The Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is a sensitive issue in the Middle East, especially when it comes to Iran and Israel.
Israel is not a signatory of the NPT, which means that its sites are not under inspection by the UN’s nuclear arm, the IAEA. Its the job of the latter to ensure that the countries who are members of the NPT adhere to the rules and commitments made to the treaty.
Iran however is a member of the NPT. After more than 10 years of inspections the IAEA has still not given a full clean bill of health to Iran’s nuclear program. Although it has not said that Iran’s nuclear program is definitely for military purposes, at the same time, it has also said that it can’t be sure that its for civilian purposes only. It has a number of outstanding questions which Iran has still not answered, such as reports of research on a nuclear trigger. This is one of the reasons why the IAEA chief Yukiya Amano recently:
Indicated his suspicion that Iran might be pressing ahead with nuclear activity applicable to development of weapons.
The recent TV debate on Russia Today is an interesting watch.
It includes Professor Mohammad Marandi who is seen as the unofficial mouthpiece of the regime. He is an expert in English Literature at Tehran University and his analysis of the situation provides a useful insight as to how the Iranian regime sees the situation. If some are wondering why the West has had to impose tough sanctions in order to ensure that the regime takes the nuclear talks seriously, listening to Professor Marandi could provide you with at least one of the reasons.