Barry Werner

Barry Werner – The P5+1 are breaking the spirit of the NPT

obama-flower-power   The P5+1 are breaking the spirit of the NPT (nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty) because even though Iran has been a non-nuclear-weapon signatory state since 1968, the recent deal with Iran in Lausanne affirms Iran’s right to nuclear weapons capability and only restricts it from acting on that right for a limited period of time. Instead, as signatory states, Parties to the Treaty, the P5+1 should be firmly opposing Iran’s aggressive intentions.


What will finally result from the recent deal between the P5+1 and Iran in Lausanne, Switzerland remains unclear. The US announced a description of what had been agreed on, but Iran denied the most important aspects of what the US said. If the final deal does not constrain Iran from developing nuclear weapons now and forevermore, the price the world will pay for a temporary cessation of Iran’s nuclear weapons program may be far too high.

From what we know now, the P5+1 are breaking the spirit of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) because the deal with Iran, a non-nuclear-weapon signatory state, affirms Iran’s right to nuclear weapons capability, allows it to keep it nuclear weapons infrastructure, and only restricts it from acting on that right for a limited period of time. Instead, the P5+1, as Parties to the Treaty representing the world’s most powerful nations, should firmly oppose Iran’s aggressive intentions with even stronger economic sanctions coupled with military intervention, if necessary, until Iran unequivocally agrees to abide by its NPT treaty obligations to permanently dismantle its nuclear weapons program. Perhaps lawyers can argue that by a legalistic interpretation the P5+1 and Iran are still upholding the treaty so it is instructive to look at the wording of the NPT:


According to the UN’s Web site, “The NPT is a landmark international treaty whose objective is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament. The Treaty represents the only binding commitment [emphasis mine; the NPT is a legally binding international treaty] in a multilateral treaty to the goal of disarmament by the nuclear-weapon States. Opened for signature in 1968, the Treaty entered into force in 1970. On 11 May 1995, the Treaty was extended indefinitely.  A total of 190 parties have joined the Treaty, including the five nuclear-weapon States. More countries have ratified the NPT than any other arms limitation and disarmament agreement, a testament to the Treaty’s significance.”

Here is the preamble to the NPT:

“The States concluding this Treaty, hereinafter referred to as the Parties to the Treaty,

Considering the devastation that would be visited upon all mankind by a nuclear war and the consequent need to make every effort to avert the danger of such a war and to take measures to safeguard the security of peoples,

Believing that the proliferation of nuclear weapons would seriously enhance the danger of nuclear war,

In conformity with resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly calling for the conclusion of an agreement on the prevention of wider dissemination of nuclear weapons,

Declaring their intention to achieve at the earliest possible date the cessation of the nuclear arms race and to undertake effective measures in the direction of nuclear disarmament,

Urging the co-operation of all States in the attainment of this objective,

Have agreed as follows: …”


According to Article I, treaty members are “not in any way to assist, encourage, or induce any non­-nuclear­ weapon State to manufacture or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, or control over such weapons or explosive devices,” yet the P5+1 are empowering Iran to maintain its nuclear weapons program in a diminished state without dismantling the essential infrastructure. Technically, they are not allowing Iran to “manufacture or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons” now or in the near future, which was the whole point of the recent negotiations, but they are making the decision for the whole world to allow Iran to come within a year of nuclear breakout now and be fully able to produce nuclear weapons in 10-15 years (but presumably not by assisting, encouraging, or inducing them to do so). That contravenes the spirit, if not the letter of the treaty.

The P5+1 say the agreement they arrived at with Iran is the best they can do (read: the most they are willing to do) to stop Iran from introducing nuclear weapons into the Middle East in the near future. They say the alternative to allowing Iran to be able to produce nuclear weapons in 10-15 years would be going to war with Iran (read: have Iran retaliate against them and their interests), which they say would be worse (read: for them).

According to Articles II, III and X, Iran has been essentially (but not literally because they have not yet produced a nuclear weapon?) in violation of the NPT.

Article VI says “Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes 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.” This means that by conspiring with Iran to allow it to renege on its treaty obligations and not demanding its complete nuclear disarmament, the P5+1 are essentially in violation of the Treaty by not acting in good faith to pursue the goals of the treaty that are stated in this article and in the preamble.

Article VIII describes how the treaty can be amended. According to this Article the P5+1 are not empowered to change the treaty on their own but they are doing that by negotiating with Iran to allow it to maintain its illegal weapons program now and breakout illegally in the future. So the P5+1 are essentially in violation of this Article as well.

Aside from possibly a strict, legalistic reading of the words of the treaty, the P5+1 are destroying the essence of the NPT, a treaty that has been hailed as a major achievement for world peace. When Iran does breakout, as it is certain to do, it will result in nuclear weapons proliferation throughout the Middle East and the P5+1 will be responsible for allowing it to happen by shirking their treaty obligations. Top of Form

Bottom of Form


Barry Werner


Barry Werner blogs on Israel Seen.

Barry Werner


I was born into an Orthodox Jewish family in Brooklyn, NY and attended an Orthodox yeshiva, but I am a secular Jew today and still have a high regard for Judaism. I enjoy learning about Judaism, Jewish history and history in general.

In yeshiva I learned what it is like to be religious and how to be religious without being a fanatic. I recognize the power and importance of religion in people’s lives and the need to restrain religious fanaticism.

I was born in 1944, when the Nazi Holocaust was in full operation. I grew up when the world was just beginning to comprehend what had happened. When I read about the willing participants to the Holocaust from other European countries, I realized that the Holocaust was not an aberration restricted to Germans, but it represents the depravity that humanity in general is capable of.

I wanted to understand the world as science understands it (which is a rather religious thing to do) so I earned a PhD in Physics at Brandeis University. My PhD thesis was in Astrophysics and my professional career was in Medical Physics. For many years I did research in the fundamentals of Medical Physics and taught Medical Physics in universities.

I made aliyah in 2009.

I am very interested in the Arab/Israeli conflict and especially in the phenomenon of anti-Zionism. I enjoy discussing Israel with left-wingers, right-wingers, Arabs, Europeans, and anyone who is interested in the Arab/Israeli conflict.

 Barry Werner 

To Top