THE WISDOM FUND: News & Views
March 11, 2003
The Wisdom Fund

U.S. Violating Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

by Enver Masud

The U.S. is violating the nuclear non-proliferation treaty by attempting to block Iran's efforts to produce enriched uranium--provided it is used to produce electric energy as Iran states--while the U.S. itself is planning a new generation of nuclear weapons.

The 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty entered into force on March 5, 1970 when 187 parties joined the Treaty, including the then five nuclear-weapon states: United States, Russia, United Kingdom, France, China. More states have ratified the NPT than any other arms limitation and disarmament agreement.

Israel, Pakistan and India never signed the treaty and have since acquired nuclear weapons. Among these, Israel is believed to have the largest nuclear weapons stockpile estimated at 200 to 400 weapons.

Article 14 of UN Security Council Resolution 687, passed in 1991 at the conculusion of the Gulf War, has "the goal of establishing in the Middle East a zone free from weapons of mass destruction and all missiles for their delivery and the objective of a global ban on chemical weapons." The UN has failed to move Israel toward this goal.

The Non-Proliferation Treaty was to be reviewed every five years, a provision which was reaffirmed by the States parties at the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference. At this Conference, the treaty was indefinitely extended.

Unlike Iran, whose nuclear facilities are open to inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.S. has consistently shielded Israel from pressures to sign the Treaty, and/or to open its facilities to inspection by the IAEA.

This week the U.S. mounted a barrage of accusations that Iran is attempting to develop nuclear weapons. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has openly called for attacking Iran after Iraq.

Israel's "1981 bombing of Iraq's Osirak nuclear research facility near Baghdad, . . . with U.S.-made warplanes and direct U.S. assistance helped radicalize Iraq," wrote former U.S. Congressman Paul Findley in his book Deliberate Deceptions.

The current controversy was fueled by a visit to Iran last month by the IAEA chief, Mohamed al-Baradei. The IAEA was surprised by Iran's progress towards producing enriched uranium at the Natanz plant in central Iran. Enriched uranium can be used either as fuel for energy production or as an ingredient in nuclear weapons.

The production of energy from nuclear technology is permitted under the treaty, and nuclear nations are obligated to share nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

Article IV of the Treaty states:

1. Nothing in this Treaty shall be interpreted as affecting the inalienable right of all the Parties to the Treaty to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination and in conformity with Articles I and II of this Treaty.

2. All the Parties to the Treaty undertake to facilitate, and have the right to participate in, the fullest possible exchange of equipment, materials and scientific and technological information for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Parties to the Treaty in a position to do so shall also co-operate in contributing alone or together with other States or international organizations to the further development of the applications of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, especially in the territories of non-nuclear-weapon States Party to the Treaty, with due consideration for the needs of the developing areas of the world.

Provided it uses enriched uranium for peaceful purposes, Iran is in compliance with the Treaty. The U.S. by atempting to block Iran's peaceful uses of nuclear energy would be violating the Treaty.

Meanwhile, in yet another hypocritical move, the U.S. ("U.S. Plan for New Nuclear Arsenal," Guardian, February 19, 2003) "The Bush administration is planning a secret meeting in August to discuss the construction of a new generation of nuclear weapons, including 'mini-nukes', 'bunker-busters' and neutron bombs designed to destroy chemical or biological agents, according to a leaked Pentagon document."

Under Article VI of the Treaty, the U.S. agreed "to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a Treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control."



[Enver Masud is the founder of The Wisdom Fund, and recipient of the Human Rights Foundation GOLD AWARD for his book The War on Islam.]

Non-Proliferation Treaty (July 1, 1968)
- Forbids the five member states with nuclear weapons from transferring them to any other state
- Forbids member states without nuclear weapons from developing or aquiring them
- Provides assurance through the application of international safeguards that peaceful nuclear energy in NNWS will not be diverted to nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices
- Facilitates access to peaceful uses of nuclear energy for all NNWS under international safeguards
- Commits all member states to pursue good faith negotiations toward ending the nuclear arms race and achieving nuclear disarmament.

["As the United States Air Force (USAF) builds up its deployments of aircraft in the Middle East, it has emerged that a huge new bomb has recently been developed that will be used in the war against Iraq. It is the most powerful conventional bomb to be deployed anywhere in the world and is described as having an effect as devastating as that of a small nuclear artillery shell."--Paul Rogers, "The Mother of all Bombs--How the US Plans to Pulverise Iraq," March 7, 2003]

[Unverified Report: "The USA has already used Nuclear Weapons in Gulf War I and Afghanistan, and is duping us as it prepares to use them again in Gulf War II. . . . When, on July 16th, 1945, the first atomic bomb was tested at Alamogordo, New Mexico, the USA had a cover story ready to hide this fact: a "Munitions Train" had blown up." Is the MOAB in reality a nuclear weapon?--George Paxinos, March 12, 2003]

[The recently released Nuclear Posture Review makes a mockery of 30 years of US commitments under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT). . . . In 1996, the International Court of Justice unanimously held that Article VI obligates states to "bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects."--John Burroughs, "Rule of Power or Rule of Law?," National Press Club Press Conference, Washington, D.C., April 4, 2002]

[. . . The IAEA report, by its director-general, Mohamed ElBaradei, is based on his visit to Iran in February. Iran falls under the IAEA inspection regime because it signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) under which nuclear power projects are examined to make sure that no material is diverted to military use.

. . . The conclusion of El Baradei's nine-page report is that Iran has committed minor infringements of the IAEA reporting rules. The text pointedly does not use the word "violation" and says that Iran has taken steps to fill the gaps.--Bronwen Maddox, " Nuclear threat to West's hopes of stability," Times Online, June 13, 2003]

Gillian Tett, "Iranians avoid censure on nuclear programme," Financial Times, June 18, 2003

Julian Borger, "US scraps nuclear weapons watchdog," Guardian, July 31, 2003

"U.S. Marks Hiroshima Anniversary By Holding Top Secret Summit to Discuss Expanding Nation's Nuclear Arsenal," Democaracy Now, August 5, 2003

[The head of the United Nations' nuclear watchdog has called on the United States to set an example to the rest of the world and cut its nuclear arsenal and halt research programs.--"US should set disarming example: Elbaradei," AAP, August 27, 2003]

"IAEA conference to discuss Israeli nukes for first time," World Tribune, August 28, 2003

[Officials confirm that the nation can now launch nuclear weapons from land, sea and air. The issue complicates efforts to rein in Iran. --Douglas Frantz, "Israel Adds Subs to Its Atomic Ability," Los Angeles Times, October 12, 2003]

[Israeli and American officials have admitted collaborating to deploy US-supplied Harpoon cruise missiles armed with nuclear warheads in Israel's fleet of Dolphin-class submarines, giving the Middle East's only nuclear power the ability to strike at any of its Arab neighbours.--Peter Beaumont and Conal Urquhart, "Israel deploys nuclear arms in submarines," Observer, October 12, 2003]

Ewen Macaskill and Dan De Luce, "Diplomatic coup on nuclear programme averts crisis," Guardian, October 22, 2003

Erich Marquardt, "Iran's Long-Term Interests at Stake in Decision to Comply with IAEA," Power and Interest News Report, October 23, 2003

["And under the current regime, there is nothing illicit for a non-nuclear state to conduct uranium-enriching activities ... or even to possess military-grade nuclear material," he said.--"'35 or 40' countries able to make nuclear weapons: IAEA chief," AFP, October 31, 2003]

Ian Traynor, "Tehran accused of 18-year cover-up," Guardian, November 12, 2003

"UN stands by Iran nuclear report," BBC News, November 13, 2003

Gordon Prather, "Israeli paranoia on Iran 'nukes'," WorldNetDaily.com, November 15, 2003

Paul Harris, "Bush plans new nuclear weapons: 'Bunker-buster' bombs set to end 10-year research ban," The Observer, November 30, 2003

"A new era of nuclear weapons: Bush's buildup begins with little debate in Congress," San Francisco Chronicle, December 7, 2003

"'Scrap nuclear arms' Israel urged," BBC News, December 12, 2003

"Iran signs nuclear inspection treaty," Guardian, December 18, 2003

[Critics say American 'double standard' will undermine efforts to curb nuclear arms.--Douglas Frantz, "Observers Fault U.S. for Pursuing Mini-Nukes," Los Angeles Times, December 23, 2003]

[Take the recent hi-tech agreement between India and the United States, on cooperation in nuclear power and space technologies.

"Transfers of dual-use technology, nuclear technology and space technology is violating a basic principle of the Non Proliferation Treaty,"--Paul Anderson, "Is Pakistan's nuclear programme dying?," BBC News, March 3, 2004]

Pamela Hess, "Pentagon Wants New Generation Of Smaller Cheaper Nukes," UPI, April 2, 2004

[The US and UK governments will this week be accused of conspiring to break the international agreement to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons.--"Conspiracy threat to anti-nuke treaty," New Scientist, June 17, 2004]

Ron Jacobs, "Nukes in the US Protectorate of Iraq?," CounterPunch, June 22, 2004

Louis Charbonneau, "El- Baradei wants Israel to discuss scrapping nukes," Reuters, July 4, 2004

Dafna Linzer, "U.S. Shifts Stance on Nuclear Treaty: White House Resists Inspection Provision," Washington Post, July 31, 2004

[What the US did, in effect, was to torpedo a new global treaty banning the production and supply of materials essential to the building of nuclear weapons.

It is known as the fissile material cut-off treaty.--Simon Tisdall, "You show yours, I'll hide mine," Guardian, August 6, 2004]

Andrew Buncombe, "US nuclear upgrade may violate test ban," Independent, February 8, 2005

Randeep Ramesh, "America to aid India's nuclear power project: Deal breaks bar on countries which refuse to be monitored," Guardian, July 20, 2005

Gordon Prather, "Tearing Up the NPT," Antiwar.com, July 23, 2005

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