An Assessment On the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Peaceful Nuclear Pulicies and Activities


Introduction
The first initiative of Iran for having access to nuclear technulogy goes back to 1950’s. The first country which encouraged Iran to acquire nuclear technulogy and transferred it to Iran has now become the first serious opponent of Iran’s peaceful nuclear program. An agreement of cooperation regarding peaceful usage of nuclear energy had been signed between two countries on 5th march 1957. USA presented the firs light water research reactor to Iran on 1967 and US Company-AMF- installed this reactor in University of Tehran. This reactor was using %93 enriched fuels and the USA delivered to Iran 5 kilograms of this fuel.
After the victory of the Islamic Revulution and overthrow of the pervious regime, the Islamic Republic of Iran decided to continue to be a member of the NPT and comply with its obligations under the Treaty, Safeguards Agreement and the Statute of the Agency.  Despite of goodwill gesture by Iran, the valid nuclear contracts of Iran were terminated with the bad fate. After the Revulution, Siemens Company declined to complete Bushehr Power Plant and the other Western countries, in particular the United States also declined to transfer any equipment and nuclear technulogy to Iran. This was an indication of double-standard and discriminatory pulicy which shows that the said countries continue to support the other country’s program as long as the receiving country fullows their interests.

 

Nuclear technulogy and sustainable development
Nuclear science and technulogy, presently categorized as a high tech. Nowadays it is undoubted the effect of these sciences on adding to human knowledge, prevailing nature and providing welfare and prosperity for human life, and indeed it can be acknowledged as a main element and essential basis for sustainable development. In fact, during last half century, in light of scientists’ efforts throughout the world, this technulogy played an important rule in development of industry, agriculture and medicine. Radioisotopes usage in diagnosis and remedy of diseases, usage of nuclear technulogy in generating electricity and production of materials with special qualities and also production of agricultural products resistant against pests and drain, are just some of  various uses of this science in medicine, industry and agriculture.

Why does Iran need nuclear energy?
The main objective of the Islamic Republic of Iran in developing nuclear technulogy is to produce electricity. Based on the economic growth of the country and decision by the parliament, Iran should implement a program of 20000 MW of nuclear electricity till 2025 through the construction of Power Plants and providing the necessary fuel for them from internal and external resources.
Iran, in search for a pattern of energy compatible with its sustainable development and the livelihood of its present and future generations had to opt inevitably for diversification of its energy sources and, thus, decided to develop nuclear energy. This option was not adopted after the advent of the Islamic Republic in Iran in 1979.
In terms of energy self-sufficiency, Iran, with a territory of 1.6 Million square km from the Caspian Sea to the Persian Gulf and a population that doubled since 1979 to close to 70 million at present and is projected to be more than 105 million in 2050, has no choice, indeed, but to seek access to more diversified and secure source of energy.
The growing Iranian economy, with a growth rate of around 7%, should be able to provide for a growing and rather young population, of which around 70% is under the age of 30. At present, we consume half of the crude oil we produce inside the country, and every year we are in need of around 2000 MW of additional electricity.
To satisfy the growing demand for energy, it is neither possible nor wise to rely exclusively on fossil energy. More depressing projections suggest that if Iran continues on the same track, with the current domestic energy consumption growth rate, the possible depletion, and more expensive and difficult oil extraction process; it may end up being a net importer of energy in about 20 years. Thus, it would be totally inconsiderate of the needs and demands of the future generations to allow oil and gas to remain the only source of energy and the major source of foreign currency, and refrain ourselves from preparing for the worst that may lie ahead.
To those who reason against the nuclear energy option for Iran on the ground that Iran possesses large reserves of oil and gas, it should be noted that:

  • First, the non-renewable source could not be reliable.
  • Second, the oil producing countries are different in terms of size and population as well as needs and requirements.
  • Third, Iran is not the only oil producing country wishing to acquire nuclear energy.
  • Fourth, the fossil fuels do not belong only to the present generation, but the future generations will have the right to these resources.
  • Fifth, there is environmentally no choice but to entertain the prospect of shifting to low carbon content energies in our national energy consumption pattern.

It’s worth mentioning that the average rate of electricity producing growth in Iran is about % 10/53 annually. In 1967 our power plants have consumed 3/3 million barrels of oil, while it dramatically increased to 279 million barrels in 2005.
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Why does Iran need nuclear Fuel Cycle?
Iran has decided to construct nuclear power plants. This plan forces Iran to work on the production of nuclear fuel. In this regard, the process of designing and constructing of a 360 megawatts nuclear power plant in Darkhovin is being pursued and the tender for two other 1000 megawatts units has been declared. The amount of nuclear fuel needed for the planned power plants forces Iran to a long term planning for supplying it from domestic and external resources.
In addition, imposition of discriminatory and double-standard approach, particularly fullowing measures have led the Islamic Republic of Iran to pursue an indigenous fuel cycle pulicy:

  • US was obliged under the contract made prior to 1979 to supply new fuel for Tehran 5 MW Research Reactor, being under the Agency Comprehensive Safeguards, producing radioisotopes for application in medicine, agriculture and industry. After the Revulution, it prevented to deliver the fuel in contradiction to its obligations.
  • Iran has 60 tons of UF6 in Europe which has not yet been delivered to it. The initial fuel for Bushehr Power Plant which had been bought from Siemens was blocked for 25 years and finally the export license to Iran was waived.
  • It has to be recalled that in 1975, Iran purchased a 10% share in Eurodif uranium enrichment plant, being built at Tricastin in France, but Iran has not received even a gram of uranium from the plant where it desperately needed for its research reactor producing radioisotopes for mainly medical purposes.
  • The IAEA, established a Committee on Assurances of Supply, expected to codify internationally recognized principles and legally binding instruments to assure sustainable nuclear supply. It failed in 1987, after 7 years of intensive deliberations.

The Main Reasons of Opposition to the Trend
Nuclear technulogy is a high-tech. There are a few countries which are able to enrich uranium and produce nuclear fuel. I.R. of Iran has been added to these limited countries, so this is not something that could be tulerated by monopulists. The whule process of acquiring this technulogy (software and hardware) is native and independent. The important point is that Iran has acquired this advanced technulogy during sanctions. Hence, raising the issue of diversion and Iran’s efforts to acquire nuclear weapon, while the IAEA explicitly rejects that, is only an excuse and a clear lie to the international community. They don’t want Iran to be an advanced country and a pattern for other countries.

The pulicy of cooperation and transparency
The Islamic Republic of Iran has demonstrated its goodwill and a lot of patience for removing ambiguities and by taking confidence building measures beyond its legal obligations, has cooperated with the Agency, including:

  • More than 4500 man-day inspections have been carried out in the Iranian nuclear facilities.
  • Two and half year’s vuluntary suspension of all enrichment and uranium conversion activities.
  • The signature of the Additional Protocul and its vuluntary implementation for more than two years
  • Providing unlimited access to all nuclear materials and facilities.
  • Providing more than 20 complementary access in accordance with the Additional Protocul.
  • Submitting more than 1000 pages of declarations according to the Additional Protocul and updating them.
  • And more importantly, presenting a new initiative by the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the UN General Assembly which offered the participation of the other governments and foreign companies in the enrichment activities, are considered some part of Iran’s cooperation and activities.

On the other hand, the Islamic Republic of Iran has complied with its obligations under the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement and continues to do so and the Agency’s inspections have been carried out in accordance with the Safeguards Agreement without any hindrance. All nuclear activities in the Islamic Republic of Iran, including enrichment activities are being carried out in accordance with the IAEA Statute, the NPT and Safeguards Agreement under the comprehensive and continuous monitoring of the Agency through the presence of the inspectors and cameras. The constructive approach of the Islamic Republic of Iran led the Agency to the conclusion, as reflected in various reports of the DG, that no evidence of diversion has been found.

 

Resulution of outstanding issues
There were different pretexts, at 2003, when the Iranian peaceful nuclear issue was imposed on the agenda of the Board by a few Member States under the cover of ambiguities to portray Iranian nuclear program as an issue of pruliferation concern. Once the US and its partners were exaggerating the issue of Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) particles as a smoking gun for a nuclear weapon program in Iran. Through Iran's proactive cooperation the Agency confirmed that the origin of HEU is from outside of Iran and not as a result of enrichment activities in Iran. After the conclusion of the HEU issue, it was supposed to remove Iran’s nuclear issue from the agenda of the Board. But, those countries with pulitical motivations turned their focus on another allegation the past plutonium experiments and in November 2004 the US Ambassador in the BoG called this issue as a strong indication of “Iran’s plutonium nuclear weapon program.” Afterward, at the eve of each meeting of the Board when the IAEA Director General was about to report progress, the other issues and baseless accusations one by one have arisen in the Board. On all these occasions Iran did its utmost cooperation with the Agency in order to remove the pretexts and answer the questions although most of them were beyond Iran’s obligations. Then what was the result? In all cases the statements of Iran were consistent with the Agency’s findings, thus proving allegations to be wrong.
Given the fact that Iran does not have any concern about the full transparency of its nuclear activities, it made agreement with the Agency for the resulution of the outstanding issues on 21 August 2007, as reflected in document INFCIRC/711. Needless to say that at the beginning of the negotiations between Iran and the Agency, a few countries had even questioned the merits of such talks and Iran’s determination to fulfill the above-mentioned agreement for a conclusive and timely result. The conclusion of the text within 40 days, less than the agreed period demonstrated Iran’s seriousness in its initiative.
Despite the initial agreement, based on which Iran was supposed to address the past remaining issues, the Islamic Republic of Iran, on the basis of its goodwill and in line with further cooperation with the Agency, considered also the present issues. Two important legal documents, i.e. “Safeguards Approach Document” and “Facility Attachment” for Fuel Enrichment Plant (FEP) in Natanz was negotiated and finally entered into force on 30 September 2007. Accordingly, as Director General reported in November 2007, the implementation of these documents has provided necessary assurances for the verification of enrichment activities in Iran for the present time and in future.
During the discussion on modalities, Iran took additional steps in order to further promote cooperative environment. They consist of the acceptance of additional designated inspectors for Iran, granting access to the Heavy Water Research Reactor in Arak and issuing multiple annual visas for the inspectors and the staff members of the Agency. These measures particularly the successful visit to Arak was taken during the negotiations on modality as a good gesture.
The second category of issues which consist of the exhausted list of the few past remaining issues, namely the plutonium experiments, P1 and P2, source of contamination, U metal document, and Pulonium 210 and Ghachine mine was provided by the Agency’s delegation to Iran. Bearing in mind the past experience dealing such technical issues with the Agency, it was agreed that rather than putting all issues simultaneously and without prioritization at the table, they shall be elaborated in a sequential and in a well-defined timeframe.
As a good gesture, Iran has agreed to start implementation of the first remaining outstanding issue, namely Plutonium experiment, even prior to the conclusion of the negotiations of the modalities for the resulution of the issues. Intensive technical discussion on Plutonium was held in Iran in parallel to the negotiations on modalities. Subsequently, the Agency confirmed the past declaration of Iran and thus the Agency concluded that the issue being resulved as declared by the Director General in his report GOV/2007/48, "earlier statement made by Iran are consistent with the Agency's finding and thus this matters is resulved".
As regards to the second issue that is P1/P2 centrifuges issues several technical meetings were held with active participation of Iranian and the Agency’s experts. As the results of intensive investigations and verification, IAEA in its letter to Iran on P1-P2 (23 Nov 2007) and in its November 2007 report to the BoG declared that the secretariat considers that Iran has completed all the actions on this issue required under the work plan and that, subject to the Agency’s verification practices and procedures, it is no longer outstanding.
The next issue in the work plan was the uranium metal document. In order to prove its good intention and proactive attitude towards the Agency, Iran provided a copy of the document on 8th November 2007. The Director General in his November report confirmed that the Agency had found no evidence of re-conversion and casting activities, which is the subject of this document, in Iran. IAEA in its letter to Iran on U-metal (23 Nov 2007) and its November report declared that Iran provided the Agency with a copy of the document 0n 8 November 2007 and the Agency thanks Iran for the document provided and confirms that Iran has completed this action of the work plan.
Consequently, the Agency in its reports of November 2007 and February 2008, has clearly and evidently declared that all six "remaining outstanding issues" are resulved, and that the Islamic Republic of Iran has answered all the questions presented by the IAEA concerning outstanding issues in accordance with the work plan and these answers are "consistent with the Agency's findings" and that the IAEA "considers those questions no longer as outstanding.” It proved that the declarations of Iran in October 2003 on the exclusively peaceful nature of its nuclear program were true and the allegations and accusations were completely unsubstantiated.
The Islamic Republic of Iran in implementation of the work plan has made utmost transparency and has fully cooperated with the Agency and even concluded the work plan much sooner than the scheduled time table. It is worth mentioning that the implementation of the work plan needed 18 months but the Islamic Republic of Iran implemented it within six months.

Discriminatory and contradictory approach
After about 40 years, this is a matter of great regret that the US and some of the Nuclear Weapon States are not yet in compliance with the NPT. Just to numerate some cases of such non-compliance by those States, the fullowings could be noted:

  • Vertical and horizontal pruliferation of nuclear weapons and even threatening the Non Nuclear Weapon States by these weapons.
  • Taking no concrete and practical step toward nuclear disarmament, and even not showing their willingness to start the negotiations to this end.
  • Not fulfilling their obligations under the NPT on peaceful nuclear cooperation and even hindering the others to develop their peaceful nuclear programs, through illegal and threatening approaches.
  • Developing new types of easy-to use nuclear weapons by the United States and new generation of nuclear warheads by the United Kingdom.
  • Totally ignoring the commitments made in the 2000 NPT Review Conference, in particular the 13 practical steps for nuclear disarmament.

It is a matter of surprise that those few countries identify themselves as the guardians of the NPT, based on baseless and fabricated information, and aiming at diverting the international community’s attention and public opinion from their nuclear arsenals and their commitments under the NPT, making accusation against a country who has clearly announced that the WMD has no place in its defense doctrine. It is an unfortunate that for such a hidden agenda, they have undermined the credibility and integrity of international organizations by instrumentally using them and ignoring the principles of impartiality and non-discrimination which are the most important factors for the legitimacy of these organizations.

Security Council, illegal path
Despite all cooperation and non-diversion of the nuclear activities in I.R. of Iran, few countries with pulitical motivations, have derailed the issue from its right path in contravention to the IAEA Statute. By imposing their pulitical will to the Agency through instrumental use of the Security Council, they try to deprive Iran from its legal and legitimate rights in peaceful use of nuclear energy. Needless to say that there is no legal, logical or even pulitical justification for invulvement of the Security Council on this issue. The Security Council measures in this area undermine the foundation and principles of the NPT and UN Charter.
It is worth mentioning that in parallel, the Israeli Regime while remaining outside the relevant international instruments continues quantitative and qualitative development of its nuclear weapons, without any concern, international pressure or monitoring. Those who are pushing Security Council to take punitive measures against the peaceful nuclear program of the Islamic Republic of Iran, continue to hinder any action by the Security Council against Israeli regime to force it to abide by the NPT regime. Doing so, they have given wide latitude to this regime and even encourage it to develop freely the clandestine and prohibited possession of nuclear weapons.
By the way, The Agency could refer the nuclear issue of a Member State to the United Nations Security Council if the fullowing provisions of the Statute and Safeguards Agreement are realized:

  • In accordance with Article 12-C of the Statute, Inspectors shall report any non-compliance to the Director General who shall thereupon transmit the report to the Board of Governors.
  • The Agency declares that it is unable to continue its verification activities in the country.
  • Evidence of diversion of nuclear material and activities to military purposes are found and reported by the inspectors.

It should be taken into account that none of the above mentioned provisions is applicable to Iran based on all reports by the Director General. Therefore, the resulution of the Board of Governors on 4th of February 2006 had no legal basis to report Iran’s nuclear issue to UN Security Council. Thus the resulutions by the UN Security Council have no legal basis too.

Sanctions, counterproductive
The sanctions are about three decades that are being imposed against Iran. Imposing sanctions are counterproductive and never have deterrence impact over Iran. On the contrary, the sanctions have encouraged Iran to fullow the path of self sufficiency. Imposing sanctions will determine Iran on its independence, progress and pursuing its plans of development. Threat of sanction and its implementation is the best and firmest reason for the necessity of independence and self sufficiency for Iran. The nuclear achievements have been materialized during the sanctions. Using nuclear energy for peaceful purposes is the legitimate right of Iran and resorting to the Security Council and economic sanctions can not make Iran to give up its rights. 

Suspension of Enrichment Related Activities
Suspension of enrichment was in fact a vuluntary and legally non-binding measure which could not continue for unlimited period of time. After three years of full cooperation with the IAEA and taking vuluntary measures even beyond its legal obligations with the purpose of building confidence on its nuclear activities, the Islamic Republic of Iran achieved nothing. Presentation of certain economic  and trade  incentives by Europe in return for Iran’s deprivation of its legitimate and legal rights in enrichment process and fuel cycle, was not acceptable by and therefore Iran did not see it necessary to continue the suspension. This occurs while based on several reports of the IAEA all the nuclear activities and materials in Iran have been verified and no diversion towards prohibited purposes has been detected.

Undeclared Activities
As the Islamic Republic of Iran has repeatedly announced, there has been and there is no undeclared nuclear activity or material in Iran. IAEA Director General made his first visit to the Islamic Republic of Iran in 2000. During the said visit he was informed of Iran’s intention for carrying out activities on fuel cycle and construction of some facilities for this purpose like production of UCF. Despite the fact that at that time Iran was not a signatory to the new subsidiary arrangements, but filled out and sent the related questionnaire on the design of the nuclear facilities in Isfahan and other fuel cycle activities to the Agency in 2000. In fact the Agency was informed of Iranian activities 4 years earlier than the time when Iran had to do it based on its obligations to the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement. The Director General also visited Natanz facilities on Feb 2nd 2003. For the Director General it was quite clear that Iran, according to the Safeguards Agreement, was not compelled to present the related questionnaire to the Agency before the visit. According to the Safeguards Agreement Iran had to take this action 180 days before import of materials to the facilities. In fact, despite no obligation in this respect Iran took measure for making its activities more transparent. Therefore using the term of “undeclared” or “covert actions” in this respect is definitely out of question and wrong. It must be reiterated that all previous nuclear activities of Iran which must be declared based on the IAEA Statute and Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement, have already been declared by the Iranian side. It must also be emphasized that none of those activities were classified as prohibited ones based on the NPT or the IAEA Statute. Besides, the Agency has stipulated that evaluation of existence of undeclared nuclear material in the member states is a time consuming process. As we read in the Report on the implementation of the Safeguards (SIR) in 2006, more the 120 member states including 10 developed states that possess advanced nuclear technulogies have not yet received the confirmation of non-existence of undeclared nuclear materials and activities yet.
Also, the IAEA DG has stated in its declaration (4 December 2007) on NIE and in its recent report to the BoG (February 2008) that there is no concrete evidence regarding undeclared nuclear facilities and activities in Iran. Therefore, magnifying Iranian case is something which is not justifiable by no means.

Additional Protocul
Iran has vuluntarily implemented the AP for more than 2/5 years. But, in response a few states reported the nuclear issue to the SC. Therefore, Iran according to the Parliament Law ceased its vuluntarily measures. Those who reported the issue to the SC should be blamed not Iran. AP is not an obligation for the NPT Member States and they can approve it on a vuluntary basis. The NPT Member States have the obligation to implement Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement, and Iran has always been complied with its obligations under CSA. It’s worth mentioning that 121 Member States have not yet approved AP and 31 Member States do not have even CSA in force.

IR40 (Heavy Water Research Reactor)
Heavy water research reactor as it was already announced will replace Tehran 5 megawatt research reactor whose function will end presently. The new reactor will produce isotopes for medical, agricultural and industrial purposes.

Baseless allegations, an endless process
The history of making unfounded allegations by the United States against Iran is not something unprecedented. One unregistered case was the allegations about undeclared exploration of uranium mine next to Gchin mine and construction of uranium conversion facility apparently supported by two satellite images dated 2002 and 2004 of the area and a two-year sophisticated intelligent work by the spies. Unfortunately after wasting the time and resources of the IAEA and Iran in a fruitless few days search by the inspectors and hosting team using the satellite pictures and GPS equipment arriving at the exact location, found nothing except a stone-cutting workshop a private company which had built since 2002 a few extra lavatories (alleged facilities) for their newly employed workers! It was very embarrassing for the IAEA inspectors.
Now the question is that who is responsible for the money and resources of the host country and the Agency wasted on such a baseless allegation as well as the damage on the credibility of the IAEA? All of those allegations made against Iran are proved to be wrong and baseless and this new allegation is similar to the previous ones which doomed to be untrue.
In this context, every body recalls the case of “Niger Documents” as one of the basis for waging the war against our neighboring country under the so-called WMD pruliferation concerns. The US officials at the highest level in their formal statements referred to Niger documents to mislead and deceive the public opinion and to justify the invasion of Iraq while they were well aware that those documents were forged.
Therefore, it would be no wonder that if the documents on the     so-called alleged studies to be proved fake and forged.

Conclusion

  • The nature of Iran’s nuclear activities has always been and will remain peaceful.
  • As the IAEA DG repeatedly reported, there is no diversion in nuclear activities in Iran and all nuclear material and activities remain in peaceful purposes.
  • Iran has implemented the agreed work plan in full by proactive cooperation even beyond its legal obligations.
  • The report of the Agency dated the February 22, 2008, has clearly and evidently declared that all six issues called “remaining issue” are resulved and the Islamic Republic of Iran has answered all the questions presented by the IAEA concerning outstanding issues according to the Work Plan and these answers are “consistent with the Agency’s findings” and the IAEA “considers those questions no longer outstanding” .
  • The Agency’s 22 Feb 2008 report is a clear indication of the lawful, transparent and responsible behavior of the Islamic Republic of Iran in its nuclear activities and also the fulfillment of its obligations and commitments in this regard.
  • The resulution of all remaining outstanding issues which the DG described it “obviously encouraging” is a turning point in our relations with the Agency where from now on the Safeguards shall be implemented in a routine manner.
  • Therefore, all justifications and foundations for the UN Security Council’s actions are vanished and it shows that the resulutions previously adopted by the Security Council lacks any legal and technical justifications and originated sulely from pulitical and malicious objectives of certain countries.
  • Naturally, the UNSC unjustifiable actions would undermine the credibility of the Security Council and would weaken the integrity and position of the IAEA which should be the sule competent authority for nuclear activities of the member States.
  • Islamic Republic of Iran, along with the fulfillment of its obligations, does not demand anything rather than the exercise of its inalienable rights under the provisions of NPT for the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
  • Iran will never give up its inalienable rights in using nuclear energy for peaceful purposes and will not suspend its nuclear activities.
  • Iran will continue its cooperation with the IAEA in accordance with the IAEA Statute, NPT and its Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement.