Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 20, 2012

Is Iran Violating The NPT? CRS Doesn't Know

Has Iran violated the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty? From all the usual brouhaha in western media about Iran's nuclear program one might think that this is clearly the case.

But not so fast says (pdf) a new study by the Congressional Research Service of the U.S. Congress:

Whether Iran has violated the NPT is unclear. The treaty does not contain a mechanism for determining that a state-party has violated its obligations. Moreover, there does not appear to be a formal procedure for determining such violations. [..]

The U.N. Security Council has never declared Iran to be in violation of the NPT; neither the council nor the U.N. General Assembly has a responsibility to adjudicate treaty violations.

International law professor Dan Joyner, who has written THE book about the NNPT, even argues that "the IAEA applies incorrect standards, exceeds its legal mandate and is acting ultra vires (beyond its power) with regard to Iran."

The 120 member states of the Non-Alligned Movement, that is the real "international community", recently declared:

All states should be able to enjoy the basic and inalienable right to the development, research, production and use of atomic energy for peaceful purposes, without any discrimination and in conformity with their respective international legal obligations. Therefore, nothing should be interpreted in a way to inhibit or restrict the right of states to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. States’ choices and decisions, in the field of peaceful uses of nuclear technology and their fuel cycle policies, including those of the Islamic Republic of Iran, must be respected.

The NAM also condemned any threats against peaceful nuclear facilities as they are regularly issued by Israel and by U.S. officials "a grave violation of international law, of the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations, and of regulations of the IAEA."

The CRS does not find Iran in violation of the NPT. The most informed legal expert on the NPT says the IAEA, under the U.S. puppet Amano, is exceeding its mandate with regards to Iran. The majority of sovereign states are supporting Iran's nuclear program.

Those are just three out of many more reasons why all the talk about a U.S. and/or Israeli attacks on Iran is nonsense.

Posted by b on September 20, 2012 at 01:51 PM | Permalink


Problem is that the USA, like Israel, now considers itself above and beyond all international law; and even their own constitution governing national law is shredded. However in this situation it is so important that the other countries band together to uphold international law, thus the importance of the NAM statement. The emergence of an articulated "international law" block will hinder the US NATO project of "law by war".

Posted by: JohnE | Sep 20, 2012 2:39:14 PM | 1

The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) is primarily intended, as the title suggests, to prevent the wider dissemination of nuclear weapons from what existed in the late 1960's. Secondary treaty goals were the encouragement of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, building on President Eisenhower's Atoms for Peace effort of the 1950's, and the elimination of existing nuclear weapon stockpiles.

While the NPT has effectively limited widespread nuclear proliferation, reduced nuclear weapon stockpiles and promoted civilian programs, it has not halted proliferation and has not eliminated all nuclear weapons. The United States and its NATO allies, the same governments which have criticized and sanctioned Iran, have had a hand in some of this illegal proliferation, and Israel has been a beneficiary of it. Also in defiance of the NPT the United States, among others, has not taken steps to eliminate its nuclear weapon stockpile, and further the US refuses to support Arab League and Iranian pleas for a nuclear-weapon-free Middle East. So the US and others (not Iran) have been in violation of the NPT.

Reports detailing Iran's fully-supervised nuclear program are published quarterly, and checking these reports against the concise and clearly-written NPT make it obvious to anyone that Iran is in full compliance with the NPT. Then it follows from that that the UN and US sanctions on Iran have no basis and are politically motivated.

Two NPT paragraphs are especially pertinent:

"Nothing in this Treaty shall be interpreted as affecting the inalienable right of all the Parties to the Treaty to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination and in conformity with articles I and II of this Treaty."

"Each non-nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty undertakes to accept safeguards, as set forth in an agreement to be negotiated and concluded with the International Atomic Energy Agency in accordance with the Statute of the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Agencys safeguards system, for the exclusive purpose of verification of the fulfillment of its obligations assumed under this Treaty with a view to preventing diversion of nuclear energy from peaceful uses to nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices."

The first paragraph cited makes it clear that Iran's peaceful program should be unhindered. The second makes it clear that the IAEA is not some super-snooper atomic spy agency, which it isn't staffed nor qualified for, but rather it is an agency constituted EXCLUSIVELY to verify the non-diversion of nuclear energy to weapons programs. The quarterly IAEA reports on Iran consistently state:
"The Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material at the nuclear facilities and LOFs declared by Iran under its Safeguards Agreement."
Therefore, according to these IAEA Iran reports there can be no possibility of NPT noncompliance. (Unfortunately there are a lot of US-supplied charges included in the Iran Report which fall outside of the IAEA's exclusive responsibility on non-diversion, exceeding the IAEA mandate as Joyner says.)
Under its Safeguards Agreement, Iran has declared to the Agency 16 nuclear facilities and nine locations outside facilities where nuclear material is customarily used (LOFs). The most recent August 2012 IAEA Report on Iran, as others, contains no charge of NPT noncompliance.

The effects of the US/Israel concocted "Iran nuclear crisis," with its sanction, assassinations, etc., has recently caused Iran to publicly question its participation in this treaty. Would Iran be facing all these troubles if it weren't in the NPT? is the rhetorical question asked.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 20, 2012 5:46:40 PM | 2

Reuters reported about today's IAEA confab in Vienna...

Arab states said on Thursday they had decided as a "goodwill gesture" to refrain from targeting Israel with a resolution over its assumed nuclear arsenal at the U.N. atomic agency's annual assembly this week.

Arab envoys said the move was in support of wider efforts to rid the region of nuclear weapons, but it drew no public praise from Israel or the United States, which criticised the placing of the issue on the agenda in the first place. {...}

...Western diplomats had said that a resolution aimed at Israel would dash any hopes of it taking part in those talks.


Russia welcomed what it described as a "constructive signal" by Arab states ahead of the meeting which may be held in Helsinki in December.

Even if it does go ahead - Israel and Iran have yet to say whether they will attend - Western diplomats expect little progress any time soon due to deep-rooted regional animosities. {...}

...As in previous years, the IAEA conference adopted with a wide majority an Egyptian-proposed resolution calling on all Middle East states to join the NPT, but without mentioning Israel by name. Israel and the United States were among eight countries that abstained, while 111 states backed it.

Posted by: CTuttle | Sep 20, 2012 6:09:13 PM | 3

Don't be mislead by CTuttle's comment.

The "U.N. atomic agency's annual assembly this week" is a bogus political construct of the U.S. designed to push its anti-Iran agenda, and nothing more. It has no authority and nothing it does is meaningful.

Again, the IAEA is an agency constituted EXCLUSIVELY to verify the non-diversion of nuclear energy to weapons programs. It is not an "atomic agency" it is an "atomic energy agency" without any treaty authority to conduct an "annual assemble" AKA "management meeting."

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 20, 2012 7:04:09 PM | 4

Don @4, I was merely citing what Reuters wrote, no intent to mislead on my part...!

Posted by: CTuttle | Sep 20, 2012 9:18:48 PM | 5

Sorry, CT, but a reputable blogger reporting without comment on a meeting in itself gives it credibility, and the IAEA under Amano deserves less than zero credibility. Call me overly edgy, but this is one one evil agency under Amano, who has pledged his troth to the US of A, and he and his "IAEA conference" deserve either only no reference or derision.

Why does an agency which exists only to verify non-diversion have to have a conference? And why does Reuters have to report on it? It is all a concerted effort to go to war again which we need to combat with every fiber of our laptop keys.

On the larger subject of the United Nations, it's time we stopped giving these clowns who profess to be "the world community" a free ride. The future is in the regional alliances (not NATO!) and perhaps the NAM.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 20, 2012 10:05:55 PM | 6

There is an excellent piece at al-akhbar,
which inter alia, underlines Don's point by referring to the most appalling UN appointment of all:

"...One scheme, overtly pursued by the US government since 2006, was to demonize Hezbollah among Lebanese youths, and create alternative frameworks to replace it.

"Jeffrey Feltman, current UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs and former US ambassador to Lebanon, spoke explicitly of this during a congressional hearing, when he stated that Washington, “through USAID and the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), [had] contributed more than $500 million to this effort since 2006.”

Posted by: bevin | Sep 20, 2012 11:09:48 PM | 7

Bacon said, "Again, the IAEA is an agency constituted EXCLUSIVELY to verify the non-diversion of nuclear energy to weapons programs."

I think a major unspoken purpose of the IAEA is to assure a nuclear fuel monopoly for the nuclear industries of the P5+1. Allowing Iran to enrich uranium would bust that cozy cartel.

The unmentioned part of the NPT is that the nuclear powers agreed to get rid of their nukes...but, as we know, they're all above the law.

Posted by: JohnH | Sep 20, 2012 11:18:27 PM | 8

The US charges Iran with two principal offenses--
Iran is:
* conducting illicit nuclear activities
* the foremost state sponsor of terrorism

Both of these charges are bogus, of course. We've discussed the first, and the second has no basis either. There are no Iranians on any US terrorist list. I checked. The US, when pushed, cites two major bits of evidence for the Iran terror claim: (1) the bogus US-created planned attack on a Saudi ambassador by an Iran used-car salesman hiring Mexico drug cartel members and (2) Iran's support of Hezbollah, a US-designated terror group. Never mind that Hezbollah is not a terror group and is the principal component of the Lebanon government. Hez defeated Israel in Israel's 2006 Lebanon invasion! So Waaah! Hez is a terrorist organization! And Iran supports them!

The basic problem is Middle East hegemony. Iran has it and the US wants it. This has been true for at least forty years. The US was sanctioning Iran long before any nuclear issue, and before Hezbollah.

Viva Iran! Persians rule.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 20, 2012 11:57:31 PM | 9

Seems to me that Iran, possessing a nuclear weapon, might be the one single most useful ingredient to a Middle East that will not be reduced to molten irradiated silica. I don't doubt for a moment that those fucking crazy Israelis would LOVE to have an excuse to fry a coupla million Muslims. Perhaps an Iranian nuclear capability would remind the drooling zionists about the beauty of MAD, which undoubtedly saved mankind during the Cuban missile crisis. But who knows??? The Israelis obviously have batshit crazy leaders, so they might actually revel in a mutual extinction circle jerk with the Iranians. Time will tell, because the Iranians would be complete morons not to be seeking a deterrent against Israel's nuclear arsenal.

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Sep 21, 2012 1:02:04 AM | 10

BTW, ya gotta love the term "illicit". Interesting that the term first showed up on the dirtbag AIPAC website, only to be to be quickly adopted by the bobbleheaded assholes in Congress. Not too hard to figure out who the scriptwriters are if you're payin' attention.

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Sep 21, 2012 1:07:37 AM | 11

POA @ 10 -- Bibi is counting on the prevailing western winds, well, prevailing and not allowing any eastern winds to blow Israili bombs' radiation back on Israel.... And to hell with anyone else exposed to it.

Posted by: jawbone | Sep 21, 2012 9:20:34 AM | 12

If Israel merely bombs with conventional weapons, according to this Reuters article at YNet, the West views any radiation damage as unlikely to affect other countries and it will be mostly around the bombing sites, affecting "only" those living "nearby."

As one person quoted in the article points out, even in this the West's double standards are evident. If this kind of bombing were aimed at facilities in the US or its allies' countries, there would be huge disapproval. Why, it might even be considered an act of war!

Paul Sullivan, a professor of economics and adjunct professor of security studies at Georgetown University in the United States, said there were double standards in judging risks.

"If there were a chance of an attack on such facilities in France, Germany, the US, Japan and the like there would be constant and very loud cries about the potential environmental and human health impacts," he said.

BTW, has bombing another nation become just another form of dipomacy and is no longer decried as illegal aggression? Or is it just the West which can do such things with impunity, as might makes right? The West including, of course, Israel.

While the article overall seems to say bombing Iranian research and developmental facilities is relatively risk free, for Isreal, trying to take out Bushehr, the Russian designed nuclear energy facility recently brought on line, would be too dangerous to attempt.

However, in the comments, called Talkbacks, many people seem to be fully on board with the more dangerous the better. Yikes. No thought of blowback at all.

Posted by: jawbone | Sep 21, 2012 11:48:14 AM | 13

Another article at YNet posits that US Special Forces blew up the power lines leading to Iranian nuke facilities recently. And that they also attacked Iranian forces while the US was withdrawing from Iraq, making the exit safe. Hhhmmm, any other info on that?

Posted by: jawbone | Sep 21, 2012 11:48:48 AM | 14

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