Iran says it may pull out of nuclear treaty over Europe dispute

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News:Iran has warned to withdraw from the Non-Proliferation Treaty(NPT) if the European countries refer the dispute over its Nuclear programme to the United Nation Security Council.

Facts:

About the issue:

  • Britain, France and Germany launched a process last week charging Iran with failing to observe the terms of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
  • This move could result in the UN Security Council reimposing international sanctions on the country.
  • Hence,Iran has warned to withdraw from the NPT if the European countries refer the dispute to the United Nation Security Council.

About Non-proliferation Treaty of Nuclear Weapons(NPT):

  • The Non-proliferation Treaty is an international treaty signed in 1968 and came into force in 1970.
  • The treaty aims to (a) prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology (b) promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and (c)further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament.

Key provisions of the treaty:The treaty classified its state-parties into 2 groups namely:

Nuclear Weapon States(NWS):

  • The nuclear-weapon states(NWS) are the five states—China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, and the United States—officially recognized as possessing nuclear weapons by the NPT.The treaty legitimizes these states nuclear arsenals but has also mandated that they are not supposed to build and maintain such weapons in perpetuity.
  • The other nuclear armed states—India, Israel and Pakistan have not joined the treaty.Further,North Korea and South Sudan have also not signed the treaty.

Non Nuclear Weapon States (NNWS):

  • The treaty prohibits the Non Nuclear Weapon States(NNWS) from developing nuclear weapons.

Why has India not signed the treaty?

  • India did not sign the treaty as it argued that treaties like NPT were selectively applicable to only non-nuclear powers and legitimized the monopoly of nuclear power by a few.