Pursuing a non-proliferation solution in a diplomatic or civil manner, without the use of name-calling, falsehoods and dis-information, threats and endless series of economic sanctions against Tehran, increases opportunities of a productive nuclear non-proliferation interaction between Iran and the US.