Question of the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty as Related to Iran

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Nishant Roy
Humanities 10E

Examine the process and implications of the development of
nuclear research program in Iran and the reaction of the USA.  
Your answer must take into consideration the
Concept of National Sovereignty and the Nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty.

The Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is an international treaty that aims to contain and bring an end to the spread of nuclear weapons and technology. It also aims to boost cooperation and collaboration in ensuring the peaceful and proper use of nuclear energy, and to fulfill the goal of nuclear, as well as general disarmament. This treaty guarantees its signatories the right to develop nuclear technology for peaceful purposes such as an alternate source of power for its citizens. Non Nuclear Weapon States that have signed the NPT have a flawless record of not building nuclear weapons. (Wikipedia - NPT) Worldwide, 190 nations have ratified it till date, including the five original nuclear weapon states - USA, Russian Federation, France, China and United Kingdom. It is the most widely ratified arms limitation agreement in the world. (UN News Center)

The Treaty established the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The safeguards laid down by the treaty are verified through inspections conducted by the IAEA. The safeguards ensure peaceful use of nuclear technology, equal access to nuclear technology for all signatory nations, and they prevent the spread of nuclear material to be used as weapons. (UN News Center)

National sovereignty is the quality of having complete authority over a geographic territory. This means that a sovereign state has complete power over its territory. It is the supreme lawmaking authority in the area. If another country, organization or body intervenes in an attempt to modify the laws of a sovereign state, it is a violation of national sovereignty. (Wikipedia - Sovereignty) A major question on a lot of people’s minds today is whether America’s harsh potential response to Iran’s nuclear program amounts to a violation of Iran’s national sovereignty or not. Iran claims that its nuclear program is solely for a peaceful purpose, in particular, that of developing an alternate source of energy for it’s citizens and for medical applications. However, members of the UN, especially the United States, NATO and members of the European Union, have accused Iran of developing a covert nuclear weapons program, and have threatened to launch military attacks on Iran if it is found to posses nuclear weapons. (Wikipedia - Iran and Weapons of Mass Destruction) Mitch McConnell, Senate Republican leader of the United States said that the US should “use overwhelming military force against Iran if american intelligence shows that Tehran has decided to build a nuclear weapon or it has started to enrich uranium to weapons-grade level.” (The Huffington Post)

The United State staged a classified war simulations in which it was predicted that a strike on Iran would cause a war that might draw in the US and leave hundreds of Americans dead. The two week war game, called “Internal Look,” simulated a situation where US was drawn into the conflict after Iran’s missiles sunk a US warship in the Persian Gulf, killing 200 Americans. The US retaliated by striking Iran’s nuclear facilities. General James Mattis, commander of the US forces in the Middle East, Southwest Asia and the Persian Gulf, said the war game showed that an Israeli attack would be highly detrimental for the region and US forces in the region. (Haaretz.com) The world is divided into people who agree and believe that Iran should be treated harshly, and others who vehemently disagree with this suggestion, claiming it is a violation of Iran’s national sovereignty as well as their right to nuclear power guaranteed by the NPT.

Another argument made by those critical of the US potential response towards Iran’s nuclear program is that US itself has violated the requirement of nuclear...
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