Frank Gaffney
The deal struck last week by President Bush and his Indian counterpart, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, effectively recognizes reality: The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is dead.

The demise of that 1968 accord was, of course, not caused by the U.S.-India agreement to provide American nuclear power technology to a country that had become a nuclear weapons state despite the NPT’s effort to prevent such developments. India never signed the treaty and was, therefore, not bound by its non-proliferation restrictions.

Rather, the NPT was killed by the cynical actions of North Korea and Iran, two states that did sign it – and then proceeded systematically, if covertly, to violate their promises to remain non-nuclear states, in exchange for access to reactors and technology for peaceful research and energy generation. Those who abetted these nuclear wannabe states – notably, the Soviet Union/Russia, Communist China and Pakistan’s Nukes-R-Us impresario, A.Q. Khan – also bear responsibility for arming two of the world’s most dangerous regimes.

Issuing a death certificate for the Non-proliferation Treaty may seem untimely at a moment when the organization charged with monitoring the treaty, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), is expected finally to report Iran’s nuclear transgressions to the UN Security Council. Arms control advocates would have us believe this referral is, to the contrary, proof of the accord’s continuing viability.

In fact, even before the U.S.-India deal was inked, there was no likelihood that Tehran’s veto-wielding patrons, Vladimir Putin’s Russia and the People’s Republic of China, would allow the Security Council to impose economic sanctions on Iran. Still less probable is a Security Council authorization of the use of force to prevent the Iranian regime from getting the Bomb.

Instead, the IAEA and the Security Council can be counted upon to do more of what they have been doing for several years now: Kick the proverbial can down the road.

The Iranians are making ever less effort to conceal the benefits they derive from such fecklessness. According to the London Daily Telegraph, Hassan Rowhani, Tehran’s chief negotiator in two years of talks with, among others, British, French and German diplomats, recently told a closed session of his country’s Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution how he used diplomacy to buy time to complete key nuclear weapons-related facilities at Isfahan, Iran.

Citing a report of the Rowhani speech published in a “regime journal that circulates among the ruling elite,” the Telegraph recounts a “quandary” the mullahs confronted in September 2003.

Frank Gaffney

Frank Gaffney Jr. is the founder and president of the Center for Security Policy and author of War Footing: 10 Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World .
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