Iran has warned to withdraw from the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) if the European Nations refer the dispute over its atomic programme to the United Nation Security Council.
Iran had signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) with US, UK, France, Germany, Russia and China in 2015 that had offered it access to global trade in return for accepting curbs to its atomic program.
Recently, the top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani(the commander of the Al-Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, IRGC) was assassinated by the US during his visit to Iraq. This has escalated tensions in the international arena.
Amid rising tensions, Britain, France and Germany declared that Iran was violating the 2015 pact and have launched a dispute mechanism that could eventually see the matter referred back to the Security Council and the reimposition of U.N. sanctions.
Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)
The NPT is an international treaty whose objective is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to foster the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and to further the goal of disarmament.
The treaty was signed in 1968 and entered into force in 1970. Presently, it has 190 member states.
It requires countries to give up any present or future plans to build nuclear weapons in return for access to peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
It represents the only binding commitment in a multilateral treaty to the goal of disarmament by the nuclear-weapon States.
Nuclear-weapon states parties under the NPT are defined as those that manufactured and exploded a nuclear weapon or other nuclear explosive devices before January 1, 1967.
India’s Stand on NPT
India is one of the only five countries that either did not sign the NPT or signed but withdrew later, thus becoming part of a list that includes Pakistan, Israel, North Korea, and South Sudan.
India always considered the NPT as discriminatory and had refused to sign it.
India has opposed the international treaties aimed at non-proliferation since they were selectively applicable to the non-nuclear powers and legitimised the monopoly of the five nuclear weapons powers.