Politics - Nuclear in Iran Irans Nuclear Program, the IAEA and the NPT
Nuclear in Iran
The Balance of Nuclear Driven for Peace or War
Politics - Nuclear in Iran Irans Nuclear Program, the IAEA and the NPT Abstract
The recent controversy over Irans nuclear program and the potential security risks that proliferation
of nuclear technology is the primary source to which this document will try to comprehend,
summarise and evaluate based upon recent events and actions both from the representative nations
including the United States as well as the Iranian government. The evaluation will also endeavour to
justify whether Iran should be given rights to nuclear technology and to which current policies
should be adapted to ensure that the codes of the NPT are upheld.
Iran has existed as a nuclear nation since launching, with the aid of the US, its nuclear program in the
1950s under the Atoms for Peace program. Up until the Iranian Revolution of 1979, which brought
about political instability, was the beginning of controversy over Irans technological powers on
nuclear energy, ultimately ending the trusted backing of the United States and Western European
Over the past four decades, which the Soviet Union also aiding Irans nuclear program, the nations
government has signed various treaties which ultimately repudiating the possession of weapons of
mass destruction. Such policies include the Biological Weapons Convention, the Chemical Weapons
Convention, and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)2, which we will discuss further.
As background knowledge, Iran's nuclear program includes several research sites, two uranium
mines, a research reactor, and uranium processing facilities that include three known uranium
enrichment plants. There has also been further indication that Iran will seek more medium-sized
nuclear power plants and uranium mines in the future, whether this will be possible will depend on
the current sanctions, actions and negotiations between Iran and other concerned countries.3
Under the strict adapted policy of the NPT which is implemented in Iran, in November of 2011, the
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors disapproved of Irans current
program after an IAEA report concluded that before 2003, Iran seemingly has undertaken research
and development to construct a nuclear weapons capability, without notifying the IAEA of such
actions which undermines the NPT agreement signed by the Iranian government.4
The allegations in the report articulates Irans development in nuclear weapons design which
includes detonator development, multiple-point initiation of high explosives and experiments
involving the integration of a nuclear payload into a missile delivery vehicle, i.e. a warhead.
However it should be mentioned that the majority of these allegations date prior to 2003, and that
little has changed since then, but the principle of not informing the board at the IAEA, has caused a
great controversy about Irans future plans for its nuclear program, simply due to the restricted
access that Iran gives over to inspectors, especially US officials. This is the main cause of the
controversy in the media, which many believe has blown the whole issue out of proportion and
subsequently has led to reduced cooperation by the Iranian government towards the IAEA6.
Politics - Nuclear in Iran Irans Nuclear Program, the IAEA and the NPT What is the NPT?
United States at the Head of Nuclear Power: An Awkward Guest List to Nuclear Security Party
The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, also known as the Non-Proliferation Treaty
(NPT), is an international treaty which regards the prevention of and spread of nuclear weapons
and weapons technology, to also promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and to
further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament of
The NPT consists of a preamble and eleven articles in total, however it can be deduced that the
agreement can be expressed as a three pillar system, with no explicit weighting on any such pillar.
3) the right to peacefully use nuclear technology
There is a central consensus that is adopted by all participating states
The NPT non-nuclear-weapon states agree never to acquire nuclear weapons and the NPT nuclear-
weapon states in exchange agree to share the benefits of peaceful nuclear technology and to pursue
nuclear disarmament aimed at the ultimate elimination of their nuclear arsenals.8
Although the NPT signature states agree to not rebuke any of the terms of the treaty there is no
explicit sanctions that can be enforced instantly upon disregard of the relevant terms however the
United Nations Security States (namely the US, UK, France, China and Russia which are nuclear
weapon states), can intervene with international conferences on instating sanctions on a countries
imports, exports, economy, aid, etc.
From this there have been several additional measures adopted to strengthen the NPT from making
it difficult for states to acquire the capability to produce nuclear weapons, which includes the export
controls of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, which handles the movement of nuclear material across the
Politics - Nuclear in Iran Irans Nuclear Program, the IAEA and the NPT globe as well the stringent measures of the IAEA Additional Protocol, which reports the condition
and structure of a states nuclear program to relevant security boards.
However it controversy surround the NPT, and some criticise that this treaty cannot prevent
proliferation of nuclear weapons or the determination to acquire the military capability of nuclear
technology and tactics. The key issue that supports this criticism is that the five authorised nuclear
weapons states (US, UK, France, China and Russia) have a total stockpile of 22,000 warheads and
that limited progress has been made to disarm this potential and the relevant countries show
unwillingness to further disarm. The main reason for this is that once a state possesses nuclear
weapons, whether they intend to use stockpile warheads during war time, this provides a formidable
mental force that enemy countries will not want to be placed against in the instance of war. So
realistically the disarmament of current nuclear weapons most likely will not occur, hence the NPT
breaks down in this instance however as these states are authorised to possess such capabilities the
disarmament policy can help to prevent and ensure other countries from possessing similar nuclear
capabilities, hence reducing the number of nuclear arms available in the world.
Israels Supposed Nuclear Weapons - Allied with the United States - No Need to Investigate Iran Not So Much
Politics - Nuclear in Iran Irans Nuclear Program, the IAEA and the NPT What influence does the IAEA have?
As stated on the IAEA website, the International Atomic Energy Agency was established to
Seek to accelerate and enlarge the contribution of atomic energy to peace, health and prosperity
throughout the world. It shall ensure, so far as it is able, that assistance provided by it or at its
request or under its supervision or control is not used in such a way as to further any military
Basically the agency intends to ensure that nuclear technology and science is used for peaceful
means, and that by ensuring international peace in terms of nuclear weapons and technology, and
keeping such information safe and secure that the worlds Millennium Goals10 for economic, social
and environmental development are progressed towards.
The IAEA was established on a Statute, which comprised of 12 main articles that state the function
and policy procedures of the agency. More information can be found at
The main functions of the agency surround encouraging and assisting the research and development
of practical applications of nuclear (atomic) energy for peaceful uses, which rely on performance of
key procedures surrounding the exchange of information, supply of materials, equipment and
resources as well as services on operational procedure. The agency also encourages the exchange of
information between states for peaceful uses as well as ensuring that provisions for such
applications of the information are always available, well documented, safe and secure. In terms of
safety the IAEA deals with the policies that help to ensure maximal protection and safety when
dealing with nuclear technology, from the point of extraction of nuclear material from mines to the
construction of the applications to the safe operations of such applications.
The main objective in terms of the IAEA policy creation is to set safeguards to ultimately achieve and
help fulfil its functions as well as preventing countries using these benefits of exchange and
availability for milit