Compliance with Treaties in the Context of Nuclear Non-Proliferation: Assessing Claims in the Case of Iran
Journal of Conflict and Security Law, Vol. 18, 2013
47 Pages Posted: 22 Jun 2013
Date Written: June 21, 2013
The controversy over the Iranian nuclear programme is probably one of most sensitive contemporary instances of a situation involving legal issues related to compliance and enforcement of non-proliferation treaty obligations. The allegations put forward against Iran in this context are rarely formulated or substantiated in legal terms, nor grounded in a clearly identifiable legal basis or framework. This article aims at the identification of the specific international obligations that Iran would have breached or failed to comply with, whether contained in the NPT or in other non-proliferation agreements, and at the evaluation of the criteria or standards under which the occurrence of a failure or a breach of treaty commitments by Iran is to be assessed. It begins with an overview of the instruments comprising the safeguards system established pursuant to the NPT and monitored by the IAEA, then provides an account of the treatment by the IAEA of the Iranian nuclear program since 2002, which led the IAEA to declare that Iran was in non-compliance with its safeguards agreement, before assessing the IAEA’s findings, in light of relevant rules pertaining to both general international law and the NPT/IAEA legal framework for nuclear safeguards as lex specialis.
Keywords: Iran, nuclear, safeguards, compliance, treaties, interpretation
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation