The Position of the Nuclear States in the NPT on the 2015 NPT Review Conference

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Prior to convening the 2015 NPT Review Conference, debates about the nuclear proliferation issue focused mostly on the non-compliance of the treaties non-nuclear states. The negative historical trajectories of some of the non-nuclear states’ position towards proliferation have legitimized the initiation of new efforts to curb nuclear proliferation in a global context. North Korea’s declaration of its nuclear capability in 2006, together with Iran’s newly developed uranium enrichment capacity in the 2000s, have become serious concerns for the international community. Simultaneously, between 2006-2007, when new states, both in the Middle East and Asia, demanded the acquisition of new reactors for civilian use, it exacerbated the nuclear fives overall concern as regards the likelihood of a global nuclear rush. Amongst these, the controversial Iranian nuclear program was thought to be the most imminent challenge which must be looked at first. This mindset continued until a six month interim agreement was reached in Geneva on October 2013. Even now, the debate rages, whilst negotiations to curb Tehran’s nuclear capability proceed under the umbrella of the interim agreement.

The basic question is centers on whether the P5+1 together with Iran can reach a comprehensive agreement resistant to nuclear proliferation. In fact, the final content of the P5+1 comprehensive agreement with Iran makes an impact on a  non-nuclear states’ legitimate right to the civilian use of nuclear energy--especially in the determination of the level  of allowance in indigenous enrichment. Until now, the non-nuclear states of the NPT, in the face of new non-proliferation measures by the nuclear states, have legitimately continued to accuse the nuclear fives of not meeting their obligations emanating from the Treaty’s Article Six commitments. In order to assess whether these accusations are correct, one needs to examine the nuclear fives recent stand in relation to their Article Six commitments.


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