On 14 July 2015, the US signed a nuclear agreement with Iran, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The other four permanent members of the Security Council – China, France, Russia and the UK – plus Germany, were also party to the agreement.
Iran: one of the original signatories to the NPT
Iran was one of the original signatories to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), the internationally accepted rules-based system governing nuclear activity by states. It signed the NPT as a ‘non-nuclear-weapon’ state on 1 July 1968 and, by so doing, undertook not to develop nuclear weapons. It hasn’t done so. As required by the NPT, Iran’s nuclear facilities are and always have been under IAEA supervision. The IAEA has never detected any diversion of nuclear material from these nuclear facilities for possible military use.
Iran’s leaders have repeatedly denied that they have any ambitions to develop nuclear weapons. What is more, in a speech to nuclear scientists on 22 February 2012, Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, declared the possession of such weapons a “grave sin”. There was nothing new in this statement: in 2005, he issued a fatwa – a religious