NPT 101: Is Iran violating the nuclear treaty?
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Iran had 'violated' the treaty ahead of this week's NPT Review Conference in New York. But the UN nuclear watchdog has never used that term. Who's right?
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That IAEA resolution noted “serious concern” that Iran “continues to defy the requirements and obligations” of IAEA and UN Security Council resolutions – three of which impose sanctions and require Iran to halt uranium enrichment.Skip to next paragraph
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While the NPT grants every nation the right to enrich uranium to produce nuclear energy, the UN Security Council – which in Iran’s case is the enforcement mechanism for the NPT – has suspended that right until Iran resolves IAEA concerns about possible weapons efforts.
Even in censure, IAEA doesn't say Iran 'violated' NPT
The November censure also said that Iran's new plant was “in breach” of Iran’s “obligation to suspend all enrichment activities,” and the tardy declaration “inconsistent with its obligations” under Iran’s updated NPT Safeguard Agreement.
The two-page document does not use the word “violate.” Neither does that word appear in the 10 pages of the IAEA’s latest quarterly report on Iran from February.
The agency said Iran’s lack of full cooperation “reduces the level of confidence” that it has no undeclared nuclear facilities. It stated the IAEA could not exclude the “possible existence in Iran of past or current [activities] related to the development of a nuclear payload for a missile."
Such splitting of diplomatic hairs does not satisfy leaders such as US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who on Sunday stated flatly that Iran had “violated the terms of the NPT” and “been held under all kinds of restrictions and obligations that they have not complied with.”
[Editor's note: The original version of this story attributed the word "onus" to IAEA chief Yukiya Amano, though in fact it was UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon who said: "The onus is on Iran to clarify the doubts and concerns about its program."]