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Analysis
Last Updated: 03/15/2005
Iran and the Centrality of the IAEA
Dr. Aldo Zammit Borda

Everyone has concerns about Iran's burgeoning nuclear capabilities, but are we working together? The EU-3 encourages cooperation using "carrots," little rewards like equipment and technology. The US, on the other hand, seems to be working at cross purposes by using military threats, threats that could prove counter productive and encourage Iran to produce nuclear weapons for its own protection.

The conflicting approaches underscore the need for a central agency like the IAEA to monitor Iran and provide full reports. Such authority should not be undermined.


ARTICLE AVAILABLE IN PDF Click Here

Abstract

Iran has repeatedly insisted it has an inalienable right to develop an indigenous nuclear capability for peaceful purposes and has given assurances that it will not develop nuclear weapons. However, these assurances have failed to convince the EU-3 and the US, who point out its recent history of concealment.

This article examines the ongoing negotiations between the EU-3 and Iran and argues that, since Iran has the right to develop an indigenous fuel-cycle capability, the EU-3 should ensure it speedily ratifies the Additional Protocol and cooperates fully with the IAEA verification mechanism.

The US s adversarial rhetoric, while aimed at dissuading Iran from developing nuclear weapons, may be counterproductive, and could convince Iranian officials of the need to develop such weapons to deter US hostility. It is argued that the US should not treat IRAN as solely a security concern, but engage with the country, taking into account Iran s concerns and role in the region.

The article concludes by underscoring the centrality of the IAEA in verifying that Iran is observing its NPT obligations and reassuring the international community of Iran s compliance. To this end, States Parties should exercise care in not undermining the Agency, as such behaviour could cause divisions.

Given that the international community is working towards the same goal of fighting proliferation, these divisions only serve to weaken its work.

 

Dr. Aldo Zammit Borda is currently on scholarship at the Dublin European Institute, University College Dublin, working on a thesis entitled: "Meeting the Proliferation Challenge: the EU WMD Strategy." His previous publications include "The Threat and Use of Chemical and Biological Weapons under International Law." The author may be contacted at aldozb@gmail.com"


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