The NPT is regarded as the cornerstone of nuclear arms control. It is the sole, widely agreed commitment in international law, to a world free of nuclear weapons. This fact and its operational mechanisms, establish NPT as a pillar of global governance. Any breakout from it, such as the development of nuclear weapons by Iran, a non-nuclear weapons state party to NPT, would jeopardize the future of the treaty and deeply harm the structure of contemporary global governance. If it chooses to do so, Iran cannot be prevented from taking such action by threatening it with the use of force, and any such use of force would author problems larger than those it was set out to solve. Iran's continued adherence to its obligations under NPT can only be achieved through political negotiations with Iran.
Richard Butler, NPT: Pillar of Global Governance, 2 Penn. St. J.L. & Int’l Aff. 237 (2013).
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