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Background Paper on Iran’s Nuclear Programme prepared for IKV and Pax Christi by Karel Koster with Barbara Brubacher# March 2006
Iran and the threat of nuclear proliferation A contribution to the discussion by IKV and Pax Christi Netherlands. The UN Security Council deadline for Iran to give full openness about its nucle ar programme elapsed on the 28th of April. This threatens to be the beginning of a new phase in the escalating conflict with Iran. What has been lacking so far, is a concerted, credible and vigorous political strategy, that convinces Iran t hat the price of a nuclear weapons programme is too high. IKV and Pax Christi Netherlands are seriously concerned about the escalating con flict with Iran. A nuclear weapons programme in Iran would pose a threat to the regional security and stability in the Middle East, but so would be a unilateral military action on dubious grounds . Experience shows that threatening with mil itary violence can initiate an irreversible escalating process that can only be reversed at the price of a great loss of credibility. The research that has been conducted by both organisations ‘Iran’s nuclear programme : facts, dilemma’s and the political debate’, confirms that there is not a single hi nt that Iran’s nuclear programme poses an actual and immediate threat. The lack of technical capacity for the development of nuclear weapons does not imply that T eheran lacks the political will to develop those weapons. It’s better not to be n aïve about the real intentions of the rulers. According to the Washington Post, the most recent National Intelligence Estimate of the CIA assumes that Iran will not be able to attain a nuclear weapon option for 5 to 10 years. It’s very important that the policy with regard to Iran is bas ed on accurate intelligence . The Dutch parliament should ask the government for a realistic image of the actual threat that Iran poses. IKV en Pax Christi Netherlands reject preventive military violence, as long as t here is no immediate threat against international peace and security. Preventiv e violence is politically counter-productive, unfounded and illegal under intern ational law. We advocate a concerted, credible and vigorous political strategy which should c onvince Iran to give its full cooperation to the IAEA and abandon the possibilit y of developing nuclear weapons. This political strategy should, according to IKV and Pax Christi Netherlands, co ntain the following elements: The U.S. should be willing to respect the sovereignty and integrity of Iran, as long as Iran respects the sovereignty and integrity of other states and aban dons the development of nuclear weapons. A successful political strategy that convinces Iran to abandon the developme nt of a nuclear weapons option requires a multilateral approach. The support of Russia, China, the EU and the Arab states is of vital importance in this respect . Especially Russia and China should, as important trading partners, convince Iran that they are eventually willing to support UN sanctions – an investment and export stop to Iran – in order to prevent nuclear proliferation and further underm ining of the Non Proliferation Treaty.
The wielding of double standards undermines a credible strategy and prohibit s broad international support of this strategy, not in the last place by Arab st ates. The nuclear powers should comply with their commitments under the Non Prol iferation Treaty. Further undermining of the NPT should be stopped. For the protection of the national security interests of Iran, Iraq, Saudi-A rabia and the Gulf States united in the Gulf Cooperation Council as well as othe r states in the region, the establishment of a regional security council should be promoted. On the long run, it is important that the US and other permanent me mbers of the Security Council actively support the establishment of a nuclear fr ee zone in the Middle East. A strategy that is based on the improvement and insurance of regional securi ty and stability should also be aimed at the promotion of human security to civi lians and communities in the Middle East. Therefore, it is of vital importance t hat the interests and human rights of the Iranian population are an integral par t of the political strategy aimed at convincing Iran to abandon a nuclear option . The security of states is after all inextricably bound to the security of civi lians.
The nuclear programme of Iran requires, in other words, a political strategy tha t is based on the recognition that stability in the Middle East asks for a regio nal approach that is based on collective security for concerned states and human security for civilians. For the mobilisation of Arabic states for this strategy , it’s important to see that the nuclear programme of Iran, security in the region , the nuclear status of Israel, the American policy in the Middle East and the I sraeli-Arabic conflict are inextricably linked together. Additionally, it’s important to promote contacts with the Iranian civil society. I t’s remarkable that one of the most reform minded student organisations in Iran ha s spoken out against the nuclear programme. Saber Sheykhlou, a spokesperson of t he students, stated: “The irrational and confrontational behaviour of the rulers h as put the country on the verge of war and destructive sanctions. The referral o f the case of Iran to the UN Security Council is the result of Iran’s biggest mist ake in its foreign policy.” This statement is not only brave, but also deserves po litical support. The Dutch government and other like minded states should become advocates within the European Union and other international organisations of a concerted, credible and persistent political strategy, aimed at collective secur ity in the Middle East.
Jan van Montfort Director IKV
Jan Gruiters Director Pax Christi Netherlands
24 April 2006
CONTENTS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
INTRODUCTION I. NUCLEAR PROLIFERATION – THE PROBLEM II. THE IRANIAN NUCLEAR PROGRAMME – HISTORICAL NOTE III. STATUS OF THE IRANIAN NUCLEAR PROGRAM IV. GEOPOLITICAL CONTEXT
4 5 10 14 19 25 27 35 39 39 47 48 50
V. DECISION MAKING ON MATTERS OF NATIONAL SECURITY IN IRAN VI. THE CRISIS NEGOTIATIONS VII. POLITICAL CHOICES –THE ACTORS APPENDIX ANNEX I Selected Primary Sources ANNEX II Contacts ANNEX III to Chapter VI ANNEX IV Decision-making structures Iran
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY It is generally recognised that the NPT is an extremely important treaty for cur bing the proliferation of nuclear weapons technology. However it has a built-in contradiction that at least partially defeats its purpose. That is, it explicitl y encourages (in art. 4) the proliferation of nuclear technology suitable both f or peaceful purposes and for building weapons. The lack of verifiable and irreversible steps towards nuclear disarmament will m ake a stronger non-proliferation regime within a legal framework extremely diffi cult if not impossible to achieve.
The Iran crisis has renewed interest in the concept of establishing a central ba nk for nuclear fuel supplies. This would entail obvious political problems regar ding access to such nuclear materials. The IAEA has the express aim of making nuclear technology for peaceful purposes available for al the world Iran’s activities related to developing a nuclear programme started as early as th e 1960s, during a period when the USA was a close ally to the Iranian regime und er Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi The Iranian revolution in 1979 led to a downscaling of Iran’s engagement in nuclea r research activities and investment in technology. Iran continued with activiti es for peaceful use of nuclear energy throughout the 1980s and decided in 1983 t o renew its activities in nuclear research. There is a large degree of overlap between a nuclear programme for peaceful purp oses and one for the production of a nuclear weapon. In Iran no proof has been f ound by the IAEA that a bomb construction program has been initiated. Iran is an important regional player, ideologically hostile to Israel but cultur ally “uncomfortable” with the Arab world. It has no true ally in the region but many potential adversaries. This means there are built-in destabilising factors in i ts foreign policy. It is important when looking at Iranian policies to take into account its national security concerns. The call for a nuclear weapon free Middle East is in principle supported by the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council, as it is by consistent majorities of the United Nations General Assembly. Numerous resolutions calling for such a NWFZ have been passed by the GA during the last few years The power structure of Iran is very fragmented and complex. This lack of transpa rency is even more apparent in the case of national security policy, because of its secret nature. This is relevant in evaluating Iranian policies. The initiating event in the series of developments leading to the current crisis was the public revelation of the Natanz enrichment facility and Iranian acknowl edgement of this facility. The enrichment stage of the nuclear fuel cycle is of particular importance because of the technological difficulties that must be sur mounted in order to set up a working plant and the long period required to produ ce sufficient enriched uranium to either make a bomb or run a nuclear reactor. EU and Iran initiated negotiations on the Iranian programme in 2003. In March 20 05 there was apparently a shift in the EU position. The possibility of a comprom ise allowing enrichment in Iran under strict international controls (so as to gu arantee that the enrichment process was not used to manufacture bomb-grade enric hed uranium) was dropped. Negotiations broke down in August 2005. At the February IAEA meeting a resolution was passed calling on Iran to cease i ts enrichment activities and announcing the decision to implement an earlier Boa rd resolution to “report” Iran to the Security Council. This resulted in a president ial statement by the Security Council reaffirming earlier IAEA Board resolutions . The key legal point in this procedure is the separation of the IAEA inspectio n protocol commitments on the one hand and the enrichment activities on the othe r. By concentrating on the demand for ceasing uranium enrichment - legal under N PT commitments - further IAEA involvement is being cut out. This may result in one or more Security Council resolutions demanding compliance. The conclusion regarding the program on the basis of public information is as fo llows: There is no proof of an Iranian nuclear weapons program. There are a number of unresolved problems mostly related to experimental wor k on parts of the nuclear cycle, many on issues or events which took place 10 or
more years ago. Part of the nuclear cycle were developed in secret, possibly be cause sanctions on the delivery of nuclear technology made disclosure difficult without compromising the otherwise legal programme There are indications that the possibility of developing a nuclear weapons o ption has been looked at. However, these indications do not constitute proof of an actual military nuclear programme. Furthermore the evidence for this is sketc hy and comes from unreliable sources. Even if Iran has the aim of producing a nuclear weapon, it cannot do so in a period less than three and more probably five to ten years On this issue the NGO community has three major concerns: There is a strong possibility of a US pre-emptive strike on Iran by a US-le d force. Such an attack would not be based on any convincing evidence of an Ira nian nuclear weapons programme, raise serious legal, moral and political questio ns and could well result in an escalation of violence all over the region Iran has regional ambitions which themselves have far-reaching destabilising effects. In the long term these regional ambitions may well include a nuclear w eapon programme. This justifies extra conditions being imposed on Iran’s nuclear p rogramme, subject to negotiations. Part of these negotiations should be the pur suit of a nuclear weapons free zone in the Middle East. It is highly desirable t o cooperate with regional powers, like Iran’s neighbours, who are also concerned about Iranian ambitions. The human rights situation in Iran gives cause for great concern. There are consistent reports of human right violations and repression of legitimate oppos ition to the regime. Ethnic divisions inside and outside Iran are also a potenti al risk factor. These concerns should be taken into account in the negotiating p rocess.
INTRODUCTION This fact sheet gives an overview of the Iran/proliferation issue. In succeeding chapters it covers the key underlying problem: the dual nature of nuclear techn ology, the way this applies to Iran and the recent history of the crisis. There are strong misconceptions about the nature of the nuclear proliferation problem. The most important of these is the constant confusion about the nuclear infrast ructure (like enrichment plants) for peaceful purposes as compared to the infras tructure for making nuclear weapons (which also involves enrichment plants). The technology is to a large extent precisely the same. Agreed international law and practice have put together an institution-the IAEAand treaty –Non Proliferation treaty - which bridge this contradiction (atoms fo r peace versus atoms for war) without actually solving it. That is why these tre aties should be seen as a kind ‘holding action’, rather than a proper blockade again st the widespread proliferation of nuclear weapons technology. Because of this ambivalence it was necessary to list the published evidence abou t the Iranian nuclear programme, especially the IAEA sources and the conclusions drawn from them. Our conclusions are summarised in chapter VII, where the key p olitical actors are also listed. An important gap in the non-state actors list c oncerns the positions and activities undertaken by various religious bodies. The appendices deal with the various sources on Iran and those that need to be c onsulted in order to follow the negotiating process.
NUCLEAR PROLIFERATION – THE PROBLEM
More than 50 years ago US President Dwight D. Eisenhower presented his “Atoms for Peace” speech before the UN General Assembly.# He called on the United States and the Soviet Union “to make joint contributions from their stockpiles of normal uran ium and fissionable materials to an international Atomic Energy Agency” and then “de vise methods whereby this fissionable material would be allocated to serve the p eaceful pursuits of mankind.” Although it was not his intention, his speech marked the ebginning of the world-wide development and proliferation of nuclear energy , the civilian by-product of the manufacture of nuclear weapons.# This was an ideologically driven campaign to make the nuclear idea acceptable.# Because of the risks inherent in the spread of nuclear technology, knowledge an d fissile material, a global nuclear watchdog and a treaty against nuclear proli feration were created. For that purpose the International Atomic Energy Agency ( IAEA) was established in 1957 within the UN framework. Later the Non-Proliferati on Treaty (NPT) was negotiated, entering into force in 1970.# To facilitate the peaceful use of nuclear energy the US McMahon Act was amended via the 1954 Atomi c Energy Act to reduce nuclear secrecy. This allowed nuclear technology, materia l and knowledge to be exported to friendly states, approved and authorised by wh at was then the Atomic Energy Commission, now the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. # The IAEA was given the powers of implementing safeguards and inspection for t he non-nuclear weapons states, the have-nots. THE NPT DILEMMA The Iranian crisis and others before it clearly illustrates that the use of this technology for peaceful or military purposes cannot be separated. Furthermore, the existing international treaty obligations, which call for free access to nuc lear technology for all member countries and for applying safeguards to nuclear materials, have in fact obfuscated an extremely important fact: the development of nuclear power as a source of energy makes it possible to create the basis of a nuclear weapons program. A key part of this is the nuclear enrichment technolo gy. The production of any nuclear bomb depends on the import of technology, equipmen t and materials as well as the development of know-how. Existing legal arrangem ents and guidelines for stopping or controlling the export of the technology fro m the countries, which possess the necessary industrial infrastructure, have fai led on many occasions. The widely held explanation of this failure is based on a n analysis in which this exporting process is largely seen as a problem of illeg ality. Hence the constant use of the term black market . The use of this terminology i n itself suggests that the solution to the proliferation problem needs only be s ought in the tightening up of the laws and export regulations. A key speech by P resident Bush on the proliferation issue was a clear illustration of this. He st ated: "Second, I call on all nations to strengthen the laws and international controls that govern proliferation. At the U.N. last fall, I proposed a new Security Cou ncil resolution requiring all states to criminalize proliferation, enact strict export controls, and secure all sensitive materials within their borders. The Se curity Council should pass this proposal quickly. And when they do, America stan ds ready to help other governments to draft and enforce the new laws that will h elp us deal with proliferation." # However, the companies involved were largely operating perfectly legally. Either they exported licence-free products, which could be used to build key parts of the uranium enrichment chain; or they exported dual use goods as permitted under existing legislation. Alternatively and more controversially, key items were ex ported to third countries from where they were redirected to the final destinati on. It is, however, misleading to describe this solely as a gigantic black mark
et operation that avoided the scrutiny of various law enforcement agencies. It i s more accurate to describe this as a collection of particular transactions, whi ch were not looked at too closely because of the prevailing political winds. Such transactions were made possible by the nature of the Non-Proliferation Trea ty itself, which in article 4 states the following: “Nothing in this Treaty shall be interpreted as affecting the inalienable right of all Parties to the Treaty t o develop, research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination and in conformity with Articles I and II of this Treaty.“ It therefore acknowledges the rights of all member countries to use nuclear tech nology for peaceful purposes, as a quid pro quo for not building nuclear weapons . Russia, for example, has in the last decade provided Iran with nuclear reactors and the necessary technical expertise to run them. Iranian technicians were ther efore also trained in this. Once these programmes are initiated the receiving co untry can develop them further. Israel’s nuclear programme, for example, was set u p with French help, while India was supported by Canada. The key point in this process is that the so-called civilian help laid the found ations for the military nuclear programme. Besides this ambiguity there is another built-in barrier to effective counter pr oliferation policy, and that is the obvious co-existence of two sets of rules: o ne for the nuclear weapon states, the other for the non-nuclear weapons states. We distinguish four categories of involvement: The five nuclear weapon states recognised by the Non Proliferation Treaty: U S, Russian Federation, China, France, United Kingdom The three, possibly four nuclear weapon states which are not signatories of the NPT but have a substantial nuclear strike capability: Israel, India, Pakista n. Most public intelligence estimates give North Korea a small number of nuclear bombs.# The states covered by a nuclear umbrella. This includes all the NATO (formal ) non-nuclear weapons states, which are involved in NATO nuclear planning and do ctrine. Six of these non-nuclear member states have tasked part of their air for ces to carry out nuclear strikes with US nuclear weapons, in accordance with NAT O nuclear doctrine.# The states with a civil nuclear programme, which gives them the technical ab ility to build nuclear weapons if they were to make the political choice to do s o. That would involve using the legal option to withdraw from the NPT. This grou p includes 44 countries, as defined in the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. It in cludes states like Japan, Republic of Korea and Brazil.# If Iran develops a full -fledged nuclear programme, it too will have this ability. It is generally recognised that the NPT is an extremely important treaty for cur bing the proliferation of nuclear weapons technology. However it has a built-in contradiction that at least partially defeats its purpose. That is, it explicitl y encourages (in art. 4) the proliferation of nuclear technology suitable for bu ilding weapons. The measures suggested by President Bush in his February 2004 sp eech: curbing the export of the enrichment part of the nuclear cycle and agreein g to more international inspections, sound reasonable but have a fatal flaw. The y would not apply to a substantial group of industrialised states included in th e categories described above. Instead, the great majority of the signatories of the NPT would be affected. It would, in short, be another way of ensuring the co ntinuation of the nuclear weapons status quo, with no attempt to comply with the
other part of the NPT which is rarely mentioned by spokespersons of the nuclear weapons states (NWS): the obligation to strive for nuclear disarmament (art. 6) . At the same time the US government has engaged in a strategic policy shift, whic h openly declares that pre-emptive warfare is legitimate. It reserves the right to wage nuclear war against states, which threaten to arm themselves with WMD.# In so doing the ‘negative security assurances’, promises made by the nuclear weapons states in 1995 not to attack the signatories of the NPT with nuclear weapons, a re violated.# The NPT review conferences (which are held every five years) are meant to review the effectiveness of the NPT: i.e. the degree to which the signatories have adh ered to their treaty commitments. In 2000, all the states parties except France (which abstained) recommitted themselves to nuclear disarmament. In May 2005 the Review Conference failed to even agree on a final chairman’s statement. This refl ected sharp disagreements between the nuclear weapons states and many of the oth er signatories (every country in the world, except India, Israel and Pakistan. N orth Korea has withdrawn from the treaty), which agreed in 1995 to the unlimited extension of the NPT. The former (most clearly the US) were regarded as having largely ignored their disarmament commitments, while at the same time developing coalitions of the willing (like the Nuclear Suppliers Group, the Proliferation Security Initiative) to counter horizontal proliferation. Moreover, the US cont inues to develop new nuclear weapons systems and means of deploying them.# It is unfortunately logical that countries that see themselves threatened by US pre-empting policies (or by those of other nuclear weapons states) will, without proper security guarantees, strive to develop nuclear weapons, in order to dete r conventional attack. Of course, in so doing, they will be providing an excuse for others to attack them. The argument made by president Bush about the need to change the NPT is well tak en. But it is of course an attack on the article 4 right to nuclear technology. It would create a de facto oligopoly of nuclear suppliers, which would in turn g ive rise to strong opposition from existing and potential NPT signatories. Director ElBaradei of the IAEA agreed with President Bush to some degree: but he added the extremely relevant comment: "Of course, a fundamental part of the non-proliferation bargain is the commitmen t of the five nuclear States recognized under the non-proliferation treaty — Brita in, China, France, Russia and the United States — to move toward disarmament. Rece nt agreements between Russia and the United States are commendable, but they sho uld be verifiable and irreversible. A clear road map for nuclear disarmament sho uld be established — starting with a major reduction in the 30,000 nuclear warhead s still in existence, and bringing into force the long-awaited Comprehensive Nuc lear Test Ban Treaty."# He reiterated this position in his Nobel Peace price lecture (10 Dec 2005) “Third, accelerate disarmament efforts. We still have eight or nine countries who possess nuclear weapons. We still have 27 000 warheads in existence. I believe t his is 27 000 too many. A good start would be if the nuclear-weapon States reduced the strategic role gi ven to these weapons. More than 15 years after the end of the Cold War, it is in comprehensible to many that the major nuclear-weapon States operate with their a rsenals on hair-trigger alert - such that, in the case of a possible launch of a nuclear attack, their leaders could have only 30 minutes to decide whether to r etaliate, risking the devastation of entire nations in a matter of minutes. “#
That is, the lack of verifiable and irreversible steps towards nuclear disarmame nt will make a stronger non-proliferation regime within a legal framework extrem ely difficult if not impossible to achieve. The Iran crisis has also renewed interest in the concept of establishing a centr al bank for nuclear fuel supplies.# This would entail obvious political problems : who would guarantee access to such nuclear materials? However it might be acc eptable as an interim solution, provided there are also serious moves towards nu clear disarmament. ROLE OF THE IAEA The IAEA is commonly represented in the media as an inspection organ for control ling the member states of the NPT (which has been signed by every country in the world except India, Pakistan and Israel). This is partially true: the treaty im poses inspection obligations on its signatories, as a consequence of art 1 and 2 (non transference of nuclear technology for nuclear weapons.# But in fact the I AEA predates the NPT, which came into effect in 1970. The IAEA was set up in 19 57 to ascertain that fissile material for peaceful use was not diverted to milit ary programmes. “The Agency shall 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 purpose# In fact this is still its main purpose. It also has limited s cope agreements with India Pakistan and Israel, all nuclear weapon states which have not signed the NPT. In their case the IAEA mandate is simply to ascertain that part of their nuclear material is under proper safeguard. Furthermore, the IAEA has the express aim of making nuclear technology for peace ful purposes available for al the world. This ‘right of access to nuclear technolo gy ’ was reaffirmed in art 4 of the NPT.# It is this article which forms the basis of all claims by Iran and other NPT signatories that they have an inalienable r ight to full access to all nuclear technology for peaceful ends and therefore to the full nuclear fuel cycle. The IAEA # consists of the technical inspection organisation based in Vienna, wh ich is steered by a political body, the Board of Governors. This board is given its mandate by the General Conference of all (139 as of Nove mber 2005) member states, which meets annually in September. The Board generally meets five times per year - in March and June, twice in September (before and a fter the General Conference) and in December. It can also be convened for specia l meetings, such as on 3 Feb 2006 concerning Iran. It has a mandate to refer me mbers to the Security Council, on the basis of reports made by the technical sta ff. These reports, which deal with possible violations of the inspection protoco ls signed by members, are usually presented by the director, at the present time Dr. ElBaradei. In the case of Iran a number of reports have been presented from 2003 onwards which have raised a number of questions concerning Iran’s nuclear pr ogram. It is noteworthy that the Iran issue has been taken further than that of South Korea, Egypt or Brazil. All these countries have had similar questions rai sed on their nuclear programmes. Although the technical body provides the report s, based on the work of its inspectors, it is the political body- the Board - wh ich decides whether to make an issue of such a report, to put it on the agenda a nd to keep it there or refer it to the UN Security Council. These are political decisions formally made on technical grounds but in practice influenced by polit ical lobbying. This is illustrated by the recent demands made in the resolution passed by the board on 4 Feb 2006, when it called on Iran to: “- re-establish full and sustained suspension of all enrichment-related and reproc essing
activities, including research and development, to be verified by the Agency; reconsider the construction of a research reactor moderated by heavy water;” and implement transparency measures, as requested by the Director General, including in GOV/2005/67, which extend beyond the formal requirements of the Safeguards Agree ment and Additional Protocol, and include such access to individuals, documentation r elating to procurement, dual use equipment, certain military-owned workshops and research a nd development as the Agency may request in support of its ongoing investigations;”# These demands in fact contradict Art 4 of the NPT (see above). The present membership consists of 35 member states, as designated and elected by the General Conference: Member States represented on the IAEA Board for 2005-2006 are Algeria, Argentina , Australia, Brazil, Belarus, Belgium, Canada, China, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, E gypt, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Republic o f, Libya, Norway, Portugal, Russian Federation, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, S outh Africa, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Syria, United Kingdom of Great Britain and North ern Ireland, United States of America, Venezuela, and Yemen.#
THE IRANIAN NUCLEAR PROGRAMME – HISTORICAL NOTE 1960 – 1968 Birth of the Iran Nuclear Programme with Foreign Assistance Iran’s activities related to developing a nuclear programme started as early as th e 1960s, during a period when the USA was a close ally to the Iranian regime und er Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi#. It was during this period and within the “Atoms fo r Peace Approach”# that the US first offered research facilities and nuclear knowhow to Iran, in exchange for a commitment not to use it in pursuit of military o bjectives.# In July 1968, Iran signed the NPT almost simultaneously with Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Libya and Syria. Two years later, in February 1970, the Treaty was officially ratified by the majlis (Iranian parliament) and went into force.# 1970s – Cold War and Oil Crises In 1971, the British withdrew from east of Suez leaving a power vacuum in the Gu lf region, which the US at that time was unable to fill due to their commitments in Vietnam. An additional security commitment in this region was difficult. The regional powers Iran and Iraq were competing intensively to fill the gap left behind by the British. Both states, further encouraged by high oil prices in the early and mid-1970s, were seeking to buy larger scale nuclear facilities from W estern suppliers with both civilian and potential military application. The Israeli-Arab war in 1973 (the ‘Yom Kippur’ or ‘October’ war) boosted oil prices and led to an international oil crisis. The conflict as well as the crises gave ince ntives to both regional powers Iran and Iraq to further invest in the developmen t of national nuclear technologies. In 1974, the Shah established the Atomic Ene rgy Organisation of Iran (AEOI)#. In that year, also, Iran completed a ‘full-scope’ safeguards agreement with the IAEA which included a commitment to IAEA inspectio ns on “source or special fissionable material in all peaceful nuclear activities w ithin its territory, under its jurisdiction or carried out under its control any where, for the exclusive purpose of verifying that such material is not diverted to nuclear weapons or other explosive devices”#. Throughout the early and mid 1970s, Iran continued to increase investment in nuc lear research and technology and several contracts were signed with German and F rench companies. One was with the German Kraftwerk Union AG for a twin 1,300MW light-water reactor and another with the French Framatome for twin 900MW light-w ater reactors. Whilst those projects were underway, Iran signed a letter of “inten t’ to buy six French reactors and four German, which would have added up to 22 rea ctors with the capacity of generating 23.000 MW electrical power. # While such contracts meant lucrative business for Western companies, it did rais e some concerns in Washington, about possible “longer-term nuclear weapons ambitio ns”, even though Iran abided by its commitment under the NPT. # More generally, US concern about nuclear proliferation was further fuelled by India’s nuclear test i n May 1975, as well as the start of the nuclear arms race between India and Paki stan. This marked a shift in US policy, away from support for the Iranian nuclear prog ramme. The Ford Administration decided in April 1975 to retain veto rights over any Iranian decision to reprocess US-origin nuclear fuel, but also encouraged Ir an in developing a multinational reprocessing facility with US assistance.# The Carter administration continued this policy from 1977 onwards and took an ev en more reserved stand on nuclear cooperation with Iran and urged it to sign mor e comprehensive IAEA safeguards. In view of the risk of nuclear proliferation, t he US prevailed on its European allies to limit the export of nuclear fuel facil
ities to both Iran and Iraq.# It made an effort to persuade France and Germany t o stop their provision of nuclear assistance to Iran and other countries such as Pakistan, Brazil, Iraq. However, there has never been proof that the Iranian nuclear programme under the Shah was intended to develop military capacities. Even though Iranian scientist s were conducting research into technologies for fissile material production, su ch as reprocessing and laser enrichment, this effort hardly got off the ground. In fact, the Shah depended on the alliance with the US as a sufficient guarantor for Iran’s national security. In 1974 he stated: “The present world is confronted with a problem of some countries possessing nuclear weapons, so the friendship o f a country such as the United States with its arsenal of nuclear weapons … is abs olutely vital”# 1979-1989 The Post-Revolution Downscaling Period The Iranian revolution in 1979 led to a downscaling of Iran’s engagement in nuclea r research activities and investment in technology. This was not only due to man y Western trained scientists leaving the country and thus creating a kind of ‘brai n drain’ situation for the nuclear programme. The Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini himself gave a low priority to further development of the nuc lear programme, which he considered to be a “Western-driven” innovation. He was also opposed to the programme on theological grounds. And with the Iranian national debt increasing after the revolution, the nuclear programme was soon left with f ew resources. Within a few months, the newly formed Islamic Republic cancelled i ts contracts with Framatome for two new reactors, and entered into a financial d ispute with the German KWU for the construction of civil reactors in Bushehr. The development of the nuclear programme was further hampered by Western countri es becoming increasingly reluctant to cooperate with Iran. Not least because of a US campaign under the Reagan administration aimed at imposing an international embargo “on all forms of peaceful nuclear cooperation with Iran, on the ground th at Iran would misuse its nuclear technology for military purposes”#. Iran continued with activities for peaceful use of nuclear energy throughout the 1980s and decided in 1983 to renew its activities in nuclear research. Most imp ortantly, according to Iran’s later declarations to the IAEA#, it started research into uranium enrichment centrifuge technology in 1985, acquiring key design tec hnology and sample centrifuge components from the A.Q. Khan network (Pakistan) i n 1987.# However, the research activity was small-scale and hampered by many te chnical problems and failures and made little overall progress.# Although the a ctivities were not declared to the IAEA, these first steps in the nuclear progra m were a long way from anything resembling a military nuclear program.#
1990 – 2002 The Rebirth of the Nuclear Programme After the death of Iran’s Supreme Leader Khomeini in 1989 , the new leadership aro und President Rafsanjani and new Supreme Leader Khamene’i started initiatives to r evive the nuclear research and civilian programme in Iran. Instead of relying on Western imports, Iran turned to Russia and China to obtain nuclear assistance i n key areas which include uranium mining, milling and conversion#, as well as te chnology for heavy water production (heavy water is an essential component of th e reactor type which produces plutonium as a by-product. This makes it particula rly suitable as part of a nuclear weapons program) and heavy water research reac tors. Iran’s re-investment in its nuclear programme and nuclear capabilities may w ell have been fostered by revelations that Iraq had been able to conceal its own nuclear weapon programme, and also because of the growing presence of the US in the region (on perceived threats from an Iranian perspective see also chapter I
V). However, authoritative sources, Hosuch as the British IISS, take the positio n that the Iranian efforts “did not constitute the pursuit of a dedicated nuclear weapons programme”#. It was simply the beginning of a long-term effort to develop civilian technology to the point where it could be used to support a nuclear wea pons program. Meanwhile US concerns about such a potential Iranian program grew and led to an increasing number of accusations against Iran.# Many other countri es, including France, Germany and Britain, thought the American concerns were ex aggerated and driven by political hostilities between both countries and called for a more constructive approach. Iran, in order to counter such accusations, al lowed the IAEA to conduct voluntary visits to several facilities – the IAEA found no evidence of non-peaceful nuclear activities.# The election of the reformist President Mohammed Khatami in 1997 did not change Iran’s nuclear development policy, which remained under the control of the Supreme National Security Council headed by Supreme Leader Khamene’i. Whilst China had be en the most cooperative in providing Iran with nuclear technology between 1991-1 997, this support disappeared when several programmes were curtailed, mainly due to US pressure. The final blow came in 1997, when China reached an agreement wi th the USA to halt nuclear cooperation with Iran, followed by the official appro val by the US government for its own nuclear industry to export nuclear technolo gy to China. Some exports were exempted from this agreement and some assistance continued. Russia was another source of nuclear assistance for Iran, increasing in the peri od 1992-1995 when it offered to supply a full civilian fuel cycle. When the US l earned of these developments, they put pressure on Russian President Boris Yelts in to halt such assistance. This ban was not entirely followed through, though, until Putin took office and introduced a more restrictive regime. In 1995, Iran moved its research programme from AEOI headquarters in Teheran to a location in one of the suburbs: the Kalaye Electric Company (a workshop owned by AEOI). This later gave rise to suspicions that the change of location was a r eaction to IAEA inspections. When the initial research into uranium enrichment p roved successful#, Iran started the construction of centrifuge facilities in Nat anz around the year 2000 and two years later moved the centrifuge research progr amme there. The pilot plant was configured for the production of low-enriched ur anium, not weapons grader highly enriched uranium. (for further details see Cha pter III). When the existence of the Natanz facility was finally revealed on 14 August 2002 during a news conference of the Iranian exile opposition group INCRI (closely a ffiliated with the MEK, an Iraq based militant group defined as terrorist by the US State Department)#, this gave rise to serious questions about Iran’s claim tha t its program was for peaceful purposes only. This certainly provided proof of I ran’s interest in developing the technology for a complete nuclear fuel cycle. According to the safeguard agreements Iran was not required to declare the facil ities at Natanz until 180 days before material was to be introduced to the facil ity.# However, before the revelations government officials had at least given th e impression to the IAEA that they were not constructing enrichment facilities, by stating that uranium hexafloride (Chapter III) produced by the Esfahan conver sion plant, would be exported.#. Nevertheless, under the NPT Iran is entitled to this technology, provided it is subjected to IAEA safeguards to control its peaceful application. Iran explained its deception by stating that it “had no choice but to conceal their enrichment programme in order to avoid international pressure and American interdiction eff orts”#.
III. STATUS OF THE IRANIAN NUCLEAR PROGRAM Introduction As described in chapter I there is a large degree of overlap between a nuclear p rogramme for peaceful purposes and one for the production of a nuclear weapon. T his chapter will not deal with political intentions (see Chapters IV-VI), but re strict itself to a short description of the various parts of the Iranian nuclear program, as described in open sources, as well as taking a look at the other co mponents of a functional weapons programme. For each component Iran’s compliance w ith its IAEA obligations will be examined. A. The Nuclear Fuel Cycle The infrastructure required to produce nuclear energy for peaceful purposes or a nuclear weapon consists of a number of stages of production: the process is com plicated by the fact that certain products of this production cycle are separate d from the product and recycled. Many of the dual-use aspects are connected with the raw materials used and the recycling. Therefore much of the investigation o f the Iranian programme has been concerned with investigating the nature of mate rials used in the programme and the way they are used. The nuclear fuel cycles basically consists of the production of enriched uranium and/or plutonium, both of which can potentially be used to produce a bomb.# The quantities of material, which can be produced at each stage, are of decisive im portance for the possibility of making a bomb. Therefore a large part of the IAE A investigative process and rules are concerned not only with the presence or ab sence of certain key materials, but also their quantity. Conversion The uranium needed in the production process is extracted from uranium ore throu gh a process of conversion. In the first stage the ore is converted into yellowc ake. This is then converted into Uranium Hexafluoride (UF6) the basic feed for t he next stage. 2. Enrichment The feed contains two uranium isotopes, U238 and U235. Only the latter is suitab le for the programme, the problem is that the UF6 feed only contains 0.7%. This percentage has to be increased drastically. For this there are a number of enric hment processes, using different types of technology (laser enrichment, gas cent rifuge) The fissionable product of enrichment can either be used as fuel or as bomb maki ng material. The latter is only possible with a high degree (93 %) of enrichment . 3. Reprocessing A chemical process for extracting plutonium and uranium from spent nuclear fuel. Tons of fuel are needed to provide sufficient quantities of plutonium to make a bomb. 4. Fuel or bomb The enriched uranium can then be used in nuclear reactors. Certain types of reac tor will produce a by-product, plutonium, suitable for making a bomb. The Iranian program
Conversion The first stage mining and milling facilities at Saghand and Gchine will, when, operational, produce yellowcake from the uranium ore. This in turn must be conve rted to Uranium Hexafluoride. A number of experiments testing this have been ca rried out at Esfahan in a fuel manufacturing plant. This took place during part of the period of the EU3-Iran agreement (Oct 2003 – Aug 2005) and was part of the controversy between the EU3 and Iran. When in operation the plant will produce t he UF6 feed, which could be used in the Bushehr light water reactor (see below). The actual quantities produced (6 tons a month) were well below the necessary d esign capacity of Bushehr of 20 tons a month. Furthermore, it was seen as being too impure for use in the next stage of the cycle, enrichment with ultra centrif uge technology# .After the EU – Iran negotiations broke down Iran resumed convers ion activities from 16 Nov 2005. The documents from the ‘stolen laptop’ (see below u nder B) also mention design drawings for an extra uranium conversion facility fo r producing ‘green salt’ an intermediate product in the conversion process.# Compliance These processes were not in violation of the safeguards protocol that Iran had s igned. According to the update brief by the IAEA Deputy Director General for Saf eguards until 310106: “Iran has continued to facilitate access under its Safeguard s Agreement as requested by the Agency, and to act as if the Additional Protocol is in force, including by providing in a timely manner the requisite declaratio ns and access to locations.”# In the last report (GOV/2006/15 Date: 27 February 2006) the Agency stated: “53. As indicated to the Board in November 2004, and again in September 2005, all the declared nuclear material in Iran has been accounted for. Although the Agency has not see n any diversion of nuclear material to nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, the Agen cy is not at this point in time in a position to conclude that there are no undeclared nuclear materials or activities in Iran. The process of drawing such a conclusion, under normal c ircumstances, is a time consuming process even with an Additional Protocol in force. In the case of Iran, this conclusion can be expected to take even longer in light of the undeclared nature of Iran’s past nuclear programme, an d in particular because of the inadequacy of information available on its centrifuge enrichment programme, the existence of a generic document related to the fabrication of nuclear weapon com ponents, and the lack of clarification about the role of the military in Iran’s nuclear programme, inclu ding, as mentioned above, about recent information available to the Agency concerning alleged weapo n studies that could involve nuclear material.”# Enrichment This is regarded as the most significant part of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure. An enrichment plant at Natanz has been partially built. The Iranian planners have experimented with two types of enrichment but apparently settled on one, using centrifuge technology. This consists of operating thousands of ultracentrifuges set up in such a configuration that the UH6 feed is enriched in stages to the le vel required. This level is roughly 5 % for a nuclear reactor (Low Enriched Uran
ium - LEU) and 93% for a nuclear bomb (Highly Enriched Uranium - HEU). In order to produce sufficient quantities of enriched uranium the centrifuges have to be set up in a certain configuration ensuring that as little of the feed as possibl e is wasted. These ‘cascades’ can involve the use of hundreds or even thousand of ce ntrifuges. In order to allow optimum operation of this plant, a period of experi mentation is needed in a pilot project. In Natanz a pilot plant consisting of 16 4 centrifuges has been completed. The plan is to expand this to 1000 centrifuges . This would take a few years in itself. # Ultimately an industrial plant would contain 50.000 centrifuges. This would only be enough to supply one nuclear plan t with sufficient LEU, a fraction of the 350.000 centrifuges needed for the nucl ear energy program which Iran plans to develop.# The IISS study, which agrees with published intelligence agency estimates #, cal culates that a period of 2 years is required simply to make the pilot plant run efficiently. After that a variable time period would be needed to produce enough HEU for a bomb, depending on which production configuration is chosen (the numb er of centrifuges used and the feed loss rate accepted. It concludes that this p roduction stage operating 1000 centrifuges would need between 2 years/8 months t o 3 years/8 months to produce 25 kgs of HEU (sufficient for one bomb). Hence the total production time would be between 4 and 5 years, depending on the basic pr oduction assumptions. This estimate assumes the following: a political decision to produce a bomb hardly any delays in development and testing of the production facil ity No outside interference like IAEA inspections# existence of an institutionalised bomb-making programme
The estimate of the US intelligence community of 5-10 years is probably based on a more realistic appreciation of the problems the Iranian scientists and techni cians will run into.# In March 2006 ISIS provided yet another analysis, estimat ing 3-6 years, making similar assumptions to those noted above.# Compliance: According to the IAEA inspection protocol Iran had ratified it was o bliged to report the existence of the Natanz facility 180 days before it started operating. It actually acknowledged the existence of the facility on 9 Feb 2003 , after earlier publications in the Western media based on reports by an Iranian exile organisation.#. Regarding the enrichment plant Iran was therefore in comp liance. However a number of enrichment related activities over an earlier period of about 15 years were not reported. Many of the problems reported by IAEA insp ectors concern these problems. Some have been solved, others are disputed, and y et others remain unresolved. The most serious enrichment related questions conce rn the possible delivery of a more advanced type of centrifuge to Iran by the Kh an network (referred to in the IAEA reports as “intermediaries”.# Director ElBaradei stated in a recent interview quoted in the Washington Post that Iran is “not an i mminent threat,” (…)“To develop a nuclear weapon, you need a significant quantity of h ighly enriched uranium or plutonium, and no one has seen that in Iran.”# Reprocessing This involves the extraction of plutonium and uranium from spent reactor fuel. I ran has experimented with reprocessing but has no reprocessing plant. Furthermor e, the spent fuel would have to come either from the Bushehr light water reactor , which has almost been completed, or the planned Arak heavy water research reac tor. The Bushehr reactor (for the generation of electricity) has been built but not quite completed by a Russian firm under very stringent non-proliferation con ditions. These entail that the fuel for the reactor is delivered by Russia and t
hat the spent fuel is to be removed to Russia. It would be very difficult to sec retly divert the fuel #. That is, it will not be possible to use it in a reproce ssing plant, should one be built at some future date. The Arak reactor (for the production of industrial and medical isotopes#) is in the first stages of produc tion and is scheduled for completion in 2014. Compliance: According to the IAEA there has been no reprocessing beyond laborato ry level experimentation. The amounts of plutonium separated were too small to s upport a nuclear weapons programme # Diversion of nuclear materials for weaponisation As described above it would be very difficult and time-consuming for the Iranian s to build a bomb, assuming they would want to. If we follow the IISS logic then in about 4-5 years sufficient fissile material might be available for making on e nuclear device with an explosive force of 20 kilotons (the Hiroshima bomb had an explosive yield of 15 kiloton, i.e. the equivalent of 15.000 tons of TNT). Two kinds of bomb could conceivably be built: - A gun type using 60-75 kg of HEU or - An implosion type using 20-25 kg of HEU or 6-8 kg of plutonium.# There is no proof that such a bomb construction program has been initiated. Ther e was a reference by Dr. ElBaradei in November 2005# to a document made availabl e by Iran to IAEA inspectors, in which “the casting and machining of enriched, nat ural and depleted uranium into hemispherical forms” was mentioned. Mr Heinonen in his 310106 report #, added that the document “ did not include dimensions or other specifications for machined pieces for such components.” The implication is that this document was not connected to an actual building program, which is also th e position of the Iranian government. B. Delivery Systems A nuclear bomb needs a method of delivery. Conceivably it could be hidden as car go aboard some civilian means of transport or alternatively, the bomb components can be transported to the target and reassembled there. More conventionally an aircraft or missile can be used. According to IISS the Iranian armed forces depl oy around 50 Shahab III missiles with a range of 1500 kms. as well as hundreds of missiles with a more limited range. The IISS report describes the Shahab III as a liquid-fuelled ballistic missile, capable of carrying a 760-1000 kg warhead . The question is whether it would be capable of carrying a nuclear warhead (as opposed to a conventional explosive warhead) and whether such a warhead is being worked on. According to evidence presented to IAEA officials by the US intelli gence services work has indeed been done on a re-entry vehicle.# Such a vehicle is designed to protect the payload of a missile once it re-enters the atmosphere . This payload could be a satellite or conventional warhead, not necessarily a n uclear warhead.# Furthermore, development of a nuclear warhead entails the solut ion of a large number of technical problems like: warhead protection against hig h temperatures on re entry, warhead separation, warhead arming, guidance to targ et etc. Compliance: The drawings from the ‘stolen laptop’ in themselves concern re-entry veh icles, which a regular space program (satellites) or conventional warhead would also need. Formally there is no question of compliance because the IAEA mandate does not cover nuclear weapons or delivery systems, (only the diversion of nucle ar material for weapons purposes, as covered under A above). However the source of this evidence is highly suspect: it was apparently obtained by US intelligen ce from a laptop computer stolen by an Iranian citizen in 2004.#
C. Infrastructure A nuclear weapons programme, as distinct from a nuclear energy programme, requir es an integrated infrastructure to develop an operational nuclear weapon, certai nly if the aim is to create a deterrent force consisting of a nuclear command st ructure, delivery systems, and some kind of maintenance system. The programme th erefore must have an administrative structure that not only develops and build a bomb, but also cooperates closely with the military structure, which will deplo y the weapons. In short a civil-military structure in which the cooperation betw een the armed forces and the scientists and engineers is regulated needs to be c reated.# Furthermore, the policymakers must coordinate and lead the programme, t here has to be a budget and the security services would be heavily involved beca use of the obvious need for secrecy. Such a programme would be difficult to hide . None of the public reports on the Iran nuclear program suggest that there is a coordinated bomb development program. #
IV. GEOPOLITICAL CONTEXT Geographically Iran is located between Iraq and Afghanistan, stretching from the Caspian sea down to the Gulf. Iran is one of the world richest countries in nat ural oil resources, which makes the Islamic republic a crucial player in the reg ional power game where much is at stake. Historically, Iraq has been Iran’s main c ompetitor over power and influence the Gulf. However, after the last Gulf war, I raq has itself become a source of instability since its newly elected, fragile g overnment has to deal with a large scale insurgency and a continued presence on its territory of a large US-led military force. It still has to prove itself ca pable of governing and solving all the problems it inherited from the 2003 war. This makes Iran ‘the’ key player in the region, while it is at the same time under i ncreasing external pressure, making its national security a priority. Ideologically hostile to Israel but culturally “uncomfortable”# with the Arab world, it has no true ally in the region but many potential adversaries. Iran is now s urrounded by countries whose governments are sympathetic to the USA and/or host large US military forces. There are more than 130,000 US troops based in neighb ouring countries, and the weak but US-friendly government in Afghanistan also ha s a substantial US troop presence# American air and naval units are also station ed at numerous bases in the region. For example, there is a constant, large US t ask force including aircraft carriers, escorts, as well as missile launching sub marines and surface units permanently present in the Persian Gulf. Powerful US a ir units are based in several Gulf and Central Asian States#. Such a large-scale military presence by the forces of a country whose government has condemned Ira n as one of the three members of the “axis of evil” gives that country good cause fo r grave security concerns. This is all the more so given the fact that massive m ilitary force was recently used twice against Iraq, within a decade. Historicall y, the Anglo-American interference in Iran’s internal political affairs which resu lted in the 1953 coup d’etat against Iranian Prime Minister Dr. Mossadeq, provides little incentive for the current Iranian regime to trust ‘Western’ policy makers.# Iran itself has sufficient military capacity to dominate and intimidate its Gulf neighbours, making them wary and suspicious. However, it does not possess enoug h military capacity to deter such powerful adversaries as the US and Israel. All these factors explain why Iran “sees itself encircled and under threat” #. Other Perceived Threats to National Security: Turkey, Pakistan and Israel Neighbouring Turkey is a NATO member state and a military, economic and politica l competitor. On its eastern borders, Teheran is worried about radical Sunni mil itant groups who are seeking support from Pakistan, a country with nuclear milit ary capacities. But the main sources of insecurity is the immense conventional m ilitary capacity of Israel, which is also the only state in the Middle East whic h deploys nuclear weapons, with some estimated 200 nuclear warheads at its dispo sal.# Even before the recent Iranian threats directed at the existence of Israel , officials of that country often made public threats against Iran by suggesting that air strikes against its nuclear infrastructure are possible, similar to th e one undertaken in 1981 against Saddam Hussein’s Osirak reactor.# Many Iranian analysts and government officials cite Israel and the U.S. as the b iggest threat to Iran’s national security, according to a series of interviews con ducted by the ICG, reported in March 2003.# The experiences of the eight year war with Iraq from 1980 to 1988, in which Iran suffered massive casualties to heavy artillery and chemical attacks, left the country defeated and scarred. Iran was a victim of Iraq’s aggression under Saddam Hussein, while Western states continued to sell weapons and other material to Ir aq throughout the conflict.# The Iranian war effort was hampered by the tight US sanctions# and open military intervention by the US on the side of Iraq. Iran g ained little from the later crushing defeat of Iraq by the US and its allies in
1991 and 2003. Twice within a decade the US army demonstrated that it could dest roy a large field army, reminding Iran that its own conventional forces offer li ttle protection in a conventional war.# It is therefore not very surprising that Iran feels vulnerable in the absence of any effective deterrence against powerf ul opponents like the USA and Israel. It is important when looking at Iranian policies to take into account its nation al security concerns. It would be by no means surprising if Iranian politicians and military planners were keeping open the possibility of developing a nuclear military option at some point in the future, given American foreign policy. This historic and geopolitical context is relevant; the debate should not be reduced to a simple matter of the regime’s ideological inclinations. This also raises oth er important questions, concerning the double standards in the interpretation of the Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) by the nuclear weapons states and their alli es. After all, they have essentially dropped the art VI commitments to nuclear d isarmament in the treaty (for more details see Chapter I). Furthermore it can be seriously questioned whether the EU3 took on the legitimate demand of Iran for guarantees regarding its national security during the negotiations process, whic h started in 2003 and broke down in February 2006. International Interest in Iran’s Oil and Natural Gas Reserves As was outlined above, the US has for many decades had a key strategic interest in the entire Gulf region. Control over the Iranian oil and reserves# and access to them are key factors in explaining US policy on Iran. The American respons e to the nuclear programme is a part of the overall policy. A global oil crisis would have an enormous negative effect on the US economy, wh ich currently consumes some 25% of global oil production. Low oil prices are a g uarantor for the “American Way of Life”. Therefore the US (and any US administration ) is interested in keeping the oil price low. This is why securing access to lar ge oil reserves (such as in Iraq and elsewhere) and bringing it under greater co ntrol, is a key part of US foreign policy.# Nevertheless the Bush administration has at no point mentioned oil as a reason for embarking on its confrontation co urse with Iran. Just as in the case of Iraq, the overt rationale refers only to ‘weapons of mass destruction’ (WMD) as a principal justification for possible milit ary intervention. Bush stated in 2003, “We will not tolerate the construction of a nuclear weapon [by Iran].” The same justification was used in Iraq, although WMD were never found, and should raise concerns over the validity of the argument u sed in Iran. Therefore a serious analysis needs to investigate the influence of oil and wider geopolitical interests of the US and other industrialised states in the region. It is difficult to estimate exactly how much weight the oil interest carries wit hin the Bush administration’s decision-making process. But it is reasonable, espec ially after all the evidence revealed about the decision-making process leading up to the Iraqi war, to assume that many factors – and not just Iran’s nuclear progr amme and its potential use for military purposes – account for the repeated Americ an threats. Iran lies on the north side of the Persian Gulf, which means that, if it were to so choose, it is in a strategically suitable position to threaten the oil fie lds in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, and the United Arab Emirates, which together produce half of the world’s known oil reserves. Furthermore, Iran dominates the na rrow Straits of Hormuz, through which some 40 percent of the world’s oil exports a re transported daily by oil tankers.# Iran is still capable of increasing its an nual output in natural gas and oil significantly# which makes it even more impor tant as producer the coming 20 years, when global demand is expected to rise by some 50 percent. That is due to significantly higher consumption, particularly in the United States, India and China.#
China, India and Japan are becoming increasingly dependent on the import of Iran ian oil and especially its natural gas reserves.# This gives Iran extra leverage on the global energy household, which is not just important for the US. China, which has a fast developing national economy, will need a lot more natura l gas and oil in future, and is paying particular attention to Iran. In October 2003, China signed a US$100 billion 25 year contract with Sinopec (a major Chine se oil company), # to cooperate in the development of one of Iran’s major gas fiel ds and the subsequent delivery of liquid natural gas (LNG) to China. This will c onstitute a very important strategic linkage between the two countries. India is also interested in Iran as a future supplier for their increasing oil a nd natural gas demands. In January 2005, the Gas Authority of India Ltd. (GAIL) signed a 30 year contract with the National Iranian Gas Export Corp. for 7.5 mil lion tons of LNG to India per year. The deal is worth some US$ 50 billion and al so involves India in the development of natural gas fields in Iran.# Even more important are ongoing discussions with Indian and Pakistani officials on a natural gas pipeline stretching from Iran via Pakistan to India (costing US $ 3 billion). (An extraordinary step, considering the historic animosity between the two states parties). In case this project is realised, the pipeline would p rovide the two with substantial natural gas supplies and Pakistan with about US$ 200-300 million transit fees. The pipeline is considered a win-win situation fo r all the parties involved.# However, despite the pipeline’s obvious advantages (also as an incentive for recon ciliatory measures between the two nuclear powers India and Pakistan), Condoleez za Rice condemned this project during her trip to India in 2005. The Bush admin istration remained unwilling to approve of – in this case – any project which could be economically beneficial to the Islamic Republic of Iran.# But India has not s topped the realisation of the pipeline project to this day. Japan has also forged new ties with Iran. In early 2003, three Japanese companie s have bought a 20% interest in the development of the off-shore fields in the P ersian Gulf, believed to amount to 1 billion barrels of oil. Only a year later, an Iranian company awarded a US$ 1.26 billion contract to the Japanese JGC Corpo ration for the recovery of natural gas from Sroush-Nowruz and other off-shore fi elds.# All these facts explain the growing importance of Iran in the global energy mark et, but it also helps to understand the concerns of the US administration regard ing an Iranian regime which it considers ‘hostile’ towards the US. The US has two st rategic aims. First it would like to see American companies and firms benefiting from the large oil and natural gas reserves in Iran. Currently this is impossib le as long as the US continues its sanctions policy towards the Islamic Republic of Iran# and can be expected to continue as long as there is no regime change i n Iran, which is itself hostile to the US. Furthermore, the ban on US engagement in Iranian energy production and export is shifting Teheran’s focus to other nati ons. From the Bush administration’s perspective, regime change in Iran would be th e best possible solution out of this dilemma.# There is a possibility of a ‘histor ic compromise’ between the US and Iran, because of shared interests (as in Iraq). However, there are no signs of such a policy change. Even with stepped up efforts by the US, regime change fomented from the outside is not very likely. There have been few signs of unrest directed at the regime s ince the student-led protests in summer 2003. Students groups lack the level of organisation to pose a serious challenge to the regime. During the last year the re has been significant unrest in parts of Iran, but not to the degree that it e ndangers the regime. Exile opposition groups lack a widespread and popular supp ort base in Iran and high oil prices have provided a sufficient cushion for the
Iranian neo-conservative regime. As the ICG report states in 2004, “For reformists the lessons is clear: years of US pressure and containment have done little to modify the regime’s behaviour, let alone bring its downfall.”# Such conclusions are paving the way for US military attacks on Iran. There is growing evidence that the Bush administration has not only incentives b ut also plans in place for potential air strikes against Iranian nuclear sites. Seymor Hersh, a distinguished investigative US journalist, revealed such intenti ons first in the “New Yorker” in January 2005. Interviewed by “Der Spiegel” in April 200 5 #, he said that the ‘hawks’ in the Bush administration are convinced that the EU3 talks with Iran will fail and then such plans will be realised. “Wir reden hier ni cht ueber irgendwelche Positionspapiere des Nationalen Sicherheitsrats. Ueber di ese Huerden sind wir laengst hinweg. Es geht nicht mehr darum ob sie [Bush admin istration, sic.] irgend etwas gegen Iran unternehmen. Sie werden es tun.” (Hersh, quoted in Der Spiegel, April 2005). Other American officials# made statements that Washington would like to see Iran referred to the UN Security Council with the aim of having a resolution passes that would oblige Iran to allow “unlimited” IAEA inspections to all its nuclear as well as military sites without previous notice. Such an outcome would almost cer tainly be rejected by Iran on the grounds that it would constitute an attack on its national sovereignty. However, it would provide the US with sufficient legi timacy - with or without the UN’s approval - to pursue its military plans against Iran.# The government of Iran is well aware of such intentions and certainly does not u nderestimate the threats emanating from the current US administration. Teheran f or its part is taking steps to counter any possible attack by the US. It is thre atening to close the Straits of Hormuz and to obstruct oil shipping in the area. “An attack on Iran will be tantamount to endangering Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and, i n a word, the entire Middle East oil”, Iranian Expediency Council secretary Mohsen Rezai said on 1 March 2005.# Iran and the Arab States – The View from the Neighbours The Arab States of the Persian Gulf have a long history of foreign forces influe ncing their regional power balance. As mentioned above, there is a powerful US m ilitary presence in the region. There is also Israel with its own military capac ity including nuclear weapons.# A nuclear armed Iran would change the regional p ower balance and Arab states have several choices in reacting to such a new situ ation, if it arises. They could assume Iran poses no threat to their national s ecurity and regard it as a counter-balance to Israel, or they could try to ‘seek s helter’ under the nuclear umbrella of another nuclear power. Alternatively they co uld themselves seek nuclear arms or attempt to create a nuclear weapons free zon e in the Middle East. An important consideration is that the Sunni governments o f the neighbouring states very much fear increased influence by the Iranian Shii te government, especially if this is further strengthened by an Iraqi administra tion heavily influenced by Shiite forces. Hence the recent militant language used by the Iranian president#, even if direc ted at Israel, has a destabilising effect in the region. When a head of state ma kes such statements, there is always a degree of uncertainty regarding the polit ical aims of the state concerned (and the way the other state will react) . They are in and of themselves a dangerously polarising factor. Gulf Cooperation Council - GCC In 1981 the Gulf Cooperation Council# (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Uni ted Arab Emirates and Oman) was formed as a means of self-protection against Ira n and Iraq. Although protection from attack might have been the impetus, GCC lea
ders have used the organisation primarily as a sounding board for regional secur ity issues and cooperation on economic policy. Along with many other regional st ates (Egypt, Iran, Iraq, and Israel) the members started actively expanding thei r armed forces during the 1980s. However, when Iraq invaded Kuwait, the concept of self-protection was shattered. The invasion was accompanied by a large-scale increase of the US military presence in the region. For a while the governments sought only the protection of the US for their oil fields, their regimes and aga inst hegemonic threats made by Iran and Iraq. # However, 15 years after Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, the GCC states are showing a pr eference to return to the former - for them more comfortable - policy of power b alance, at the same time keeping the US distant and developing a de facto partne rship with Iran. Hence GCC states have welcomed all signs of moderation in Iran. During the GCC summit in December 2005, the leaders of the member states called for a ‘nuclear weapon free zone’ (NWFZ) in the Middle East. The summit called also o n “Israel to adhere to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and to open all its nu clear installations for international inspection.”# The call for a nuclear weapon free Middle East is in principle supported by the GCC member states, as it is by consistent majorities of the United Nations General Assembly. Numerous resoluti ons calling for such a NWFZ have been passed by the GA during the last few years .# Such an NWFZ would fit into a logical process in which such zones cover an incre asing part of the world.# In the Middle East there is the specific problem of th e Israeli nuclear weapons. Israel’s official position accepts that such a NWFZ is a legitimate aim, but holds it to be impossible until all regional security issu es are solved. The question is whether a ‘road map’ towards a nuclear weapons free M iddle East can include Israel and still be achieved. On the other hand, an NWFZ without Israel would not have great legitimacy. At best it might be possible to engage into intermediate steps towards such a zone, possibly involving part of the states in the region. #
V. DECISION MAKING ON MATTERS OF NATIONAL SECURITY IN IRAN As the diagrams in annex IV of the appendix indicate, the power structure of Ir an is very fragmented and complex. This lack of transparency is even more appare nt in the case of national security policy, because of its secret nature# Rega rding a potential nuclear weapons programme, both the formal and informal power structures are relevant. Formal military power structure The most influential person with regard to the formal decisions about national s ecurity is Ali Khamenei. He is supreme commander of the armed forces, can decide to declare war or peace, is responsible for the general policy direction of the republic and appoints the key military figures of the country #. Execution of t he national security policy of Iran is officially centred in the national securi ty council, which has the following functions: “ 1.To determine the national defence/security policies within the framework of general policies laid down by the Leader. To coordinate political, intelligence, social, cultural and economic activit ies in relation to general defence/security policies. To exploit material and non-material resources of the country for facing int ernal and external threats. “ It has the following membership: “ Heads of the three Powers (Executive, Legislative and Judiciary) Chief of the Supreme Command Council of the Armed Forces (SCCAF) The official in charge of the Plan an Budget Organization (PBO) Two representatives nominated by the Leader Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of the Interior, and Minister of Infor mation (Intelligence) A minister concerned with the subject, and the highest authorities of the Ar my and the Islamic Revolution s Guards Corps (IRGC). “# The secretary of the council functions as the public spokesperson and as chief n egotiator in international disputes. Ahmadinejad decided to appoint Ali Larijani to this post, supported by Khamenei and considered a hardliner. His policy deci sions especially need to be approved by the heads of the three powers and the su preme leader. Both the Revolutionary Guards and the regular army possess missile s and aircraft that could potentially be used as a delivery system for nuclear w eapons (although there might be considerable problems with the development of ef fective delivery systems, see chapter III). The Revolutionary Guards have gained influence in Iran in the past years, both politically (highlighted by the elect
ion of Ahmadinejad, a former Revolutionary Guard, as president) and militarily. The Revolutionary Guard leadership is among the most radical in the Iranian powe r structure #. Both the regular army and the Guard are led by Khamenei appointe es. Another official institution which must not be underestimated with regard to national security policy, is the Expediency Council, headed by Ali Rafsanjani. Khamenei upgraded the role of the Expediency Council after the victory of Ahmadi nejad in 2005. Finally, the Majlis has the power to disapprove the defence budge t, although it most likely lacks specific knowledge about the allocation of fund s for military purposes. Informal power structure The military part of a possible nuclear weapons programme is the most transparen t. Iran uses its missile capability as a deterrent against aggression from other states, a policy that has the consent of the entire formal political spectrum ( including the reformists)#. The aim of deterrence needs a degree of openness abo ut weapon programs, of course without releasing too much specific information. A s discussed earlier, the nuclear programme, either civilian or military, benefit s from secrecy, especially in view of the tight American sanctions regime. This means decision-making regarding acquisition of technology is not dealt with in t he National Security Council, with its constantly changing membership #. There e xists a clandestine and semi-clandestine network ranging from Europe to China, e ngaged in the provision of potential nuclear material to Iran. Although the iden tities of some of the non-Iranian players in this network have been revealed rec ently#, the directing forces in the Iranian regime remain unclear. One can make educated guesses about those forces, by looking for accumulations o f resources and power which are relatively independent from the official state institutions. Such an inquiry points at two persons: Rafsanjani and Khamenei. Ra fsanjani is known to be one of the richest men in Iran and has been linked to pa ramilitary forces several times, most notably by dissident journalist Akbar Ganj i #. Khamenei directly controls several Islamic foundations that collect the dif ferent religious taxes. This provides them with a huge amount of money. He also controls a network of representatives throughout Iranian society that is relativ ely unaccountable to public scrutiny#. Even before the death of Khomeini both me n were seen as the most important Iranian leaders, in a period that the Iranian nuclear programme was expanded#. While both leaders supposedly have the final say in the nuclear programme and any decision to stop it, there might be a few i nsiders with more military expertise who advise them. Among them would be Revolu tionary Guards commander Reza’i and perhaps long-time secretary of the National Se curity Council Rowhani and the new NSC secretary, Ali Larijani #
VI. THE CRISIS NEGOTIATIONS The 2002 revelations The initiating event in the series of developments leading to the current crisis was the public revelation of the Natanz enrichment facility and Iranian acknowl edgement of this facility. The enrichment stage of the nuclear fuel cycle is of particular importance because of the technological difficulties that must be sur
mounted in order to set up a working plant and the long period required to produ ce sufficient enriched uranium to either make a bomb or run a nuclear reactor. The Iranian government acknowledged the proof of the existence of the facility o n 9 Feb 2003 and this was confirmed by an IAEA visit to this location and other s in the course of that year. The report to the June Board meeting stated that I ran had failed to meet its obligations under its Safeguards agreement and a stat ement was issued expressing concern.# The Iranian acknowledgment set into motion a train of events, which can best be understood in the context of the international events described in chapter IV. Of primary importance was the US-UK led coalition war against Iraq in the spring of 2003 on the grounds that it possessed weapons of mass destruction. This was further legitimised in the US and UK by a fictional relationship between the Ira qi government and the 11/09 terrorist strikes against the US. There were no WMD and it was subsequently proven that the evidence had been largely invented, exag gerated or taken out of context.# Other motives had led to the attack.# The most immediate consequence for Iran was that one enemy (with which it had waged an e ight-year war) was now removed from the scene but replaced by another, potential ly far more powerful one: the US forces in the surrounding countries and at sea in Iranian offshore waters. (see Ch IV). In the same period, driven by fears of WMD attacks on western targets, there wer e substantial developments regarding counter proliferation policy primarily driv en by a US- led alliance of mostly industrialised nations, as described in Ch IV . Some of those developments were the consequence of the EU counter-proliferatio n policy decided on in the autumn of 2003#. This reflected a shift in the direct ion of US policy and is a key to understanding the EU stance on Iran’s nuclear pro gramme. EU-Iran Negotiations The US-led coalition’s intervention war in Iraq in 2003 created a rift in the dipl omatic relations between an important part of the EU (“Old Europe”) and the US. Howe ver, in the course of 2003 closer US—European cooperation was restored on the issu e of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. This included an Iran pol icy based on the following elements: Iran had to engage in a transparent and trust-building process; Iran had to be in full compliance with the IAEA conditions and to sign the a dditional protocol Iran was to be referred to the UN Security Council if it failed to suspend i ts uranium enrichment activities, unless IAEA inspections proved peaceful use According to Lawrence Wilkerson, the former chief of staff to General Powell, th e neo-conservatives faction in the US government successfully blocked direct neg otiations with Teheran on its nuclear programme in May 2003.# Instead, that yea r the so-called EU-3 (France, United Kingdom and Germany – the first two are thems elves nuclear weapons states) engaged in negotiations with Iran. The aim was to find alternative solutions to direct confrontation. On 21 October 2003, the I slamic Republic of Iran represented by Dr Hassan Rowhani, Secretary of the Supre me National Security Council of Iran. and the EU 3 Foreign Ministers announced t hat they would “settle outstanding IAEA issues with regard to the Iranian nuclear programme”# on the basis of the following points: That Iran (our summary and italics): affirms its nuclear programme is intended for peaceful usage only.
agrees to additional ( to the regular IAEA inspections). and voluntary insp ections of its nuclear sites by the IAEA. agrees to sign the Additional Protocol and – until its ratification by the Par liament – will start cooperation with IAEA. even though it has the right to access to all nuclear technology for peacefu l purposes under the NPT, Iran decided voluntarily to suspend its uranium enrich ment programme and reprocessing activities until the end of the negotiations. The phrase which caused severe tension during the negotiations concerned Iran’s co mmitment to voluntary suspend its “uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities” ( 4th point). The EU 3 insisted on a broader definition of all “enrichment related a ctivities”, as called for in the September 2003 IAEA board resolution# and this ne arly led to a break-down of the talks in summer 2004. In the end compromises wer e sought by referring definitions (of uranium enrichment activities) to the IAEA . In return for Iran’s suspension of enrichment activities the EU 3 stated (our summ ary and italics): that they would recognize the right of Iran to enjoy peaceful usage of the n uclear energy in accordance with the NPT. that the Additional Protocol was in no way intended to undermine sovereignty , national dignity or national security of States Parties. that the full implementation of Iran’s decision, confirmed by the IAEA Directo r-General, should “enable the immediate situation to be resolved by the IAEA board” that they believe that this will open the way to a dialogue for longer-term cooperation, which will provide all parties with satisfactory assurances relatin g to Iran’s nuclear power generation programme. Once international concerns, inclu ding those of the three governments are fully resolved, Iran could expect easier access to modern technology and supplies in a range of areas. co-operate with Iran to promote security and stability in the region, includ ing the establishment of a zone free from weapons of mass destruction in the M iddle East in accordance with the objectives of the United Nations.# The EU 3 made it clear, that for them “satisfactory assurances” referred to the per manent suspension of uranium enrichment activities. On 23 October 2003, Iran took the first step to implement the agreement and made a “full disclosure” of previous unaccounted nuclear activities to the IAEA. It also declared its centrifuge experiments at Kalaye Electric from 1998-2002 (see also chapter 2) and other laser enrichment and reprocessing experiments. On November 10th, Iran declared that it was suspending all enrichment processing activities , in particular at the site of Natanz.# In Dec 2003 Iran signed the additional p rotocol. The Teheran agreement unravelled to a certain extent in the course of 2004, when disagreement arose on the extent of the enrichment activities which had to be s uspended. After further intensive negotiations, in which the EU3 were now (apparently for the first time) joined by the High Representative for the European Union Common Foreign and Security Policy, Javier Solana, the Paris Agreement was signed on 1 5 Nov 2004#. Under this Iran ceased all enrichment activities while further nego
tiations took place between the EU3 and Iran to reach a “mutually acceptable agree ment on long-term arrangements.” In the meantime IAEA inspections under the additi onal protocol voluntarily accepted by Iran, continued. The EU - Shifting Policy In March 2005 there was apparently a shift in the EU3 position. The sequence of events seems to indicate that new revelations connected to the investigations o f the Khan nuclear proliferation network (perhaps based on Malaysian sources# ) regarding deliveries of nuclear technology to Iran may have played a role in thi s change. In any case the US and EU3+ positions appear to have been aligned more closely, probably in line with agreements reached during President Bush’s visit t o Europe in February 2005. This co-ordination of positions can be summarised as offering marginal economic concessions to Iran (WTO membership and some provisional trading concessions) ac companied by increased pressure. The media in the Netherlands emphasised the clo ser co-ordination of the EU3+ with the US without closely examining the position that was being agreed on. Iran, for its part, offered to allow increased scrutiny of its enrichment instal lations i.e. inspections over and above those mandated by the additional protoco l which it had already signed in 2003.# The change in the European negotiating stance was described in three articles in the New York Times/International Herald Tribune and Die Tageszeitung (Germany) . The article in the IHT of 12 March 2005 described this change as follows (ital ics ours): "Iran s senior negotiator, Hassan Rowhani, said at a news conference in Tehran l ast weekend that the country would never agree to a permanent cessation of enric hment. But the senior American official involved in the administration s negotia tions with Europe said that, after some heated internal debate, "the Europeans a re now with us in the view that we could never monitor their enrichment activity reliably enough” to ensure that Iran was not producing bomb-grade uranium. Some European diplomats have argued that point in recent weeks, saying that Iran could not be prohibited from enrichment while other signers of the treaty were permitted to produce nuclear fuel. But the American official insisted, "that arg ument is now over." Some officials in the Bush administration have said they bel ieve that Iran would not agree to give up enrichment, no matter what incentives Bush offered. They see the president s decision to dangle what amount to modest American econo mic incentives as part of an effort to speed along the negotiating process so th at Iran s intentions become clear. At that point, in the view of hawks on the issue inside the White House and the Pentagon, the Europeans would be bound to take the issue to the Security Council . These officials would only speak anonymously because such delicate negotiation s hang in the balance." The anonymous US negotiator is therefore telling us that the Europeans left thei r former position, which would have allowed Iran to maintain its enrichment prog ramme, as is also allowed by the Non-Proliferation Treaty. There was therefore a possible area of agreement with Iran’s position, which insists on the right of a ccess to the enrichment process as guaranteed by the NPT. A possible compromise would then have allowed this under strict international controls, so as to guara ntee that the enrichment process was not used to manufacture bomb-grade enriched uranium#. The information from the US source, that the EU3+ had abandoned this position, i
s similar to that given to Andreas Zumach, the UN Geneva correspondent of the Ge rman daily Die Tageszeitung (12032005), under the header: “EU shift to US position – In the battle for the Iranian nuclear programme, the EU negotiating trio have g iven up some crucial positions. “ (see full article in ANNEX III, p. 38) Zumach writes (our translation of the last paragraph): “In the context of this ra pprochement the EU has given up two crucial positions, as was noted ‘with much sa tisfaction’ by US diplomats. The EU no longer supports the position that the perm anent cessation of uranium enrichment should not just be selectively applied to Iran, but also to other signatories of the Non-Proliferation Treaty that practis e this (like Brazil, South Africa and South Korea). Furthermore, the EU has taken up the Washington position according to which the inspections instrument allowed for in the framework of the Non-Proliferation Tre aty, ‘cannot definitely ensure’ that Iran would not misuse its uranium enrichment fo r military purposes.” Iran is being treated as a separate case and not together with countries that ar e in a similar position. This is therefore a step designed to isolate Iran (from the other NPT treaty signatories). Furthermore, the inability to monitor an enr ichment program with a military purpose as quoted in the IHT (above), is confirm ed (the source is possibly the same). In the New York Times of 150305# there is further confirmation of the non-compro mising US position, as illustrated in statements by president Bush. National Sec urity Advisor Hadley again confirms the shift in the EU 3 + negotiating position . (…….) "In what amounts to a reinterpretation of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, Mr. Bush now argues that there is a new class of nations that simply cannot be trusted with the technology to produce nuclear material even if the treaty itsel f makes no such distinction. “(see both articles on p. 38, ANNEX III) Given that this was now the EU position, this meant that finding common ground w ith the Iranian negotiators was now virtually impossible. The Iranians had made various offers that allowed extra inspections of their enrichment facilities, or foreign involvement in running them. They had also signed and applied the addit ional protocol and agreed to inspections over and above the protocol. These took place during the period 2004 - Feb 2006. There was however no public response b y the EU3 to Iran’s offer. This became clear when the EU made a counteroffer in Au gust 2005 which would have allowed the supply of enriched fuel from a source out side Iran, but prohibit the enrichment part of the fuel cycle.# This was regarded as unacceptable by Tehran’s negotiators. The talks broke down at the beginning of August when Iran announced the resumption of the pre-enrichmen t production stage; i.e. the conversion of uranium hexafluoride (Ch III). From t hen onwards EU efforts were directed at gaining broad acceptance in the IAEA Boa rd of Governors for a referral of Iran to the UN Security Council. In September Iran offered another compromise: the involvement of foreign countries in joint v entures running the enrichment facilities in Iran.# IAEA Developments The EU Iran negotiations took place parallel to the inspections process. Formall y these were separate processes. The IAEA inspectors did their work in Iran, an d reported on their progress to Director ElBaradei, who presented reports to the
IAEA Board of Governors, the political oversight body (see Ch I). There were a number of persistent problems concerning the degree of cooperation being given t o the inspectors by the Iranian officials. These concerned the following categor ies of information and cooperation: missing documentation on deliveries of nuclear technology traces of unexplained uranium at some locations access to certain installations. The Director made a number of reports in 2004-2005# and reported progress in so me areas, but a lack of it in others. There was some indication of wilful obstru ction from the Iranian side, or at least a minimum of cooperation. The Iranian g overnment disagreed with the allegations and replied in detail#. The reporting p rocess under the protocol commitments made by the Iranians were however very int rusive and went further than those demanded from other countries. There were sim ilar problems with compliance issues by Egypt, South Korea, Taiwan and Brazil, w hich did not become politicised. That only happened to Iran, essentially because of the interaction with the parallel EU-Iran negotiations, which resulted in st alemate and the ultimate breakdown of negotiations. The final offer made to Iran by the EU3 in August 2005 did not meet the minimum Iranian demands and concerns and its newly elected government decided to step ou t of the negotiations and resume enrichment related activities. This development was then brought into the IAEA Governing Board and resulted in a resolution tab led by the EU3 demanding that Iran cease the activities #. Iran took the positi on that commitments made in the EU3 negotiations concerning a freeze on enrichme nt activities (see above) were conditional on the success of these negotiations. When they failed there was in their view no obligation to continue the freeze. According to that reasoning Iran was perfectly within its right to resume the en richment process (or preparations for it). Iran’s position hardened further as became clear when, in August, it appointed a new chief nuclear negotiator to the IAEA. This was followed by a technical repor t by the director to the IAEA Board on September 2 #, which set the stage for th e passing of a controversial resolution at the Board meeting on September 24#. A clause in this resolution refers to “Iran s many failures and breaches of its obl igations to comply with its safeguards agreement ”, which was interpreted as makin g referral of the Iran case to the UN Security Council possible. Only Venezuela opposed the resolution, which was passed in an unusual vote by the Board (such d ecisions were usually taken by consensus). Russia, China and members of the NonAligned Movement abstained. India surprisingly voted for the resolution. The abstentions of Russia and China and the Indian vote had far-reaching politic al consequences. Russia and China have long been regarded as supporters of Iran, which implied that they would oppose any attempt to refer Iran’s case to the UN S ecurity Council. After all, such a referral logically sets the stage for a repea t of the American ‘diplomacy’ used in the run-up to the Iraqi war. That is to say, a veto in the Security Council by either Russia or China would clear the way for a unilateral US policy, assuming that such vetoes will in fact be wielded. Abste ntions instead of no-votes at the Board as well as developments elsewhere sugges t that the Russian and perhaps the Chinese position may have changed. The Russian Offer By early November, a definitive referral to the Security Council by a decision o f the Board meeting on November 24 was expected. However, two weeks before that date, Russia introduced a so-called compromise proposal that entailed Iranian in vestment in an enrichment facility in Russia, which would then provide fuel to b e exported to Iran while still permitting uranium conversion to take place in th
e country#. In fact this was a variant of the EU3 proposal: it differed by allowing conversi on (the stage before enrichment – see Ch. III) within Iran and taking enrichment o ut while directly involving Russia. This was a political ploy, perhaps based on a behind the scenes agreement made in the preceding weeks through the shuttle diplomacy of US foreign minister Condoleezza Rice. The plan was apparently to ex tract the same concessions from Iran, but now through the good offices of Russia , which has for many years invested in the construction of the Bushehr nuclear r eactor (see Ch III) and therefore has a vested interest in Iran s nuclear progra m. The official Iranian reaction to the new proposal seemed negative# , which wa s logical since the compromise could only have been regarded as capitulation by the Iranians who have insisted on full nuclear sovereignty on a number of recent occasions. However, other Iranian voices# have used carefully ambivalent langua ge about the proposal. These manoeuvres took place as new information on the Iranian nuclear programme, from US-sourced documents purportedly providing further proof of Iranian bomb-m aking plans, was published on November 12. These documents, which had been shown to IAEA officials in the summer, included technical drawings for what was repor ted to be a nuclear warhead. However, later reports corrected this: the drawing s were of a re-entry vehicle. In any case the source of the documents was suspec t: the Americans provided them and refused to explain their origin. A new IAEA report on Iran presented by Dr. ElBaradei on November 18#, failed to ease doubts about the nuclear programme. But on November 20, just days before th e conference, EU diplomats let it be known that there would be no referral and t he next day offered to resume the talks with Iran, which had stopped in August. This guarded reaction was sufficient to stop the Iran issue being put on the age nda of the IAEA Board meeting later that month. By November 27, EU foreign minis ters had agreed to renew the talks with Iran. New Year Confrontation The Russian deal was now agreed on by the key Western protagonists and yet anoth er EU –Iran round of talks was held on 26 January in London. Essentially both side s restated their positions: Iran refused to suspend its enrichment activities.# The Iranian internal pressure also played a role in this. There had been voices in the Majlis calling for a complete withdrawal from the NPT. They argued that t oo much had already been given away by the Iranian negotiators: the Iranian nucl ear program had effectively been stopped for two years while negotiations took p lace. Under this internal pressure Iran declared that it was removing the seals on som e of the enrichment plant apparatus in order to restart experiments with the enr ichment process. In reaction the five permanent members of the Security Council, Germany and an EU representative came together informally on 30 January in Lond on and agreed to call for an emergency Board meeting, which did in fact take pla ce on 3 February.# Just before the London meeting an Iranian delegation offered a new deal, which according to an article in the Asia Times#, included an offer to resume suspension. The offer was apparently rejected and the nuclear weapons states decided that evening to up the ante through the special Board meeting on 3 February. At that meeting Olli Heinonen, the deputy chief of the IAEA presented an interim report which stated the following: "Iran has continued to facilitate access un der its safeguard agreement as requested by the agency, and to act as if the Add itional Protocol is in force, including by providing in a timely manner the requ isite declarations and access to locations." This report # also listed a number of problems related to the nuclear program which the IAEA wanted resolved. This concerned
“…. information that had been made available to the Agency about alleged undeclared studies, known as the Green Salt Project, concerning the conversion of uranium d ioxide into UF4 (“green salt”), as well as tests related to high explosives and the design of a missile re-entry vehicle, all of which could have a military nuclear dimension and which appear to have administrative interconnections. On 16 Decem ber 2005, Iran replied that the “issues related to baseless allegations.” The Intern ational Herald Tribune reported #that the information referred to was based on u nknown US intelligence sources. At the IAEA meeting a resolution was passed on 4 February calling on Iran to ce ase its enrichment activities and announcing the decision to implement the earli er Board resolution to “report” Iran to the Security Council.# It stated the followi ng: “ (……) 5. Calls on Iran to understand that there is a lack of confidence in Iran’s intent ions in seeking to develop a fissile material production capability against the background of Iran s record on safeguards as recorded in previous Resolutions, and outstanding issues; and to reconsider i ts position in relation to confidence-building measures, which are voluntary, and non legally binding, and to adopt a constructive approach in relation to negotiations that can result in increased c onfidence; 6. Requests Iran to extend full and prompt cooperation to the Agency, which the Director General deems indispensable and overdue, and in particular to help the Agency clarify po ssible activities which could have a military nuclear dimension; 7. Underlines that the Agency’s work on verifying Iran’s declarations is ongoing and requests the Director General to continue with his efforts to implement the Agency s Safeguar ds Agreement with Iran, to implement the Additional Protocol to that Agreement pending its entry i nto force, with a view to providing credible assurances regarding the absence of undeclared nuclear mat erial and activities in Iran, and to pursue additional transparency measures required for the Agency to be able to resolve outstanding issues and reconstruct the history and nature of all aspects of Iran s past nuclear activities; 8. Requests the Director General to report on the implementation of this and pre vious resolutions to the next regular session of the Board, for its consideration, and immediately thereafter to convey, together with any Resolution from the March Board, that report to the Security C ouncil; and 9. Decides to remain seized of the matter.” Iran responded with another detailed Note Verbale# and took further steps to re start enrichment work at Natanz. A planned meeting with Russian negotiators to d iscuss the offer to displace the enrichment activities to Russia was delayed but later put on the agenda again. Interestingly, Russia confirmed that it would ac tually honour its agreement to deliver surface to air missiles to Iran.# Economic threats In the meantime, the pressure on Iran had been further increased. On 23 January the biggest EU bank, UBS, cut off all business with Iran.# They were followed by two major Swiss banks but no Dutch banks#. Iran countered by pulling out its fo reign reserves from some Italian banks.# and attempting to convince OPEC to redu
ce oil output and thus increase prices # The US President’s State of the Union speech called for reduced dependency on oil imports from the Middle East. On 15 February the US Congress decided to allot 75 million dollar for the promotion of democracy in Iran. These developments may have played a role in the decisions by oil groups to drop investment plans in Iran. #These investments were closely linked to the buildin g of gas liquefaction plans and would seriously undermine an Iranian-Chinese con tract for the delivery of natural gas, as well as the vital modernisation of the Iranian oil industry. An essential economic point is that Iran has very little refining capacity and is therefore dependent on imports of petrol and jet fuel. # Manoeuvres at the Security Council When the Russian plan - involving the transfer of the Iranian enrichment activit ies to Russia - failed, the door was opened for the report to the Security Counc il and the possible escalation that could result from that step. However, the us e of the term ‘report’ (see the resolution text ) was intriguing, since the usual pr ocedure would have been to ‘refer’ the matter to the Security Council. However further manoeuvres were undertaken almost immediately after the IAEA Boa rd resolution on 4 February by the UK and US, who negotiated for weeks with the other nuclear weapon states and Germany on the text of a presidential statement (ultimately adopted unanimously by the Security Council.). The key legal point i s the separation of the IAEA inspection protocol commitments on the one hand an d the enrichment activities on the other. By concentrating on the demand for cea sing enrichment - which is perfectly legal under NPT commitments - further IAEA involvement is being cut out#. This effectively undermines the plan by IAEA dir ector general AlBaradei, who wanted the Security Council to give the IAEA more responsibility for finding a solution#. Instead a choice has been made for an e scalation trajectory, which could end in one or more Security Council resolutio ns demanding compliance. A note, addressed to French, German and US diplomats, suggested precisely this p rocedure. It was written by the leading UK diplomat Sawers on 16 March, and leak ed to The Times in London, which published it on 22 March. In it he suggests th at the P5 (the Security Council nuclear weapons states) should make a final offe r to Iran, i.e. the US would have to be involved as well. On refusal, a resoluti on could be introduced into the Security Council in May. The Financial Times rep ort on this (22 March) suggested that the diplomatic note was leaked to The Time s by the US, which did not want any such direct involvement. In any case, no Sec urity Council meeting to discuss the matter proved possible on the 21 March. A c ompromise by Russia along the lines of those suggested by a number of experts (s ee elsewhere in this paper) was rejected as quickly as it was put on the table. Both Russia and China disagreed with the US-UK draft statement. Instead, they wa nted further IAEA involvement. By this time any serious EU involvement had stopp ed. UK and France were essentially acting as nuclear weapons states supported by Germany and no longer reflected any kind of moderating EU influence. On 29 Apri l the permanent members agreed on the text of a chairman’s statement.# This did not refer to further reaching measures – Russia and China had blocked tha t - but it was a first step in that direction, since director general AlBaradei was required to report back to the Security Council in thirty days (for full tex t see appendix). Other pressures (such as the economic ones sketched above) no doubt played a rol e in the background. Iran continued the process of preparing its pilot plant in Natanz for enrichment activities, but by 24 March had not started running the sy stem. A possible deal? On 25 March another important development was reported in the media. The Iranian supreme leader, Khameini, acquiesced with a US proposal to talk about the situa tion in Iraq, despite open opposition by Mr. Larijani, the secretary of the Supr
eme National Security Council. This meant in effect that a quid pro quo solution is being explored. The US has a very great political problem in Iraq and because Iran has considerable influen ce there, it can either help or hinder the US position. Such help would quite li kely involve concessions by the US on the nuclear issue. In effect a deal is bei ng offered which may well be accepted by the political elites of both sides, des pite strong forces still working for escalation. It should become clear in the c oming months which faction is the most influential in Washington D.C. VII. POLITICAL CHOICES – THE ACTORS This paper has explored the question of the Iranian nuclear program and the inte rnational political context within which it is being dealt with. The Nuclear Program Capabilities The conclusion regarding the program on the basis of public information is as fo llows: There is no proof of an Iranian nuclear weapons program. There are a number of unresolved problems mostly related to experimental wor k on parts of the nuclear cycle, many on issues or events which took place 10 or more years ago. Part of the nuclear cycle were developed in secret, possibly be cause sanctions on the delivery of nuclear technology made disclosure difficult without compromising the otherwise legal programme There are indications that the possibility of developing a nuclear weapons o ption has been looked at. However, these indications do not constitute proof of an actual military nuclear programme. Furthermore the evidence for this is sketc hy and comes from unreliable sources. Even if Iran has the aim of producing a nuclear weapon, it cannot do so in a period less than three and more probably five to ten years Intentions The Iranian government has a number of legitimate security concerns as a consequ ence of its geopolitical position in the Middle East and its possession of one o f the largest oil reserves in the world. There are a number of potential threats for Iran in the region. These include not only the US and Israel, but also othe r possible rivals like Saudi Arabia, India and Pakistan, as well as Russia and T urkey. Except for Saudi Arabia and Turkey these countries all have nuclear strik e forces. The Turkish air fore does in fact have a NATO tasked nuclear strike fo rce armed with US nuclear bombs. In view of the most recent wars along its borde rs (Afghanistan and Iraq) Iran has a clear rationale in the long term for pursui ng nuclear arms, if its security is not guaranteed in some other way. . The Actors A. International Organisations The following international organisations have been playing a role in the Irania n nuclear crisis, or are about to play one: IAEA- International Atomic Energy Agency (see Chapter I) As explained in Ch I this body has the task of ensuring that no nuclear material s are diverted to military nuclear use. The inspectors in a particular country d o their work in accordance with the applicable safeguards protocol. In Iran the additional protocol, allowing extra inspections, was applied from 2003 – Feb 2006
as an extra confidence building measure by Iran. This was done in the context of the negotiations with the EU3+, although formally not connected to those negoti ations. The work of the inspectors has been reported through the director, Dr. E lBaradei, to the Board of Governors. This is the political steering committee th at in effect oversees the technical inspection work and can decide on the basis of the reports to turn an issue over to the Security Council. Through the passin g of a number of resolutions the Iran case is about to be ‘reported’ to the Security Council. The use of the term ‘reported’ may be significant: the IAEA statutes use the term ‘refer’ in this context. 35 countries have seats on the Board, including all the nuclear weapons states a nd the Netherlands. On the Iran issue it is likely that all policy is settled at EU level in Brussels i.e. the Netherlands representative in Vienna carries out that mandate. EU - European Union The EU in turn has given three EU states (UK, France and Germany) the mandate to undertake special negotiations with Iran, accompanied by the special EU represe ntative for Foreign Affairs Solana. It is unclear at what juncture this mandate was settled on. It is possible a consequence of the EU non-proliferation policie s agreed on at the EU summit in December 2003. EU Iran policy is a regular agend a item at meetings of the Council of Ministers. The EU3 position is that Iran mu st give up the enrichment part of the nuclear cycle (see Ch VI). Its Aug 2005 of fer included guarantees to Iran to provide it with the enriched uranium it neede d. After those negotiation broke down it adjusted its position to agree with the Russian offer (below). UNSC – United Nations Security Council Once the Iran dossier is put on the UN Sec Council agenda it may well result in punitive measures to against Iran. A broad scale of possibilities has been debat ed in the media, extending from cultural or selective sanctions directed at the Iranian government and its representatives, through to a full scale oil embargo which would cut off Iranian oil exports and/or prohibit the export of refined oi l products to Iran. The most extreme measure would be a Security Council mandate war against Iran. T his is unlikely because of the position taken by two of the key Security Council members, China and Russia (below) European Parliament In view of the leading role of the EU3 negotiators it seems logical to involve t he European parliament, if only to question whether the EU3 policy actually repr esents all of the EU. Even if there is agreement at government level, this might not be so in the European or national parliaments. Hence a serious lobby effort should be directed at an influential caucus (one of the bigger parliamentary groupings) and failing that the smaller and probably sympathetic Greens or Left parties. B. States Islamic Republic of Iran The Iranian government’s position has been quite consistent. In accordance with ar t IV of the NPT it claims full access to all nuclear technology for peaceful pur poses. It denies that its nuclear program is aimed at developing a nuclear weapo n. Its rationale for investment in a nuclear energy program is that its oil res ources are finite and must be replaced in time by a nuclear program for the prod uction of nuclear power. The government denies that the IAEA questions regarding parts of its nuclear program are in any way indicative of a military nuclear pr
ogram. It claims that its past secretiveness was caused by the extensive sanctio ns applied to the peaceful nuclear program, making an open approach impossible. United States of America The US is the most important actor but its intentions are unclear. The main thru st of its diplomacy has been to move the Iran case to the Security Council. Offi cial statements by US government representatives suggest: 1.Iranian access to nu clear technology is tantamount to allowing Iran to have a nuclear weapon 2. Iran must not be allowed to have the nuclear enrichment part of the fuel cycle on it s own soil. The US informally backed the EU 3 negotiations while at the same time maintainin g the position that all options are on the table. This implied that the US kept the freedom to undertake action unilaterally, in line with its counter prolifera tion policy. This includes a doctrine of pre-emptive warfare against states (or even non-state actors) developing WMD. The unilateral and illegitimate attack on Iraq was justified as such a pre-emptive attack, although subsequently much evi dence has been published showing that there were other reasons for attacking Ira q. A unilateral attack on Iran could be justified on the same grounds. However, US foreign policy appears to have been adjusted so as to allow the European dipl omacy to attempt to achieve the same aim as described above. This would in US go vernment eyes allow it to claim greater legitimacy and also increase pressure on Russia and China to go along with a confrontation. Some opinion makers in the US have suggested making a grand compromise with Iran , along the lines of the Nixon-China agreement in 1972. However, these voices wo uld appear to be in the minority. Russia Russia’s present offer is the same as that of the EU: it is offering to allow Iran to invest in a nuclear enrichment installation on its territory. It has abstain ed on the crucial IAEA resolutions, therefore allowing itself room to cooperate with the US and EU3 on this issue. It has a large stake in the Iranian nuclear industry, having almost completed the Bushehr nuclear reactor and hoping to del iver a large number of reactors for Iran’s ambitious nuclear programme (Ch II). It will also deliver a short-range surface to air missile system to Iran and may a lso offer an even more advanced one, defying US protests. China China has a huge demand for Iran’s oil and gas resources. It would not want to jeo pardise future deliveries but has nevertheless abstained on the IAEA resolutions , like Russia. This may signify that both countries have an interest in curtaili ng Iran’s nuclear programme. Regional geo-political considerations would play a ro le in this. India As a non-NPT nuclear weapons state, India has played a crucial role in the votin g at the IAEA Board meetings. In June 2005 it signed a nuclear cooperation agr eement with the US, which has still not been ratified because of US Congressiona l opposition. In subsequent voting on Iran at the IAEA India abstained, against considerable d omestic opposition, which saw this as a definite departure from the Non-Aligned Movement. Interestingly, the US also ran into considerable opposition to the nuc lear technology agreement from its allies at the Nuclear Suppliers Group, a body of mostly industrialised states controlling the export of nuclear technology. T he rules of the body would be violated if the US India treaty were to be ratifie d.
Israel Israeli policy aims at preventing any other regional states to arm themselves wi th nuclear weapons, as this would effectively deter the Israeli nuclear arsenal. Officially and unofficially many warnings have been given by Israeli officials against the further development of the Iranian nuclear infrastructure, specifica lly the scientific knowledge to enrich uranium. This has led to speculation that the Israel deadline is not so much the completion of the uranium enrichment fac ility at Natanz (this is still many years away), but the initiating or completio n of the test program in the pilot plant (Ch III). Israeli aircraft attacked the nuclear reactor in Iraq in 1981, technically slowing down the Iraqi nuclear pro gram because it depended on that reactor. The question is whether a similar act ion against Iran would be possible because the Iranian infrastructure is scatter ed and duplicated across Iran, and located in defended underground installation, not all of which could necessarily be reached by air strikes. A more important political question is whether Israel would unilaterally take such action in view of its great reliance on US political and military support. Practically speakin g an Israeli air attack would probably have to overfly US or US-allied controlle d air space. Netherlands Netherlands policy would appear to be entirely driven by the EU 3= demands. It i s therefore highly likely that no unilateral Netherlands shift on this issue is possible. This makes intervention in the national parliament less useful. Gulf Cooperation Council This Gulf alliance has an important interest in not allowing the situation to es calate. Any military confrontation in or around the Gulf is bound to damaging to the interests of the member states. Insofar as it is driven by a desire to coun ter Iranian interests it would not be able to act as an n honest broker. However , it might be acceptable as cosponsor of a negotiated solution, if it is desirab le that such a solution is not seen to come from one of the major protagonists ( like a nuclear weapons state). C. Media The media battle is perhaps the most logical one to influence. At present proces ses are taking place in shaping public opinion, which are similar to those in th e run-up to the Iraq war. Particularly important is the lack of understanding of the dual-use nature of nuclear technology (Ch I), which means that there is an implicit or explicit acceptance of the position that development of any nuclear installation is equivalent to developing nuclear weapons. There is therefore a r eady acceptance of the idea that the building of an enrichment plant is itself p roof of military nuclear intentions. The governments who want to encourage a con frontation with Iran did nothing to dispel this concept about the issues, increa sing the tension in public opinion. D. NGO perspectives The relevant NGO world consists essentially of the anti nuclear movement and the anti-nuclear weapons (more or less peace) movement on the one hand, and the hum an rights movement on the other. Their differences mirror the differences descri bed in chapter I. That is, the organisations that oppose nuclear energy will opp ose Iran’s nuclear program, whatever form it takes, while the anti-nuclear weapons NGO (generally adherents of the NPT) will tend to criticise Iran, insofar as it does not meet IAEA standards. On the human rights side there are a large number of organisations supporting pr ess freedom, human rights issues within Iran. These include exile organisations some of which want regime change in Iran. The Iranian government is in many way
s a repressive one licy-making bodies religious leaders. pinion seems to be cies aimed at only nion.
if measured by common human rights standards. However, the po reflect more than simply the position and interests of a few In the case of the Iranian access to all nuclear technology o massive on the side of the government. Therefore any NGO poli the nuclear dossier can easily run foul of Iranian public opi
A basic NGO dilemma is the understandable desire to prevent further nuclear prol iferation, especially to countries that are in permanent confrontation with neig hbouring states. In this NGO’s will find themselves agreeing with the policies of the nuclear weapons states, which have the same aim but have themselves no inten tion of meeting their own nuclear disarmament obligations. That is why unilatera l support of this policy will strengthen the existing asymmetrical nuclear struc ture, in which the nuclear weapon states hold on to their nuclear weapons and al so decide who else gets them. This cannot be a desirable outcome for any NGO wor king to get rid of nuclear weapons – all nuclear weapons. In conclusion , the NGO community has three major concerns: There is a strong possibility of a US pre-emptive strike on Iran by a US-le d force. Such an attack would not be based on any convincing evidence of an Ira nian nuclear weapons programme, raise serious legal, moral and political questio ns and could well result in an escalation of violence all over the region Iran has regional ambitions which themselves have far-reaching destabilising effects. In the long term these regional ambitions may well include a nuclear w eapon programme. This justifies extra conditions being imposed on Iran’s nuclear p rogramme, subject to negotiations. Part of these negotiations should be the pur suit of a nuclear weapons free zone in the Middle East. It is highly desirable t o cooperate with regional powers, like Iran’s neighbours, who are also concerned about Iranian ambitions. The human rights situation in Iran gives cause for great concern. There are consistent reports of human right violations and repression of legitimate oppos ition to the regime. Ethnic divisions inside and outside Iran are also a potenti al risk factor. These concerns should be taken into account in the negotiating p rocess.
APPENDICES ANNEX I Selected Primary Sources UN resolutions 06-29088 (E) 290306 Statement by the President of the Security Council At the 5403rd meeting of the Security Council, held on 29 March 2006, in connection with the Council’s consideration of the item entitled “Non-proliferation”, the President of the Security Council made the following statement on behalf of the Council: “The Security Council reaffirms its commitment to the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and recalls the right of States Party, in conformity with Articles I and II of that Treaty, to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination. “The Security Council notes with serious concern the many IAEA reports and resolutions related to Iran’s nuclear programme, reported to it by the IAEA Director General, including the February IAEA Board Resolution (GOV/2006/14). “The Security Council also notes with serious concern that the Director General’s report of 27 February 2006 (GOV/2006/15) lists a number of outstanding issues and concerns, including topics which could have a military nuclear dimension, and that the IAEA is unable to conclude that there are no undeclared nuclear materials or activities in Iran. “The Security Council notes with serious concern Iran’s decision to resume enrichment-related activities, including research and development, and to suspend cooperation with the IAEA under the Additional Protocol. “The Security Council calls upon Iran to take the steps required by the IAEA Board of Governors, notably in the first operative paragraph of its resolution GOV/2006/14, which are essential to build confidence in the exclusively peaceful purpose of its nuclear programme and to resolve outstanding questions, and underlines, in this regard, the particular importance of re-establishing full and sustained suspension of all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, including research and development, to be verified by the IAEA. “The Security Council expresses the conviction that such suspension and full, verified Iranian compliance with the requirements set out by the IAEA Board of Governors would contribute to a diplomatic, negotiated solution that guarantees Iran’s nuclear programme is for exclusively peaceful purposes, and underlines the willingness of the international community to work positively for such a solution which will also benefit nuclear non-proliferation elsewhere. “The Security Council strongly supports the role of the IAEA Board of Governors and commends and encourages the Director General of the IAEA and its secretariat for their ongoing professional and impartial efforts to resolve outstanding issues in Iran, and underlines the necessity of the IAEA continuing its work to clarify all outstanding issues relating to Iran’s nuclear programme. “The Security Council requests in 30 days a report from the Director General of the IAEA on the process of Iranian compliance with the steps required by the IAEA Board, to the IAEA Board of Governors and in parallel to the Security Council for its consideration.” http://daccessdds.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N06/290/88/PDF/N0629088.pdf?OpenElement Important IAEA Reports and Documents Framework for a Long-Term Agreement between the Islamic Republic of Iran and Fra
nce, Germany & The United Kingdom, with the Support of the High Representative the European Union. August 5, 2005 IAEA Documents & Reports (2006 until 2004) February 2006 Resolution, 4 February 2006 [pdf] Titel: Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran Resolution adopted on 4 February 2006, 3 pages Iran Statement, 2 February 2006 [pdf] Title: Communication dated 2 February 2006 received from the Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the Agency, 5 pages January 2006 Update, DDG-Safeguards, 31 January 2006 [pdf] Title: Developments in the Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran and Agency Verification of Iran’s Suspension of Enrichment-related and Reprocessing Activities, 4 pages November 2005 IAEA Board Report, 18 November 2005 [pdf] Title: Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran, 5 pages September 2005 Resolution, 24 September 2005 [pdf] Title: Implementation of the NPT SafeguardsAgreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran, 3 pages IAEA Board Report, 2 September [pdf] Title: Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran, 15 pages August 2005 Resolution, 11 August [pdf] Titel: Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran and related Board resolutions, 2 pages EU Statement, 9 August 2005 [pdf] Titel: Statement by the United Kingdom on behalf of the European Union at the IA EABoard of Governors, 4 pages
IAEA Documents and Reports 2004 until 2002 November 2004 Resolution, 29 November [pdf] Title: Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran, 2 pages. Resolution adopted by the Board on 29 November 2004 Iran-EU Agreement, 26 November [pdf] IAEA Board Report, 15 November [pdf] September 2004 IAEA Board Report, 1 September [pdf] Resolution, 18 September NAM Amendments, 17 September [pdf] June 2004 Resolution, 18 June [pdf] IAEA Board Report & Corrigendum, 1 & 18 June [pdf] March 2004 IAEA Note, 30 March [pdf] Resolution, 13 March [pdf] IAEA Board Report, 13 March [pdf] Excerpts: IAEA Board Meeting, 13 March [pdf] Board Chairman Comments, 13 March [pdf] US Board Statement, 13 March Iran Board Statement, 13 March October/November 2003 Resolution, 26 November [pdf] IAEA Board Report, 10 November [pdf] Iran Statement, 21 October August/September 2003 Resolution, 12 September pdf] NAM Statement, 12 September[pdf] Iran Statement, 12 September [pdf] DG Board Remarks, 9 September [pdf] US Statement, 8 September [pdf] EU Statement, 8 September [pdf] NAM Statement, 8 September [pdf] IAEA Board Report, 26 August [pdf] June 2003 IAEA Board Statement, 19 June DG Statement, 18 June [pdf] IAEA Board Report, 6 June [pdf] Iran Statement, 6 June [pdf] Key Background Iran Safeguards Agreement [pdf] Iran Safeguarded Facilities [pdf] Text of NPT/List of Parties Safeguards Additional Protocol Iran Statement, General Conference, [pdf] 16 September 2002
Primary Sources - United States Legal Basis United States Congress: Iran Libya Sanctions Act (ILSA) Extension Act of 200
1, H.R. 1954, 107th Congress, First Session, Washington, 3 January 2001 (pdf) United States Congress: Iran Nonproliferation Act 2000, H.R.1883, 106th Cong ress, Second Session, Washington DC, 24 January 2000 (pdf) President of the United States: Executive Order 13059 – Prohibiting Certain Tr ansactions with Respect to Iran, Washington DC, 19 August 1997 (pdf) United States Congress: Iran Libya Sanctions Act of 1996 (ILSA), H.R. 3107, 104th Congress, Second Session, Washington DC, 3 January 1996 (pdf) President of the United States: Executive Order 13059 – Prohibiting Certain Tr ansactions with Respect to Development of Iranian Petroleum Resources, Washingto n DC, 17 March 1995 (pdf)
Government Statements Department of State: Iran s Nuclear Fuel Cycle Facilities: A Pattern of Peac eful Intent?, Briefing presented in September 2005 to Diplomats at the IAEA, Was hington DC, September 2005 (pdf) Bolton, John R., Undersecretary for Arms Control and International Security: Preventing Iran from Acquiring Nuclear Weapons, Remarks to Hudson Institute, Wa shington DC, 17 August 2004 (pdf)
US Congressional Research Service Congressional Research Service: Irans Nuclear Program - Recent Developments, RS21592, Washington DC, 23 November 2005 (pdf) · Congressional Research Service: Irans Nuclear Program - Recent Developments, RS21592, Washington DC, 5 October 2005 (pdf) Congressional Research Service: Irans Nuclear Program – Recent Developments, S21592, Washington DC, 18 May 2005 (pdf) Congressional Research Service: Iran: U.S. Concerns and Policy Responses, RL 32048, Washington DC, 15 April 2005 (pdf) Congressional Research Service: Iran: U.S. Concerns and Policy Responses, RL 32048, Washington DC, 11 February 2005 (pdf) Congressional Research Service: Irans Nuclear Program – Recent Developments, S21592, Washington DC, 14 January 2005 (pdf) Congressional Research Service: Irans Nuclear Program – Recent Developments, S21592, Washington DC, 4 March 2004 (pdf) Congressional Research Service: Irans Nuclear Program – Recent Developments, S21592, Washington DC, 15 August 2003 (pdf) Congressional Research Service: The Iran-Libya Sanctions Act (ILSA), RS20871 , Washington DC, 31 July 2003 (pdf) Congressional Research Service: Iran: Current Developments and U.S. Policy, IB93033, Washington DC, 25 July 2003 (pdf) Congressional Research Service: Iran: Current Developments and U.S. Policy, IB93033, Washington DC, 26 June 2003 (pdf) Congressional Research Service: Iran: Current Developments and U.S. Policy, IB93033, Washington DC, 13 March 2003 (pdf) Congressional Research Service: Iran: Current Developments and U.S. Policy, IB93033, Washington DC, 29 January 2003 (pdf) Congressional Research Service: Iran: Arms and Weapons of Mass Destruction S uppliers, Washington DC, 3 January 2003 (pdf) Congressional Research Service: Iran: Current Developments and U.S. Policy, IB93033, Washington DC, 11 September 2002 (pdf) Congressional Research Service: Iran: Current Developments and U.S. Policy, IB93033, Washington DC, 3 January 2002 (pdf) Congressional Research Service: Iran: Current Developments and U.S. Policy, IB93033, Washington DC, 11 June 2001 (pdf)
R R R
Congressional Research Service: Iran: Arms and Technology Acquisitions, RL30 551, Washington DC, 26 January 2001 (pdf) Congressional Research Service: Iran: U.S. Policy and Options, 97-291F, Wash ington DC, 14 January 2000 (pdf) Congressional Research Service: Russian Technology and Nuclear Reactor Trans fers to Iran, 98-299F, Washington DC, 29 July 1998 (pdf) Congressional Research Service: Russian Technology and Nuclear Reactor Trans fers to Iran, 98-299F, Washington DC, 29 June 1998 (pdf) Congressional Research Service: Iran: Arms and Technology Acquisitions, 97-4 74F, Washington DC, 22 June 1998 (pdf) Others House of Commons (UK), Foreign Affairs Committee: Iran, Third Report of Sess ion 2003-04, London, 9 March 2004 (pdf) and Response of the Secretary of State f or Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, London, May 2004 (pdf) UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs: Iran’s Nuclear Pro gramme – A Collection of Documents, London, January 2005 (pdf)
The Netherlands – Key Documents Parliament (2003-2006 Iran) 2003 Vragen van het lid Wilders (VVD) aan de minister van Buitenlandse Zaken over een Iraanse kernbom en een meer daadkrachtige en serieuze aanpak van de Nederla ndse regering en de EU hiertegen. (Ingezonden 7 augustus 2003); Vragen van het lid Wilders (VVD) aan de minister van Buitenlandse Zaken over een mogelijke Iraanse kernbom. (Ingezonden 4 september 2003); Vragen van het lid Wilders (VVD) aan de minister van Buitenlandse Zaken over de volledige beantwoording van vragen inzake het Iraanse nucleaire programma. ( Ingezonden 8 september 2003); 2004 Vragen van het lid Karimi (GroenLinks) aan de minister van Buitenlandse Zake n en de staatssecretaris van Economische Zaken over mogelijke verdenking door de Pakistaanse regering van het leveren van nucleaire technologie aan Iran, Libië en Noord-Korea. (Ingezonden 12 februari 2004); Vragen van het lid Wilders (VVD) aan de minister van Buitenlandse Zaken over de ontdekking van ultracentrifuges in Iran en recente uitspraken van president Bush en IAEA-directeur El Baradei. (Ingezonden 18 februari 2004); Vragen van het lid Karimi (GroenLinks) aan de ministers van Buitenlandse Zak en, van Economische Zaken en van Binnenlandse Zaken en Koninkrijksrelaties over het (nucleaire) smokkelnetwerk van Khan en Nederlandse connecties. (Ingezonden 1 9 februari 2004); Vragen van het lid Karimi (GroenLinks) aan de minister van Economische Zaken
over informatie inzake de aantallen catch-alls. (Ingezonden 8 april 2004); Vragen van het lid Wilders (VVD) aan de minister van Buitenlandse Zaken over hernieuwde schending van afspraken door Iran over het stopzetten van haar nucle aire wapenprogramma. (Ingezonden 2 augustus 2004); Vaststelling van de begrotingsstaten van het Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zak en (V) voor het jaar 2005; Motie inzake bezorgdheid over uraniumverrijking in Ir an 01-11-04 Vragen van het lid Ormel (CDA) aan de minister van Buitenlandse Zaken over m ogelijke nucleaire activiteiten Iran. (Ingezonden 6 december 2004); Vragen van het lid Karimi (GroenLinks) aan de minister van Buitenlandse Zake n over een overeenkomst tussen Pakistan en de VS over inlichtingen aangaande de levering van kernwapentechnologie aan Iran. (Ingezonden 24 december 2004); 2005 Vragen van het lid Karimi (GroenLinks) aan de minister van Buitenlandse Zake n over Amerikaanse militaire plannen tegen Iran. (Ingezonden 21 januari 2005); Vragen van de leden Van der Laan en Lambrechts (beiden D66) aan de ministers van Buitenlandse Zaken en voor Vreemdelingenzaken en Integratie over het ophang en van homoseksuelen in Iran. (Ingezonden 24 november 2005); Vragen van de leden Van der Staaij (SGP), Herben (LPF), Van Bommel (SP) en H uizinga-Heringa (ChristenUnie) aan de minister van Buitenlandse Zaken over de po sitie van christenen in Iran. (Ingezonden 2 december 2005); Vragen van het lid Ormel (CDA) aan de minister van Buitenlandse Zaken over d e ontkenning van de holocaust en bedreiging van de staat Israël door president Ahm adinejad. (Ingezonden 23 december 2005); Vragen van het lid Van Baalen (VVD) aan de minister van Buitenlandse Zaken o ver de ontkenning van de Holocaust door de President van Iran en de weigering va n de Iraanse ambassadeur te Den Haag om Holocaust-overlevenden te ontvangen. (In gezonden 23 december 2005) 2006 Vragen van het lid Van Baalen (VVD) aan de minister van Buitenlandse Zaken i nzake de uitspraken van de Nederlandse ambassadeur te Teheran over versteviging van de bilaterale betrekkingen tussen Nederland en Iran. (Ingezonden 2 januari 2 006); Vragen van het lid Van der Laan (D66) aan de minister van Buitenlandse Zaken over de Nederlands-Iraanse betrekkingen. (Ingezonden 6 januari 2006); Vragen van het lid Van Bommel (SP) aan de minister van Buitenlandse Zaken ov er uitlatingen van de Iraanse president over de holocaust en de Iraans-Nederland se betrekkingen. (Ingezonden 12 januari 2006); Vragen van het lid De Wit (SP) aan de minister voor Vreemdelingenzaken en In tegratie over de hongerstaking van een Iraanse asielzoeker. (Ingezonden 17 janua ri 2006 Debat over de affaire rondom de Pakistaanse atoomgeleerde Khan 250106
Stemmingen over moties, ingediend bij het debat over de affaire rond de Paki staanse atoomgeleerde Khan, te weten: - de motie-Karimi/Van Velzen over een parl ementair onderzoek naar de affaire-Khan en -Slebos (30300 XIII, nr. 63); - de mo tie-Karimi over strafrechtelijke vervolging van personen die medewerking verlene n aan de verspreiding van massavernietigingswapens (30300 XIII, nr. 64) 31012006 Vragen van het lid Van Baalen (VVD) aan de minister van Buitenlandse Zaken o ver het bezoek van de Iraanse onderminister van Buitenlandse Zaken Saeed Jalili aan Den Haag. (Ingezonden 14 februari 2006) Vragen van het lid Van Bommel (SP) aan de minister van Buitenlandse Zaken ov er een Amerikaans aanvalsplan op Iran. (Ingezonden 15 februari 2006) Dutch Government Letter to parliament 22112005 r programma DVB/NN-400/05 Iran / Stand van zaken nucleai
Additional Important and Related Documents United Nations Secretariat: Steps to Promote the Achievement of a Nuclear-We apons-Free-Zone in the Middle East and the Realization of the Goals and Objectiv es of the 1995 Resolution on the Middle East, Report to the 2005 Review Conferen ce of the Parties to the Treaty on Nuclear Non-proliferation, NPT/CONF/2005/15, New York, 29 April 2005 (pdf) United Nations Security Council: Resolution 1540, S/Res/1540(2004), New York (pdf) International Atomic Energy Agency: Multilateral Approaches to the Nuclear F uel Cycle: Expert Group Report Submitted to the Director General of the Internat ional Atomic Energy Agency, INFCIRC 640, Vienna, 22 February 2005 (pdf) EU RELATIONS WITH THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN 7 Feb 2001 http://europa.eu.int/comm/external_relations/iran/intro/index.htm Iran - Commission declaration at European Parliament 12 Oct 2005 http://euro pa.eu.int/comm/external_relations/iran/news/sp05_601.htm WEBSITES International Organisations International Atomic Energy Agency - Iran Section Iranian Websites Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran Nuclear Energy Plant, Bushehr Amirkabir University of Technology Bouali-Sina University Guilan University Isfahan University Khajeh-Nasir-Toosi University of Technology Shiraz University Shiraz University of Medical Sciences
Tehran University University of Mashhad Iran University of Science and Technology Think-Tanks Iran Overview, Nuclear Threat Initiative Iran Assessments, ISIS Institute for Science and International Security Iran Resources, Center for Policy Studies, Russia Peace and Antinuclear Initiatives AG Friedensforschung Uni Kassel (Information und Analysis on Iran) Berlin Information Centre on Transatlanic Security (BITS) www.BASICINT.org ANNEX II Contacts European Union Austrian Presidency to the EU Mr. Martin Gärtner als Vorsitzender der Ratsarbeitsgruppe COMAG (Maghreb-Magre sh) Nahost (COMEM) und COMEP (Middle East Peace Process), und Golfstaaten. Martin.email@example.com Ms. Antonia Krische Martin’s deputy Antonia.firstname.lastname@example.org Members of European Parliament Michael Gahler MEP Tel.: 0033-3-8817-5977 Elmar Brok MEP Tel: 0033-3-8817-5323 Others Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs Paul Wilke, Joan J.J. Wiegman Directie Veiligheidsbeleid Afdeling Non-Proliferatie en Nucleaire Aangelegenheden Tel: 070-3485555 Iranian Embassy Duinweg 20-22 2585 JX Den Haag tel: (+31)(0)70-3319939
IAEA International Atomic Energy Agency P.O. Box 100, Wagramer Strasse 5 A-1400 Vienna, Austria Tel: (+431) 2600-0 Fax: (+431) 2600-7 Email: Official.Mail@iaea.org Website: www.iaea.org Nl parliament Farah Karimi ; Foreign affairs spokesperson GreenLeft: e: F.Karimi@tweedekamer.nl t: 070 3183030
Drs. P.W.H. (Paul) Aarts Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Amsterdam. Afdeling Politicologie Room: 3.30 OZ Achterburgwal 237 1012 DL Amsterdam Tel +31 20 525 2972 P.W.H.Aarts@uva.nl Jan ter Laak – Bridging the Gulf NHC/Hivos ANNEX III (to Chapter VI) TagesZeitung 12 March 2005 (our italics) EU schwenkt auf US-Kurs Im Streit um das iranische Atomprogramm gibt das EU-Verhandlungstrio einige wesentliche Positionen auf GENF taz 12 maart 2005 Im Konflikt um das iranische Atomprogramm ist die EU, die in dieser Frage von de m Trio Deutschland, Frankreich und Großbritannien vertreten wird, in wesentlichen Punkten auf die härtere Linie der Bush-Administration eingeschwenkt. Nach übereinsti mmenden Angaben europäischer und US-amerikanischer Diplomaten ist die EU nunmehr b ereit, im UNO-Sicherheitsrat Sanktionen gegen Iran zu verhängen, sollte Teheran de r Forderung nicht nachkommen, sein Programm zur Urananreicherung selbst zum "ziv ilen" Zwecke der nuklearen Energiegewinnung endgültig einzustellen. Da Teheran die se Forderung strikt ablehnt, ging am Donnerstag in Genf auch die dritte Verhandl ungsrunde zwischen dem EU-Trio und Iran ergebnislos zu Ende. Sollte Teheran dies e Forderung doch erfüllen, würde sich Washington nicht mehr der Lieferung von Ersatz teilen für iranische Zivilflugzeuge widersetzen und würde das Beitrittsgesuch Irans zur Welthandelsorganisation (WTO) unterstützen. Eine offizielle Mitteilung der Bush-Administration über diese "Annäherung" zwischen USA und EU wurde noch gestern erwartet. Von einer Aufhebung der bilateralen Wirt schaftssanktionen der USA gegen Iran ist allerdings nicht die Rede. Im Zuge dieser "Annäherung" hat die EU zwei wesentliche Positionen aufgegeben, wie von US-Diplomaten "mit großer Zufriedenheit" vermerkt wird. Die EU erwägt nicht meh r, die Forderung nach endgültiger Einstellung der Urananreicherung nicht nur selek tiv gegenüber Iran, sondern auch gegenüber anderen Unterzeichnerstaaten des Atomwaff ensperrvertrages zu erheben, die (wie z. B. Brasilien, Südafrika und Südkorea) diese s Verfahren praktizieren. Zudem hat sich die EU der Behauptung Washingtons angeschlossen, wonach sich mit den im Rahmen des Atomwaffensperrvertrages vorgesehenen Kontrollinstrumenten "ni cht verlässlich sicherstellen" lasse, dass Iran sein Programm zur Urananreicherung nicht für militärische Zwecke missbraucht. ANDREAS ZUMACH taz Nr. 7613 vom 12.3.2005, Seite 2, 69 TAZ-Bericht ANDREAS ZUMACH +++++++++ New York Times 150305 (our italics) “(….) So far the administration has not declared publicly that its larger goal +31 20 525 2169
beyond Iran is to remake a treaty whose intellectual roots date back to the Eisenhower administration, under the cold war banner of "Atoms for Peace." To state publicly that Iran is really a test case of Mr. Bush s broader effort, one senior administration official said, "would complicate what s already a pretty messy negotiation." But just three days before the White House announced its new approach to Iran - in which it allowed Europe to offer broader incentives in return for an agreement to ask the United Nations for sanctions if Iran refuses to give up the ability to make nuclear material - Mr. Bush issued a statement that left little doubt about where he was headed. The statement was advertised by the White House as a routine commemoration of the treaty s 35th anniversary, and a prelude to a meeting in May in New York to consider its future. It never mentioned Iran by name. But after lauding the past accomplishments of the treaty, also known as the N.P.T., in limiting the spread of nuclear arms, Mr. Bush went on to say, "We cannot allow rogue states that violate their commitments and defy the international community to undermine the N.P.T. s fundamental role in strengthening international security. "We must therefore close the loopholes that allow states to produce nuclear materials that can be used to build bombs under the cover of civilian nuclear programs." On Sunday, his new national security adviser, Stephen J. Hadley, took the next step, making clear the connection to the current crisis with Iran. Yes, he said on CNN, the Iranians say their nuclear work is entirely for peaceful purposes. He cited no new evidence of a secret Iranian project to build a bomb, though that is what the Central Intelligence Agency and officials like Mr. Hadley insist is happening. (Inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency say they join in the suspicion, but have no compelling evidence.) But Mr. Hadley emphasized that Iran s leaders "keep their secrets very well." They hid much of their enrichment activity from international inspectors for 18 years, then insisted that it was not really for weapons, he said. He said that "raises serious suspicions" about Iran s true intent. Now, he said, the Europeans have come around to the view that "the best guarantee is for them to permanently abandon their enrichment facilities."" (……….)”
ANNEX IV Decision-Making Structure in the Islamic Republic of Iran# Khamene’i President (Ahmedinejad) Supreme National Security Council (formerly Supreme Defence Counil) Ministry of Defence And Armed Forces Logistics Joint Chief of Staff Army Air Force Navy Interior Ministry Intelligence Ministry National Police Gendamerie Revoluntionary Committees Revoluntionary Guards Basij Worker’s Basij Tribal Basij
Iran’s Formal Constitutional Power Structure For an updated and interactive version of this map, please go to BBC website at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/spl/hi/middle_east/03/iran_power/html/default.stm ELECTORATE
President Ahmedinajad (elected for 4 years) Assembly of Experts (majlis-e khobgrem) 86 clerical member (elected for 8 years) Parliament (maijlis-e- shura-e eslami) 290 representatives (elected for 4 years)
Appointment 6 Lay Jurists in the Council of Guardians (appointed on advice of Parliament) Chief Public Prosecutor (five-year term) Head of Supreme Court (five-year term) Commander of the Law Enforcement Forces Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces Commander of the Regular Army (artesh) Commander of the IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps - Pasdaran) Voice and Vision (Radio and Television) Expediency Council (31 members) 6 Clerical Members of the Council of Guardians Head of Judiciary Council of Guardians Council of Ministers 22 ministers (confirmed by parliament Supreme Leader Ali Khamene’i (life-time)
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