Saturday, February 21, 2004

* Iran's Nuclear Venture: Legal Obligation and Political Temptation

Iran’s Nuclear Venture:
Legal Obligation and Political Temptation

Ali-Asghar Kazemi
February 2004

1- Introduction

When Iran signed the Additional Protocol to the Treaty of Non Proliferation last year, with the official mitigation of three important EU foreign ministers (UK, France and Germany), nobody had a clear picture of the future development of the matter. At the time of the conclusion of the agreement with EU members, both sides appeared happy from the outcome and both claimed victory. Each side appraised its stance and in its mind, stuck firm to its position.
Thus, Iran claimed that it would never forego its inalienable right to acquire nuclear technology for “peaceful purpose.” In the final Statement by the Iranian Government and visiting EU Foreign Ministers of 21 October 2003 in Tehran, to promote mutual confidence with a view to removing barriers for cooperation in the nuclear field, Iran agreed that “it has decided voluntarily to suspend all Uranium enrichment and processing activities as defined by the IAEA.”[1]

Interestingly, the two key words that need a little explanation here are:
First, the voluntary character of the agreement, that hints at rejection of any pressure or forceful demand from the other party to accede to an unfair commitment,
Second, The temporary nature of the enrichment and processing activities, which is reflected in the tem “suspension.” This in a way epitomizes the intention of Iranian authorities that they may at any time in future and under any pretext resume the activities
thus suspended.[2]

Iranian chief negotiator, Hassan Rohani, used a smart tactics, by throwing some confusion in the Statement, either for the purpose deceiving the party to contract, or with the intention of gaining time; with the firm conviction that the final ratification of the agreement would be put at the mercy of the conservative majority in the future parliament. Eventually in his mind, he neither accepted nor rejected the obligations emanating from the Statement.
This may seem indeed a good diplomatic maneuver, which by and large, is used in uncertain circumstances, where one is not quite sure of the future outcome of a political game. However, when it comes to the matter of legal obligation, the problem is much more subtle and delicate and may cause a host of trouble to the State which has not demonstrated its good faith during and after the conclusion of a commitment.

Upon a more recent inspection by the IAEA agents, it was revealed in last February, that a number of enrichment equipment was not declared previously by Iran. This alarming case led the IAEA and the international community that indeed Iran was up to something with its nuclear activities and ought to be contained before it goes to far.
The purpose of this paper is to examine the legal obligation created by the Statement and later the signature of the Additional Protocol to the NPT. Furthermore, bearing in mind that the official accession of Iran to the Treaty, requires the final ratification and promulgation of the Iranian legislature for its official entry into force, what would be the overall consequence of Iran’s eventual breach and disregard of its international commitments with respect to the NPT and its various safeguard instruments?

2-Legal Commitment amidst Political Game

In order to have a clear picture of Iran’s nuclear affaire, it is useful and even necessary to review rather quickly the background and short history of the case.
When Iran consented to sign the Additional Protocol, on the political, rather than legal, level, it declared itself open to do it, while also seeking prior assurances with regard to the transfer of nuclear technology to support its future civil nuclear program - a quid pro quo structured deeply into the NPT and IAEA regimes. [3]

In the period under cosideration(mid-June 2003), the issue was submitted in to the meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors. Prior to that, the Board had received a report from the Director General on his February visit and a subsequent technical assessment of the Iranian program. In the introductory statement of the report(June 16), it was made clear that while Iran did not stand convicted by the report, its government clearly had a case to answer:
"The report points out that Iran has failed to report certain nuclear material and activities, and that corrective actions are being taken in cooperation with the Iranian authorities. The report also explains that work is still ongoing with regard to the correctness and completeness of Iran's declaration to ensure that all nuclear material in Iran has been declared and is under safeguards. In this respect, we are continuing our efforts - through technical discussions, inspection and environmental sample analysis - to understand all aspects of Iran's nuclear programme, including: the research and development work relevant to its uranium conversion and enrichment programme; and its programme for the use of heavy water.”

In his report on Iran to member states in advance of the June 16-19 meeting of the Board of Governors, the Director General said inter alia :
· Iran has failed to meet its obligations under its Safeguards Agreement with respect to the reporting of nuclear material, the subsequent processing and use of that material, and the declaration of facilities where the material was stored and processed. These failures, and the actions taken thus far to correct them, can be summarised as follows:
(a) Failure to declare the import of natural uranium in 1991, and its subsequent transfer for further processing.
· On April 15, 2003, Iran submitted ICRs [Inventory Change Reports] on the import of UO2, UO4 and UF6. Iran has still to submit ICRs on the transfer of material for further processing and use.
(b) Failure to declare the activities involving the subsequent processing and use of imported natural uranium, including the production and loss of nuclear material, where appropriate, and the production and transfer of waste resulting therefrom.
· Iran has acknowledged the production of uranium metal, uranyl nitrate, ammonium uranyl carbonate, UO2 pellets and uranium wastes. Iran must still submit ICRs on these inventory changes.
(c) Failure to declare the facilities where such material (including the waste) was received, stored and processed.
· On May 5, 2003, Iran provided preliminary design information for the facility JHL [Jabr Ibn Hayan Multipurpose Laboratories]. Iran has informed the Agency of the locations where the undeclared processing of the imported natural uranium was conducted (TRR [Tehran Research Reactor] and the Esfahan Nuclear Technology Centre), and provided access to those locations. It has provided the Agency access to the waste storage facility at Esfahan, and has indicated that access would be provided to Anarak, as well as the waste disposal site at Qom.
(d) Failure to provide in a timely manner updated information for the MIX [Molybdenum, Iodine and Xenon radioisotope Production] Facility and for TRR.
· Iran has agreed to submit updated design information for the two facilities.
(e) Failure to provide in a timely manner information on the waste storage at Esfahan and at Anarak.
· Iran has informed the Agency of the locations where the waste has been stored or discarded. It has provided the Agency [with] access to the waste storage facility at Esfahan, and has indicated that access will be provided to Anarak
· On April 15, 2003, Iran submitted ICRs [Inventory Change Reports] on the import of UO2, UO4 and UF6. Iran has still to submit ICRs on the transfer of material for further processing and use.
(f) Failure to declare the activities involving the subsequent processing and use of imported natural uranium, including the production and loss of nuclear material, where appropriate, and the production and transfer of waste resulting therefrom.
· Iran has acknowledged the production of uranium metal, uranyl nitrate, ammonium uranyl carbonate, UO2 pellets and uranium wastes. Iran must still submit ICRs on these inventory changes.
(g) Failure to declare the facilities where such material (including the waste) was received, stored and processed.[4]
With this rather lenghtly inventory of Iran’s failure to abide by its commitment, it was thought that a very serious decision will come out of the meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors. But curiously, this did not happen so and the issue was finally settled in the meeting of the Board of Governors with a mild outcome. Iran was only required to cooperate with the IAEA and to present a full list of its nuclear activities in a transparant manner and to consider signing the Additional Protocol by October 31st.[5]This was considered as a rebuff to US attempt to obtain a “ guilty” verdict against Iran, for paving the way to bring the case to the UN Security Council sanctions.[6] Other countries with nuclear capability, such as Russia, were not quite in the same line as the United States and finally managed to pass a rather mild resolution requesting Iran to cooperate with the IAEA and take a number of positive actions, including the signature of the Additional Protocol.[7] But, some experts doubted from the beginning that even the mere signature of the Protocol would not aleviate the prevailing preoccupation about Iran’s nuclear activities.[8] The paradox was that while Iran wanted to abide by the IAEA safeguards on the legal ground, it did not want to succumb to the wishes of foreign powers, which pursue their own interests. This indeed made the whole problem rather confused and delicate. Since the the acceptance of the Protocol would open the door to unannounced inspections of suspect facilities- something that Iran could not afford on political ground.

Against this background, neither the IAEA nor the countries troubled with Iran’s nuclear activities, were assured about the future development of the matter. The United States, as one of the leading powers much preoccupied with Iranian confusing posture, in various occasions expressed concern about IAEA optimism with the its nuclear venture.[9] The US delegate at the IAEA questioning the motivation of the Iranian government, asked:
"if Iran's intentions are peaceful, why did it engage in a long-term pattern of safeguards violations and evasions regarding a number of its nuclear fuel cycle research and development activities? Can anyone believe that all the different instances of 'failure to comply' over many years, involving different quantities of nuclear materials at different locations, could reflect anything but a conscious effort by Iran to avoid monitoring of its fuel cycle research and development activities by the IAEA?"[10]

This alarming situation heated up once again when it was revealed that the claimed indigenous Iranian nuclear technology was in fact the product of a nuclear leack through a very sophisticated international black market, originated in Pakistan’s highly sensitive scientific milieu. The story needs a bit more clarification that follows in the next section.

3- Iran and the International Nuclear Black Market:
The Libyan Syndrom

In one of its reports to the IAEA, Iran had revealed that some of the components used in the nuclear activities were obtained through unidentified agents in the world black market. It was further disclosed that nuclear technology was clandestinely transferred from Pakistan in collusion with operatives from Europe, the United Arab Emirates and Asia.[11] It was only after this clue that the name of the prominent Pakistani scientist, Abdul Qadeer Khan, better known as the “father” on Pakistan nuclear bomb, appeared in media. But the vital question was as to whether Pakistani government as a whole, and the army in pariclular was involved in the proliferation affair, which would be a serious breach of legal obligation.

The matter was finally settled through the official declaration of Abdul Qadeer Khan’s apology that he acted alone while accepting the full reponsibility of the unauthorized proliferation activities. He admitted that his action was in violation of Pakistani laws and had placed his country credibility in “serious jeopardy” and his own liftime achievement in doubt.[12]
While the Pakistani scandal was developing aroud the world, came the Lybian confession to the IAEA that it was prepared to disclose its clandestine nuclear activities,[13] apparently acquired through the same sources as Iran and North Korea in the international black market. This was indeed a serious blow to all unlawful nuclear activities around the world, including Iran.
It was further revealed that the Libyan officials were the ones who produced names of individual middlemen and companies involved in the nuclear black market last December.[14] In Fact, Libya as one of the nuclear black market customers, was the one who first whistled on the father of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program, Abdul Qadeer Khan and more than a dozen of his intermediaries. But apparently, the network of all providers and procurers of the nuclear technology in the world black market is not quite lucid. So far only North Korea and Iran have been allegedly linked to the network.

Interestingly, among the most startling discoveries of the IAEA agents were components and drawings of centrifuge that facilitate the uranium processing and plutonium that are used in the core of nuclear warheads, clandestinely handled in the black market. The Libyan disclosure seems to be a very serious challenge, not only to Iran’s nuclear venture but also to the IAEA, whose most recent report to its members divulge yet another breach of Iran’s commitment with respect to the NPT and the Additional Protocol.[15]

As we said above, Iran has agreed to halt assembling uranium centrifuge as part of the pledge to suspend “ remaining uranium enrichment activities” in November last year. But it didn’t reach an agreement with the Agency on a definition of what that meant exactly.[16] The IAEA report said that Iran continued to assemble cetrifuges despite its commitment to ceasse such activities after November 2003.

Furthermore, UN nuclear inspectors in Iran, more recently have found blueprints for a much advanced uranium enrichment centrifuge, the G2 ( or P2), which was not declared in its previous report to the IAEA.[17] This apparently is being added to Iran’s previous failures of providing full disclosure on its nuclear activities to the IAEA. Iran in its part claimed that it has many other projects in hand that need not to be disclosed at this juncture, but it will do so when appropriate.[18]

4-Reading into Iran’s Intention for Developing Nuclear

Digging into the intention of political leaders is a difficult task. Generals and admirals in the field are more predictable. In politics we are always involved with some sort of games and players. Terms such as: zero-sum and non-zero-sum games, rationality, interests, balance of power, pride and prestige…are ordinary words used in poltical realem. Politicians usualy get involved with them with the intention to promote their national interests.On this point, it is safe to suggest on doctrinal level, that Iran’s national objectives and strategies are shaped by its regional political aspirations, threat perceptions, and the need to preserve its Islamic government.[19] But, the problem is that most of the time the term “national interests” is not quite lucid and those who decide about them are not quite apt for such vital task. Thus, in seeking to explain the behavior of a State, such as Iran, in the international or regional scene, we have to read into the minds of men and individuals at the higher echellon of decision making apparatus. This indeed is not an easy job and requires some imagination and speculation.

If we assume that men are rather deliberte and self-conscious about what they do, thus, they should know their own motives and give reasons for their behavior. But this does’t seem to be often true. Because, sometimes people do not want to confess their real motives, or at least not all of them, and so they may knowingly lie or distort or conceal the facts. Sometimes even, they may base their motives and behavior on false assumptions about themselves, their true aims and objectives, their threats, their capabilites and opportunities, or their political and strategic enviroment. This may prove to be very dangerous, not only for them but also for others who interact with them.
One may argue safely that in present day Iran, we are facing with this latter kind of decision-making, that is, we are concened with factors affecting choice other than the entirely conscious and rational criteria that usually come into play in the determination of “national interests.” Political expediencies sometimes overshadow factors related with optimum and rational choices. Perhaps,the reason behind the very risky and high political costs of Iran’s nuclear venture, may find its rationale in such argument which goes beyond the regular calculation of risk or cost-benefit analysis.

Western statesmen and politicians involved with the Middle Eastern and particularily Iran’s affairs often ask: “who is in charge of Iran’s nuclear business? Who are the decision-makers in this matter?” Answer to these queries is both simple and difficult! It is simple in the sense that the Iranian Constitution very clearly puts the whole national power under the supreme command and absolute prerogatives of the religious leader. At the same time, the president of the Islamic Republic, who is elected into office, is the head on National Security Council, in charge of the security, internal order and territorial integrity of the country. But, he has no command or control over the overall defense policy and armed forces. True that budget allocation to the defense system is within the regular fuction of legislative tand executive branches, but this is more of a formal rather than substantive function. This means that the government as a whole may know nothing specific about a particular defense project, such as the nuclear scheme.

With respect to the true intention and objective of Iran’s nuclear activities, the official answer is that this country it merely using its basic and inalienable right of all member States of the NPT to develop atomic energy for peaceful purpose. To this end, Iran claims that it is ready to ensure the international community that it have no intention to produce nuclear weapons.[20] Furthermore, the upper echelon decision-making ladder in Iran has rightfully and in several occasions recognized that Iran does not consider nuclear weapon as a viable and rational useful strategy for defense purposes. The official reading of such statement is that nuclear option may render the country more vulnerable to risks outside threats[21]. But, most critiques and specialists in the field believe that these claims are mere rhetoric that is neither supported by factual evidence, nor accepted by the IAEA and the international community as a whole. They refer to recent (February 2004) revelations about international nuclear black market and specific findings of the IAEA during its last inspection in Iran.

How then shall we explain the present situation and the earnest attempt by Iran to pursue its long-standing nuclear policy? In fact as we know, the project goes back to the 1980s, that is the period in which Iran was engaged in an all out war with its neighboring hostile State, Iraq. The optimistic view would go along with the argument advanced by Iran about its peaceful intention of developing nuclear technology. The pessimists however, have more ground to argue against the peaceful aims of such undertaking. They would eventually base their argument on the following facts and factors:

· Iran as an important and rich country in oil and gas, having extensive reserves of fossil fuel inland and offshore, does not need to embark on a more costly and risky nuclear project in order to produce energy,

· Enrichment facilities and related components that are being used or developed by Iranians, do not seem to be for support of civilian nuclear energy plants in Bushehr (considering the fact that the Russians are supposed to supply the necessary fuel for Bushehr plants and the Iranian party is obligated to return the depleted uranium that could be used in nuclear bomb),

· Iran may be enthusiastic in obtaining nuclear capability with the objective of deterring any potential aggressor that might threaten the very existence of the Islamic regime,

· Iran may contend that the West is using a double-standard policy with respect to the nuclear proliferation (Pakistan, India and Israel are the ones who have been left out of the black list),

· Iran might be tempted to acquire nuclear technology for the mere sake of national pride and prestige with a view to boost its regional position vis a vis its potential opponents and contenders,
· Being a nuclear power for a revolutionary Islamic State may be an indication of the regime efficiency and viability despite the mounting pressure from the world political environment,

· While the optimists would say that even if Iranian leaders have any adventurous intention in the back of their mind, the Libyan syndrome will make them think twice in pursuing their nuclear project before it goes too far, the pessimists would argue that Iran does not seem to be deterred or intimidated by the disclosure scandal,

· Iran appears to be pursuing the North Korean tactics by lingering the legal process of ratifying the safeguard measures related to the NPT additional Protocol. In other words, Iran is trying to buy time for enrichment of enough uranium to build a number of nukes before it officially declares to withdraw from the NPT obligations. This will put the IAEA and the world as a whole before a fait accompli,

· Iranian leaders seem to prefer accepting the risk of being target of an eventual preemptive strike than to give up the power altogether. Since, they believe they can capitalize on such event to consolidate the people while tightening the rope around the opposition neck,

· - Optimists and pessimists would both admit that strategic thinking; rationality; national interests and optimum choice do not have the same meanings among the Iranian leaders and the Western political thought. This indeed makes a lot of difference when the two sides face each other in a peaceful dialogue or in a hostile confrontation.

5- Conclusions

Whatever conclusions that could be derived from this short analysis, based on some assumptions regarding the present international environment and the emerging world order after the events of September 11, 2001, a number of propositions could be deducted:
· Iran, as an ideological, revolutionary Islamic State, does not accept the prevailing norms in the present international system and, wherever possible, try to escape from unfair obligations and commitment imposed upon it,
· Believing that international rules and regulations are product of powerful Western nations, Iran as a revolutionary State, could not endorse them and will try to change or challenge them whenever possible,
· As a consequence of the above propositions, Iran will continue to swing between abiding by legal obligations and evading pressure by political expediencies in the foreseeable future,
· While Iran does not desire to be coined as a violator of international rules, nonetheless, it can not go along with some legal restrictions imposed upon it by the NPT and the relevant safeguard measures, including the Additional Protocol,
· Iran believes that the United States and Israel are launching an unfair propaganda campaign in international media on Iran’s nuclear threat, while pursuing a double standard policy, they themselves are the real source of threat for the Middle East security and stability,
· Whatever the true intention of Iran’s nuclear activitie, the project seems to be rather an issue of national pride and prestige than a source of threat to peace and security of the region. Since in the final account, it would be impossible for Iran to become a viable nuclear power in the present international environment. (There seems to be a consensus in the international community on this critical issue),
· With the recent development in the international nuclear black market and the volontary disclosure of Libyan nuclear project, it appears very hard for countries such as Iran to resist the international pressure and to avoid the risk of its case to be sent by the IAEA to the UN Security Coucil.
· International community as a whole, and a number of world powers, including the United States, are not at all ready to witness the emergence of another nuclear State- no matter how big or small- on the surface of earth. It would be therefore unconceivable that Iran could pass this dangerous road unchecked.
· The most probable course of action that Iran may rationally opt with respect to its nuclear activities, would be the strict coplience with the relevent international rules and regulations, and to cooperate fully with the IAEA in a transparent manner, in order to avoid any misunderstanding and misperception. This indeed will help to aleviate the preoccupation of the international community and also will alow Iran to benefit from the peaceful use of nuclear technology.

* * *
· Professor Kazemi holds Ph.D. in International Law and Relations from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts U.S.A.; He is the author of many books and articles. He is legal advisor on matters of International Law of the Sea. Currently, he is Dean of the Faculty of Law and Political Science, Islamic Azad University (Science and Research Campus). For more detail please consult Academic Site of Dr. Kazemi:

[1] - Emphasis is mine.
[2]- In fact, the same day after the Statement was officially issued, Mr. Hassan Rohani, head of Iranian negotiators, asserted that Iran might resume its activities at any time, which seems suited to its national interests. He even emphasized that: within a week, a month or a year we may choose to exercise our rights to terminate the suspension.
[3]- From a mix of political and non-proliferation motives, a number of IAEA/NPT member states, including the United States and United Kingdom, currently ban all nuclear-related exports to Iran. Cf.: \Disarmament Diplomacy News Review - IAEA Increases Pressure On Iran Over Nuclear Inspections.htm. Issue No. 72, August - September 2003

[4] Disarmament Diplomacy News Review Issue No. 72, August - September 2003
“IAEA Increases Pressure On Iran Over Nuclear Inspections”

[5] The IAEA Board of Governors - whose 35 members included Iran in that period - meet in Vienna. Despite the momentous range of issues facing the Agency, notably with regard to North Korea, discussions were dominated by the Iran crisis and the Board's response to the June 6 report from the Director General. The meeting took place to the backdrop of regular, large-scale, and occasionally violently repressed student pro-reform demonstrations in Iran. See:DisarmamentDiplomacy Issue No. 72, August - September 2003

[6] The U.S. had supplied Russia and other countries on the IAEA board with some of its intelligence, although a senior U.S. official said it remained unclear what findings the IAEA board will make when it meets following month. It was thought that imposing sanctions on Tehran through the United Nations Security Council for its nuclear activities would be difficult. Unlike Iraq and even North Korea, Iran has relations with many European countries and Russia, and their governments appear reluctant to jeopardize these ties by joining a campaign to isolate Tehran. [Source: David S. Cloud, "U.S., Iran Stall on Road to Rapprochement --- Bush Administration Divided on How to Resolve Renewed Tensions Over Iraq, Nuclear Plans", Wall Street Journal, May 12, 2003, p. A4]

[7] To US diplomats, an eventual action against Iran in the Security Council would lead to its international isolation and destabilisation, and possible future military overthrow, of the next member of the 'axis of evil' due for 'regime change'. Iran in its part, claimed that Washington's intense focus on its nuclear program was in part an effort to divert attention from the discrediting of its claims concerning the Iraqi WMD threat. See Ibid. It is interesting to note the position of Russia, as a partner of Iran’s nuclear activities. Russia understandably sought to bridge the gap between these two interpretations: by its reading, the IAEA had begun the process, with which Iran was cooperating, of clarifying the situation - a process which could be brought to the happiest conclusion by speedy Iranian acceptance of the Additional Protocol. Disarmament Diplomacy, Ibid

[8] - It was argued that "Even the so-called "Additional Protocol" won't keep Iran from going nuclear if it so desires. Alarming news that enrichment facilities developed in recent months are under Iran military control, illuminating as a lie the Iranian claim that the program is geared to commercial power production. Despite these apparent facts, the USA is signaling that Iran need not fear US, and that we are willing to stay out of Iran's politics and even help subdue the international operations of Iran's leading opposition group (who, by the way, are the folks who've blown the whistle on Iran's n-program to begin with). See: A:\Iran news at nuclear_com.htm [Source: Howard LaFranchi (staff writer, The Christian Science Monitor), "On Iran, US opts for peer pressure; As new allegations of Tehran's nuclear program surface, Washington tries multilateral approach", Christian Science Monitor, July 10, 2003, p. 1]

[9] The United States is deeply concerned about information the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has verified concerning Iran's nuclear program, says Ambassador Kenneth Brill. Responding on June 18 to the IAEA director general's report on Iran, Brill noted that clandestine Iranian nuclear activities made public in news reports last summer were confirmed as a result of the IAEA's inspection visit to Iran in February. He also said that "Without the outside revelations, Iran's extensive nuclear program would still be proceeding on a largely clandestine basis" and the report "confirms that Iran's nuclear program is cause for grave concern." Brill, who is the U.S. Representative to United Nations organizations in Vienna, noted that Iran told the IAEA that it had a policy of "full cooperation" and "complete transparency" concerning its nuclear program. "Iran's 'complete transparency' proved not to extend, however, to the import of nuclear material, or to the subsequent processing of that material, or to the facilities where the material was stored and processed," Brill said. "In fact, Iran's 'complete transparency' has proven in crucial respects to be an empty promise, intended to distract attention from its reluctant confirmation of the existence of a whole series of clandestine activities and facilities," he continued. See: US Department of State, International Information Program A:\U_S_ Urges IAEA to Expedite, Expand Iranian Nuclear Investigation.htm

[10] - See Ibid.

[11] -See Iran Daily, January 29, 2004, p.1. It was disclosed in the Iranian reports to the IAEA that individuals from Pakistan, Germany, Holland South Africa and the UAE had been involved in the case.

[12] - Cf. Iran Daily, February 9, 2004. p.7. The Pakistani scientist confessed that other people involved in the black market deal acted on his instructions, while emphasizing that no government officials were involved in the clandestine activities.

[13] After Libya decided to get rid of its program on weapons of mass destruction last January, the United States took possession of its equipments, including centrifuge parts used in uranium enrichment and “ most sensitive documentation associated with the Libyan nuclear weapon program.” A centrifuge is a rapidly rotating cylinder that can be used to speed up uranium enrichment for use in nuclear bomb. Cf. Iran Daily January 29, 2004. p.9.

[14] - See e.g. “ UN Watchdog Gets Nuke Data from Libya,” Tehran Times International Daily, February 25, 2004, p.6.

[15] - In his statement of 8 March 2004 to the IAEA Board of Governors, Director General of the Agency said inter alia “, I am seriously concerned that Iran’s October declaration did not include any reference to its possession of P-2 centrifuge designs and related R&D, which in my view was a setback to Iran’s stated policy of transparency. This is particularly the case since the October declaration was characterized as providing ‘the full scope of Iranian nuclear activities’, including a ‘complete centrifuge R&D chronology’.

[16] -See Tehran Times, February 25. 2004. P.1

[17] - Pakistan’s President Pervez Musharraf has said that their investigations revealed that Abdul Qadeer Khan has only sold the drawings of centrifuges and other nuclear related information to Iran and not the designs for making nuclear weapons. The Pakistani scientist has signed an agreement not to establish any contacts with “nuclear criminals” and were to break his pledge, his parole would be revoked. See Iran Daily, February 19, 2004, p.1

[18] - Declaration by Hassan Rohani, Iranian chief negotiator last February 2004, to the media on its return from a trip to Vienna, where the IAEA Headquarters is located.

[19] - See: - Last updated, December 13,2002. According to the analysis presented in the Global Security, “Tehran strives to be a leader in the Islamic world and seeks to be the dominant power in the Persian Gulf. The latter goal brings it into conflict with the United States. Tehran would like to diminish Washington’s political and military influence in the region. Within the framework of its national goals, Iran continues to give high priority to expanding its NBC weapons and missile programs.”

[20] - Cf. my paper presented last December to the Regional Security Conference in Athens- Greece, on“The Shifting U.S. Threat Perception after September 11 and Fear of Iran’s Nuclear Threat.”

[21] This fact has been even recognized by two important personalities directly responsible for Iran’s national defense and security. The leader of Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei once said to his followers that the Islamic Republic strength does not lie in the obtaining or domestic manufacturing of an atomic bomb, but it is the power of the faith that can deter our enemy. Washington Post, November 17,1992. More recently, Iran’s Defense minister, Vice Admiral Ali Shamkhani recognized in a February 2002 statement: “ The existence of nuclear weapons will turn us into a threat to others that could be exploited in a dangerous way to harm our relations with the countries of the region” See The Guardian, Feb.6, 2002. See also, George Perkovich, Dealing With Iran’s Nuclear Challenge, April 28, 2003. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

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