Ahead of the crucial nuclear non-proliferation treaty review conference, the Obama Administration has said that NPT regime is under great stress and US will work to prevent countries from cynically violating the nuclear treaty and then exercising their withdrawal rights to evade accountability.
Ellen Tauscher, Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security in her remarks at the Centre for American Progress, charged countries like North Korea and Iran from violating its international responsibilities.
“The nuclear non-proliferation regime is under great stress and is fraying at the seams. North Korea announced its withdrawal from the NPT in 2003 and subsequently announced that it had conducted two nuclear tests,” Tauscher said.
“Iran poses another challenge to the nuclear non-proliferation regime. Under the guise of a purportedly peaceful nuclear programme, Iran has violated its IAEA safeguards and Security Council obligations in pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability,” she said.
“This cynical path to a nuclear weapon cannot be allowed to serve as a model for others, otherwise it strikes at the very core bargain of the Treaty -- in exchange for forswearing the pursuit of nuclear weapons, NPT state parties enjoy the right to the benefits of the peaceful use of nuclear energy.
The pursuit of that right cannot be used as a convenient cover for acquisition of nuclear weapons,” Tauscher said.
Observing that some may try to turn the tables on those committed to a balanced and responsible Review Conference by arguing that US and the other nuclear weapons states have not done enough on disarmament, she said that is not only unfair, but it’s untrue.
“There’s an entire alphabet soup of success: New START, NPR, the Nuclear Security Summit, and as the President said in Prague last year we are committed to seeking ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, and to negotiating a multilateral, verifiable Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty,” she said.
Tauscher said a final document, can only be reached by consensus of all 189 nations -- and that includes Iran -- can be valuable.
“In our view, whether there is a consensus Final Document should not be the measuring stick to judge the success of the Review Conference. As I said, a Final Document can easily be blocked by the extreme agendas of a few,” she said.
The State Department official said US will offer more support for the IAEA to obtain the tools and authorities it needs to carry out its mission and will push for universal adherence to the Additional Protocol.
The Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty entered into force in 1970 when more than forty states signed onto the Treaty.
In the 40 years that have passed, almost 190 states have now become party to this Treaty.
A review conference is held every five years.