The implications of the recently implemented Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Iran’s nuclear program, commonly referred to as the Iran deal, are immense for the nuclear non-proliferation architecture. P5+1 and Iran arrived at the deal after over twenty months of intense negotiations, starting from November 2014 when the interim nuclear deal was signed, to August 2015 when the negotiators agreed on the JCPOA. During the course of negotiations, some of the key sticking points that emerged had their roots in differences in understanding between what the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) states as the rights of its signatories and what the current understanding of acceptable non-proliferation practices are. These differences reflect the reality that the current non-proliferation architecture has already expanded beyond NPT. Acknowledging this difference and limiting reference to the NPT as the “central pillar” of the non-proliferation architecture will allow the non-proliferation community to better manage future proliferation threats.
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