The Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty (NPT) is a treaty entered by states to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, and to promote cooperation in peaceful use of nuclear energy. The agreement also aims at disarmament. The treaty was opened for signature in 1968 and entered into force in 1970 (United Nations). This paper will focus on four signatory states, namely, United States, Australia, Britain, and Iran.
The United States signed its membership to NPT in 1968 when the treaty was opened for signatories (United Nations). The US has been very instrumental in advancing the goals of NPT. It has provided a free modeling tool for human resource for those states that would like to adopt nuclear energy. The United States has been involved in financing peaceful uses of nuclear power. That has been done by pledging financial support through International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). So far, it remains clear that the United States is not ready to honor the treaty, especially as far as nuclear disarmament is concerned. There are those believe that US has set a bad example to those states that boast the use of nuclear energy, or rather, possess nuclear weapons (NTI). The states that have nuclear weapons continue to upgrade them hence defeating the efforts of agencies that work towards disarmament. It should be noted that the United States considered the most powerful nation on earth; other states are more likely to follow her. It is, therefore, imperative that the United States sets a good example by leading the efforts to disarm nations of nuclear weapons.
Australia ratified the treaty in 1973 (United Nations). It has so far honored the treaty by not engaging in any use of weapons of mass destruction for quite a long time (NTI). It can be counted among the states that have not produced nuclear weapons. Australia has been in cooperation with other countries to prevent the development of nuclear weapons and promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy. Although the country boasts of having the largest deposits of uranium, a raw material in the production of nuclear energy, it has not considered developing nuclear weapons. Instead, the country has worked towards disarmament of nations possessing nuclear weapons.
Britain signed the NPT Treaty in 1968 (United Nations). It has been a supporter of nations working towards disarmament and preventing the development of nuclear weapons. The country has cooperated with other nations to ensure the peaceful use of nuclear energy. It has financed efforts aimed at achieving the goals of the treaty. The irony with the NPT treaty is that whereas nations that possess nuclear weapons are not willing to give them up, they want others to stop developing them. This, in essence, defeats the disarmament goal of the treaty. For instance, Britain continues to build new submarines that are nuclear armed (NTI). Hence, the nation is fortifying its nuclear weaponry against the NPT’s treaty. This probably motivates other nations eager to develop the nuclear weapons to go ahead with the program. What this suggests is that the objective of controlling the use of nuclear power is far from being achieved. This is because nations that should be in the forefront in the disarmament war are strengthening their possessions of the nuclear weapons.
Iran has been a member state of the treaty on NPT since 1970 (United Nations). It has been a member with no nuclear weapons. The state has been running a nuclear program, which it claims, is peaceful but has generated a lot of heat from other states. Many beliefs that Iran intends to develop nuclear weapons. This lack of trust for the nation has led to many sanctions against the state. Negotiations have been conducted to ensure that the country pursues the nuclear program but for energy purposes only. Distrust, however, continues to characterize these negotiations (NTI).
The goals of the NPT treaty can only be achieved through the goodwill of all the member states. Continued distrust and development of nuclear programs coupled with the rising conflicts being experienced only work to defeat the goal of this noble treaty. Unless the member states honestly decide to disarm, the treaty will only remain good on paper but unworkable on the ground.