by Gordon Prather
Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons begins by affirming
"that all Parties to the Treaty are entitled to participate in the
fullest possible exchange of scientific information for – and to
contribute alone or in cooperation with other States to – the further
development of the applications of atomic energy for peaceful purposes."
the NPT requires all signatories not already having nuclear weapons
to conclude a Safeguards Agreement with the International Atomic
Energy Agency, with a view to preventing diversion of "source or
special fissionable material" to the production of nuclear weapons.
28 of the Agreement between Iran and the IAEA "for the application
of Safeguards in Connection with the Treaty" says:
objective of the safeguards procedures set forth in this part
of the Agreement is the timely detection of diversion of significant
quantities of nuclear material from peaceful nuclear activities
to the manufacture of nuclear weapons or of other nuclear explosive
devices or for purposes unknown, and deterrence of such diversion
by the risk of early detection.
the director general and his designated inspectors "shall have access
at all times to all places" as necessary "to account for [Safeguarded]
source and special fissionable materials" and "to determine whether
there is compliance with the undertaking against use in furtherance
of any military purpose."
IAEA inspectors do determine that safeguarded materials have been
used "in furtherance of any military purpose," they shall report
such "non-compliance" to the director general who shall thereupon
transmit the report to the Board of Governors.
according to the IAEA Statute:
the Board, upon examination of relevant information reported to
it by the director general, finds that the Agency is not able
to verify that there has been no diversion of nuclear material
required to be safeguarded under this Agreement, to nuclear weapons
or other nuclear explosive devices, it may make the reports provided
for in paragraph C of Article XII of the Statute of the Agency.
more than a year ago, Director General Mohamed ElBaradei reported
to the Board that "all the declared nuclear material in Iran has
been accounted for, and therefore such material is not diverted
to prohibited activities."
then, to explain the resolution
adopted by the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy
Agency on Sept. 24 [.pdf file] with respect to "Implementation
of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran"?
"recalling" that "nothing in the Treaty shall be interpreted as
affecting the inalienable rights of all the Parties to the Treaty
to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful
purposes without discrimination," the Board then proceeds to "discriminate."
calls on Iran "to observe fully its commitments," voluntarily made
to the Brits-French-Germans, for the duration of the Paris Agreement
negotiations – to which the IAEA is not a party – "and to
return to the negotiating process that has made good progress in
the last two years."
aforesaid Paris Agreement also begins with the Brits-French-Germans
recognizing "Iran's rights under the NPT exercised in conformity
with its obligations under the Treaty, without discrimination."
a meeting in March, whereupon both parties were to make preliminary
proposals as to how each side was to provide "objective guarantees"
to the other, the Iranians made their
proposal [.pdf file], but the Brits-French-Germans didn't.
the Iranians offered to give them until June, or perhaps July.
Iran made it clear that any attempt to turn their voluntary
suspension of uranium enrichment activities into a cessation or
long-term suspension would be "incompatible with the letter and
spirit of the Paris Agreement and therefore unacceptable to Iran."
When a Brits-French-German proposal had still not been received
by late July, the Iranians informed the IAEA that they would be
resuming uranium conversion at Esfehan as soon as the IAEA was prepared
to monitor their activities.
the Brits-French-Germans finally did make a
proposal [.pdf file], in which they required Iran – among
other things – "not to pursue fuel cycle activities other than the
construction and operation of light-water power and research reactors."
what did the IAEA Board do? Basically, they "urged" Iran to accept
the Brits-French-Germans on their offer – or else! – even though
the IAEA Board would essentially be requiring, thereby, Iran to
forfeit its inalienable rights, guaranteed under the NPT "to participate
in the fullest possible exchange of equipment, materials and scientific
and technological information for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy."
that's just what Bush and the Israelis have been demanding.
James Gordon Prather [send
him mail] has served as a policy-implementing official for national
security-related technical matters in the Federal Energy Agency,
the Energy Research and Development Administration, the Department
of Energy, the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Department
of the Army. Dr. Prather also served as legislative assistant for
national security affairs to U.S. Sen. Henry Bellmon, R-Okla.
ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee and member of the
Senate Energy Committee and Appropriations Committee. Dr. Prather
had earlier worked as a nuclear weapons physicist at Lawrence Livermore
National Laboratory in California and Sandia National Laboratory
in New Mexico.
© 2005 Gordon Prather