Mark HibbsAfter GOV/40: Tale of Two Narratives

In comments addressed to and posted by Jeffrey on Friday, John Carlson drew attention to my omission of a 2008 IAEA visit to Syria in my Carnegie article on the IAEA board of governors’ resolution GOV/2011/40, concerning IAEA access to Syria following the August, 2007 Israeli air attack which destroyed the alleged reactor at Dair Alzour.

Thanks to Jeffrey having posted Carlson’s remarks about my article, I was able to read them, and afterward I modified the offending sentence in paragraph three of that article: “The board reported [IAEA safeguards conclusions] as noncompliance—and it did so without IAEA inspectors verifying the findings first hand in Syria” to conclude “since June 2008.”

That should take care of the issue at hand.

Did I not know about that June, 2008 visit to Syria? Of course I did. In 2008 and 2009 I published in Nuclear Fuel and Nucleonics Week a half-dozen articles about it. In drafting the Carnegie piece, which was intended as a very short “Commentary” on our website, I didn’t explicitly refer to that early and never-repeated IAEA visit to Dair Alzour for reasons of editorial brevity.

In retrospect, I realize that not mentioning it was a mistake. That’s because—as Carlson’s response made clear—anything I write on the subject of Syria’s safeguards compliance following the passing of GOV/40 can put me in the crossfire of competing narratives about the resolution which began unfolding even before it was passed last month, and which may well continue playing out through the end of this year.

One of those narratives–Carlson’s–asserts that GOV/40 represented nothing really departing from previous noncompliance findings. (May we assume that that implies that there’s no real strategy innovation on the part of the sponsors of the Syria issue?) There is a second take which was circulating among its advocates at the time the resolution was under consideration that asserted that GOV/40 was a new departure for dealing with noncompliance.

Carlson wrongly attributed to me the view that GOV/40 “sets a ‘new paradigm’ for noncompliance” with IAEA safeguards. That’s the second narrative.

I never said or “suggested” that I endorsed that interpretation.

Consistent with the question mark in the title of my article, and the text which specifically states that the matter is unresolved, I wrote:

“Some advocates of the successful resolution claimed that [GOV/40] offers a new paradigm for dealing with countries that refuse to cooperate with the IAEA in addressing weighty allegations that they are secretly proliferating.”

The “new paradigm” thesis is not, as Carlson wrote, the view “according to Hibbs.” I would argue, however, that the fact that people in the  resolution sponsoring camp argued that GOV/40 was a new departure is not insignificant. There is method in this.

The “new paradigm” narrative goes like this:

After Syria beginning in mid-2008 barred the IAEA from Dair Alzour and other related sites, the IAEA then called on member states to corroborate its initial but inconclusive findings suggesting that the site could have hosted a reactor. Most was provided by the U.S. The IAEA then looked for other sources—especially open sources—to corroborate the secret data, and it succeeded. After three years, the IAEA was prepared to bite the bullet and declare that in its view Dair Alzour was a reactor, regardless of the fact that it hadn’t been able to actually verify that conclusion in Syria because Syria had refused to cooperate for over three years.

But is this really a new development? Were not other, previous noncompliance cases similar, I asked? Well, not exactly, those holding the “new paradigm” view said. They argued, for example, that Iraq was called out of compliance after IAEA inspectors themselves unearthed a clandestine nuclear program; that Iran was cited for non-compliance after it acknowledged to the IAEA that it failed to report specific nuclear activities and IAEA inspectors in Iran then independently verified that; and that Romania and Libya were found to be out of compliance after they themselves had disclosed specific activities to the IAEA.

There is another narrative on GOV/40–Carlson’s–which asserts that “this non-compliance finding is consistent with previous findings where the lack of cooperation with the IAEA has been a major factor, i.e., Iraq, North Korea, and Iran.” No new approach or paradigm.

So which version of GOV/40 is true?

Now, if I were a country that co-sponsored GOV/40 and if I were trying to convince other board member countries to join, or thereafter to get them to see GOV/40 as a kind of template for pursuing future cases, Carlson’s argument is the one I would make.

Why? As I have written in previous posts and in the above Carnegie article, GOV/40 last month encountered a lot of resistance and in fact was passed by fewer than half the board’s 35 members. In particular, members of the Non-Aligned Movement, which in Vienna increasingly since 2003 have taken their cues on key verification issues from Iran, have been on the lookout for anything that looks like the IAEA or the board are departing from standard verification procedures.  Anything that suggests that GOV/40 represents a novel approach to noncompliance would therefore represent a political challenge for its sponsors and advocates.

Whether GOV/40 will change the tilt of the playing field is ultimately what this interchange is about—including in coming months and perhaps beyond.

On to DPRK and Iran

If this were only about GOV/40 and Syria I don’t think there would be any debate over this on this blog site; I don’t believe Carlson would spend his valuable time writing  Jeffrey a carefully-drafted response to an article that I wrote; and I wouldn’t waste my time writing this post because GOV/40 will be dead-ended at the UN Security Council in New York.

But as I said in the Carnegie article, according to what you hear from those who argue that GOV/40 represents a new departure on noncompliance, board member states which sponsored and supported GOV/40 want to go further and in coming months raise outstanding compliance issues in North Korea and Iran.

We’ll see if that develops.

If so, the DPRK might be next in line. The Republic of Korea (ROK) or Japan, for example, might in advance request Director General Yukiya Amano to prepare a report on safeguards compliance in the DPRK. The ROK (which co-sponsored GOV/40) and other like-minded states on the board might then float a resolution citing the DPRK for noncompliance with its safeguards obligations. How this would play out isn’t exactly clear, since in fact for a long time the IAEA has had no access to the DPRK and, accordingly, if judged by Amano’s own yardsticks, the IAEA may have very little if anything in the way of new official information on the DPRK to report to the board. (Don’t forget that, two years ago, Amano had been asked by the IAEA General Conference to report on Israel’s nuclear capability, and the DG complied by submitting a one-page statement which testified that because the IAEA had no official information beyond what Israel was obliged to provide to the IAEA to fulfill Israel’s Infcirc-66 agreement, he had in fact virtually nothing to say).

More interesting and significant will be how the board of governors deals with Iran in the aftermath of GOV/40.

Again, according to those who say that GOV/40 is a template for a new way forward, the board could request a report from Amano on outstanding safeguards issues with Iran, and in particular, concerning the allegations of nuclear weapons-related experiments and R&D, which the IAEA Department of Safeguards has compiled in its dossier and which Iran—like Syria on Dair Alzour—has claimed are fabrications and therefore has refused to discuss with the IAEA for three years. The board might ask Amano to make a judgment as to whether the IAEA is satisfied that the allegations are supported by evidence, perhaps permitting the IAEA to conclude—as in the Syrian case concerning the reactor—that Iran “very likely” was engaged in weaponization-related activities. As in the case of the reactor allegations concerning Syria, the allegations of Iranian weaponization activities currently are based primarly upon member state intelligence information and, to a lesser extent, upon some corroborative findings that the IAEA has made in the field. As in the case of Syria, were Amano to tell the board that the IAEA deems it likely that Iran conducted weaponization activities, if the current state of affairs persists Amano would report that conclusion regardless of Iran having refused to discuss these allegations with the IAEA.

Since Carlson incorrectly associated me with the view that GOV/40 is a “new paradigm,” I feel obligated to outline what is, in fact, my modest take on this.

Every new noncompliance case contains new and unprecedented facets. None of them are alike. It would appear that the Syria dossier is a composite of different kinds of information. Some of it was obtained in the field early, in June 2008, by the IAEA during the initial stage of its probe from Dair Alzour. It was inconclusive. The IAEA then got other information which, in its view, was consistent with the thesis that Dair Alzour was a reactor. The IAEA also took the trouble of trying to get third-party information, including open source data, to quality control the intelligence data it received from the U.S. and other member states. Some sought-for aerial reconnaissance data was missing. There were questions raised about why the building at DairAlzour was so much smaller, maybe 40% smaller, than its apparent prototype in the DPRK. So in the end it was a judgment call by the IAEA.

I never said GOV/40 is a “new paradigm.” Thirty-five members of the board may decide that during the next six months.

Comments

  1. FSB (History)

    Seems like being a non-signatory to the NPT is an excellent way to avoid being referred to the UNSC for sanctions.

    Seems like being a foe of US or Israel is an excellent way of being referred.

    Seems like someone needs to check their incentives scheme.

    Seems like the real “international community” disagrees with the P5, “Pariah-5”, states:

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/LI17Ak02.html

    “Non-Aligned Movement backs Iran
    By Kaveh L Afrasiabi

    In a strongly-worded statement, representatives of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have supported Iran’s position on the contentious issue of IAEA inspectors and have also expressed concern that the most recent IAEA report on Iran has “departed from standard verification language”.

    “NAM notes with concern, the possible implications of the continued departure from standard verification language in the summary of the report of the director general [Yukio Amano],” the statement said. The statement was read during the IAEA board of governors meeting on behalf of over 100 NAM member states. ” [118 to be precise]

    How’s that NPT bargain working out for ya? 😉

    Nice new tailkit on the spanking new B61-mod 12’s in Europe. But no nukes for anyone else!

    WHAT-ever.

    • FSB (History)

      Or maybe P-5 stands for “Plutonium-5” ?

  2. Anon (History)

    I wonder who is really behind spinning Iran on Capitol Hill?

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/tehranbureau/2011/06/aipac-from-the-inside-1-isolating-iran.html

    “In August 2005, two lobbyists with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman, were indicted on charges of illegally conspiring to collect and disseminate classified secrets to journalists and to Israeli diplomats. The case, in which the two men were charged under a World War I-era espionage law along with Larry Franklin, a midlevel Iran analyst at the Department of Defense, was intimately linked to efforts by the AIPAC officials and others to improperly influence U.S. policy toward Iran, said prosecutors, and it caused a political firestorm in Washington. However, in 2009, the case fell apart, and the Justice Department withdrew all charges.

    Now, for the first time, one of the two AIPAC officials, Keith Weissman, is speaking out. In a series of extended interviews with Tehran Bureau, Weissman tells his story. He’s come forward, he says, because he’s concerned that if a confrontation between the United States, Israel, and Iran leads to war, it will be a disaster — one that Weissman fears will be blamed on the American Jews.”

  3. Anon (History)

    Mark,
    you say:

    “Again, according to those who say that GOV/40 is a template for a new way forward, the board could request a report from Amano on outstanding safeguards issues with Iran, and in particular, concerning the allegations of nuclear weapons-related experiments and R&D, which the IAEA Department of Safeguards has compiled in its dossier and which Iran—like Syria on Dair Alzour—has claimed are fabrications and therefore has refused to discuss with the IAEA for three years.”

    The possible weaponization allegations are not really “outstanding” issues since — even if they occurred — they are not taking place right now according to the DNI. So it is of historical interest but not an outstanding issue to resolve regarding what is going on in Iran — now.

    The DNI has confirmed that he has a “high level of confidence” that Iran “has not made a decision as of this point to restart its nuclear weapons program” see:

    http://lewis.armscontrolwonk.com/archive/3703/clapper-on-iran-nie

    Furthermore, as argued by Yousef in Jeffrey’s post right before yours, the UNSC sanctions appear to have been arbitrarily triggered — no “threat to the peace” was found as needed by Art 39 of Chapter 7 of the UN Charter that authorizes such sanctions.

    And as argued by Masoud and many others the proper route according to Iran’s CSA is to kick off arbitration when there is a dispute that does not involve the nuclear accountancy of declared nuclear materials.

    In the case of Syria, let’s ask the IAEA to compare the composition of the alleged U found at the Syrian site with the depleted U in Israeli munitions before going further with this wild goose chase.

    Lastly, why is the IAEA not helping Syria build up its nuclear power facilities in accordance with Art 4?

  4. Stephen (History)

    From Mark Hibbs’ article:

    “IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano first evaluated intelligence provided by the United States and then found data in the public domain that appeared to validate American analysis before concurring that a building at Dair Alzour destroyed by Israel in 2007 was a covert reactor.”

    The “data in the public domain” couldn’t have been put there by American, Israeli or other allied intelligence services could it? These services do have “past history” on this!

    “But given recent increased politicization of the board, the biggest challenge is that many members of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) no longer trust the IAEA secretariat in matters of verification”

    I assume that Mark Hibbs is implying that Russia and China are the parties that are responsible for the “increased politicization”? Has he ever considered that it might be the US, and its lackeys, the UK, France, and Germany (among others) that are responsible for the increased politicization” and that the attitude of the members of NAM who are largely independent of Russia and China might be justified?

    • mark (History)

      Stephen, no, not at all. I’m not assuming that Russia and China are responsible for the politicization. I have written a bit about this, as has Tanya Ogilvie-White. There are deep-rooted reasons for this development. They include the end of the Cold War, friction between the U.S. and the IAEA during the Bush years, the rise of the NAM in Vienna IAEA politics, a certain shift in responsibility for IAEA affairs at member state governments from “nuclear energy” national agencies and toward foreign affairs bureaucracies, among other things.

  5. Allen Thomson (History)

    Not to be nitpicky, but is there any reason to think Israel uses depleted uranium (or natural uranium, which is what the IAEA seems to have found) in the kinds of weapons likely to have been used at al Kibar? I.e., aircraft bombs and missiles? For that matter, does any country? The Web has some allegations that the US has penetrating bombs that use DU, but the allegations don’t appear to be particularly well sourced.

    • FSB (History)
    • FSB (History)

      More specific — see the UNIDIR doc from page 35 onwards — Israel got many GBU-28s courtesy of US taxpayers (incidentally, in violation of our own Arms Export Control Act — but it’s Israel: anything for mini-me from our $$$$$$$-hungry congress!):

      http://www.unidir.org/pdf/articles/pdf-art2759.pdf

    • FSB (History)

      And Israel may also have used DU or U before in Lebanon — see ref. 43 from the previous URL for the lab report:

      postconflict.unep.ch/lebanonreport/Weapons%20team/Mission%20II%20-%20Nov%202006/TR-06030A.doc

    • Andy (History)

      The only weapons which are known to contain DU are various kinetic energy projectiles. There are rumors that later-generation GBU-28’s (or a similar follow-on weapon) may use a DU alloy in the casing, but they are only rumors.

      However, even if GBU-28’s with uranium exist, they are irrelevant to the discussion here because it’s obvious from the post-strike imagery that they were not used to attack this complex. The GBU-28 is designed to defeat deeply buried and hardened underground targets and this was neither. A GBU-28 would have passed right through the foundation and exploded many meters below the structure. There’s no evidence this occurred and furthermore, such a deep underground detonation is unlikely to eject debris beyond the areas the Syrians scrapped clean where it could be collected by Agency inspectors.

      It appears to me, based on the the single low-resolution post-strike image available in the public domain, that the al Kibar structure was hit with several general purpose munitions which penetrated the roof and detonated near ground level.

      Another “theory” I’ve heard is that Israel laced it’s weapons with uranium to provide “evidence” that the structure was a reactor. Whatever the case (GBU-28’s or uranium-laced weapons), it would be elementary for Syria to definitively show the uranium came from Israeli weapons. Weapons don’t disintegrate on impact and all Syria would have to do is provide the remains to the IAEA for testing. The Agency is very good at that kind of testing – remember that they were able to determine that the HEU found in some of Iran’s used centrifuges was a “gift” from the Pakistanis.

      So Syria’s own actions don’t provide much support for Syrian allegations. They won’t provide bomb debris for testing and they won’t otherwise cooperate with the Agency to prove their assertions. If the uranium came from Israeli weapons it would be not be hard to show that but instead the Syrians are stonewalling.

      As an aside, FSB, the UN specifically looked for evidence that Israel used uranium weapons in the Lebanon war and found none:

      http://www.bandepleteduranium.org/en/a/112.html

    • FSB (History)

      Andy,
      your opinions of what Israel may or may not have used in the raid are interesting but far from definitive.

      See the UNIDIR document above where the UN explores how Israel did, in fact, use U or DU weapons in Lebanon:

      http://www.unidir.org/pdf/articles/pdf-art2759.pdf

      And see:

      postconflict.unep.ch/lebanonreport/Weapons%20team/Mission%20II%20-%20Nov%202006/TR-06030A.doc

      for an actual lab report.

      Your love of Israel ought not blind you to its defense forces’ often illegal and militant behavior.

    • FSB (History)

      In particular, please check pp. 40 of the UNIDIR report cited above which contains information not in the immediate post-conflict report you cite.

    • Anon (History)

      And Andy please see p. 37 onwards for various DU and U weapons.

      http://www.unidir.org/pdf/articles/pdf-art2759.pdf

      And a DU or U GBU-28 could well have been used as it may be needed to go through concrete.

      Again, note Nat. U is also useable and may be consistent with what was found in Syria.

      It’s up to the Israelis to tell the Int’l community what they used in the illegal attack.

    • Anon (History)

      I wouldn’t be surprised if the same Israel-first crowd behind the fake Iran fear-mongering are behind the Syrian lies also:

      http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/tehranbureau/2011/06/aipac-from-the-inside-1-isolating-iran.html

    • Andy (History)

      FSB,

      First of all, please leave ad hominems out of your comments – ie. your statement about my supposed “love of Israel.” This isn’t the first time I’ve asked, so please stop. You obviously do not know the first thing about my views on Israel, but if you look through the archives here (or if you could be bothered to actually ask in lieu of assuming), you might discover that my opinion is not what you imagine it to be.

      Secondly, the Dai Williams article you’ve linked to three times now is far from definitive on the question of uranium and Lebanon. I won’t engage on that score further because it’s ultimately irrelevant to the specific question of what weapons destroyed the al Kibar facility. On that topic you say:

      “And a DU or U GBU-28 could well have been used as it may be needed to go through concrete.

      Again, note Nat. U is also useable and may be consistent with what was found in Syria.

      It’s up to the Israelis to tell the Int’l community what they used in the illegal attack.”

      First, al Kibar was not a hardened structure and so DU was categorically NOT needed even assuming such weapons actually exist and are in the Israeli inventory. Again, as is apparent from the public satellite imagery of the site, this structure was not hardened, was only partially underground and was not struck by penetrating weapons, uranium or otherwise.

      Secondly, there is no evidence that natural uranium was used in any of these weapons and there are a lot of technical reasons to believe that natural uranium would not be used in lieu of a DU alloy. And again, even if such weapons did exist, they would not be needed to attack al Kibar since conventional munitions are entirely sufficient. Actually, conventional weapons are better, actually, from a weaponeering standpoint.

      Third, the burden is on Syria. Why? Because Syria is making the allegation and Syria is the only country with the physical evidence to prove those allegations one way or another. I doubt anything Israel said on the matter would satisfy its critics (and it’s already denied using any uranium-based weapons – who has that convinced?). Inspecting Israel’s munitions depots – itself an arduous and impractical task to say the least – would not be definitive either. After all, people could still claim that Israel hid their uranium weapons from inspectors. No, the definitive evidence to answer that allegation is in Syria and Syria alone. Syria controls the remains of the weapons that were actually used in the attack and could make those remains available for testing by the IAEA or third party. Syria has specifically and repeatedly refused to do that.

      Finally, if Syria’s claims were true, it should have every incentive to show that it was attacked by Israel with uranium weapons. That determination would be pretty strong evidence that al Kibar was not a reactor. Given the close vote on UNSC referral, it would very likely have tipped the balance significantly into Syria’s favor. It would demonstrate that the US and Israel were lying about al Kibar all along. The benefits to Syria of demonstrating that it was attacked with uranium-based weapons are enormous. Yet Syria refuses to do anything more that make allegations when it possesses the evidence to make it’s case.

    • FSB (History)

      Andy,
      your views are interesting but NOT definitive.

      I agree there is no evidence for OR against Nat U used in the weapons in Syria.

      You say: “DU was categorically NOT needed…”

      It would NOT be the first time Israel used weapons that were overkill.

      BTW, going thru a few meters of concrete would be a rational use of DU or Nat U weapons.

      Nothing you say convinces me that Israel did not use Nat U or DU weapons — especially since according to UNIDIR they did evidently use them in Lebanon.

      There is no evidence supporting your views — just your opinions. Which are really interesting.

      Good day.

    • Andy (History)

      FSB,

      My statement that DU weapons were conclusively not needed to attack and destroy al Kibar is demonstrated by the imagery of the facility itself showing it’s design and construction along with with the simple historical fact that non-uranium based weapons have been destroying actual hardened underground facilities for a long, long time. The idea that weapons able to destroy hardened aircraft shelters and underground command bunkers and WWII German submarine pens are somehow insufficient for a half-buried, light concrete and steel structure like al Kibar is an idea completely without merit.

    • FSB (History)

      Andy,
      my response to your weak arguments is supported by the UNIDIRs finding that Israel used Uranium weapons on much weaker structures and civilian facilities in Lebanon — and Israel’s general propensity for overkill.

      Further, my view that the origin of the Uranium allegedly found in Syria is unclear is supported by the IAEA itself:

      http://www.isis-online.org/uploads/isis-reports/documents/Syria_24May2011.pdf

      “The Agency has not been able to determine the origin
      of the particles.”

      ’nuff said.

      Your opinions are still quite interesting but are far from definitive.

      In any case, if any country needs to be subject to sanctions for being a threat to the peace it is Israel.

      Have a nice day.

    • Andy (History)

      FSB,

      What you don’t seem to understand is that these uranium penetrators, even if they exist, are not “overkill.” Not to belabor the point, but they would be less effective on a target like al Kibar than a conventional munition so using them would be “underkill” rather than “overkill.” There is no reason any weaponeer would choose to use such a suboptimal weapon on something like al Kibar.

      “The Agency has not been able to determine the origin
      of the particles.”

      Well, thank you for pointing out the obvious. The reason the agency isn’t able to make that determination is because Syria refuses to cooperate. Again, if the uranium came from Israeli weapons a single piece of uranium-alloy bomb casing could prove that…so why doesn’t Syria provide a piece or at least some access to the debris?

    • FSB (History)

      Andy,
      do you know the amount of concrete that the bombs had to go through before reaching the possible alleged reactor?

      Do you know their trajectory?

      Do you know if they had to plow thru walls or containment?

      Do you know if Israel would not use DU or Nat U IN ADDITION to other munitions?

      Evidently the IAEA has some U samples — what more do they need to make their determination that Israel was not the source of them? Do you know that it is not Israel that is not forthcoming?

      Have a great day.

    • Andy (History)

      FSB,

      To answer your questions, yeah, I pretty much do. We have various images of the site both from the ground and from satellites and we have one image of the facility after the strike. These images shows clearly show the facility was made with light concrete curtain walls and a light steel frame roof. There are are not any large slabs of 10-foot-plus thick reinforced, high-strength concrete in any of them. Furthermore, there is no evidence of the tell-tale signs that a penetrating weapon was used – either large craters (caused by a weapon that partially penetrates before exploding) or an impact hole and little else (cause by a weapon that deeply penetrates or penetrates a hardened concrete structure). If you look at images and video of Iraqi bunkers and aircraft shelters destroyed during the 1991 war (or even the Libyan war going on right now), you’ll see what those weapons do to hardened structures. Now compare those images to the damage at al Kibar.

      “Do you know if Israel would not use DU or Nat U IN ADDITION to other munitions?”

      No I don’t know but there is no evidence for that – none – no matter how much some wish it were so. It seems that here you are asking to prove a negative – that we must provide proof that Israel didn’t use uranium weapons. And again, the easy way to find out for sure if this allegation is true is for Syria to provide the IAEA, or even a trusted third party, with fragments of the bombs themselves for testing.

      But really, FSB, why stop at uranium bombs with your theorizing? When one doesn’t need evidence then anything is possible for the creative mind. Maybe the Israeli’s sent in commandos to plant the uranium after the strike. Maybe they sent some low-flying aircraft that dumped uranium particles on the site. Maybe they secretly added uranium to the concrete mix plant that was located at the site, embedding the uranium in the structure itself. They are all equally viable and also equally without any actual basis in fact.

      I think I’ve made my point here well enough, so this will be my last comment on this subject, so feel free to have the last word.

    • FSB (History)

      Andy,
      unless you were among the Israeli Intelligence officials planning the raid and knew specifically about the thicknesses of the walls etc. prior to the raid and asked for the GBU-28s or GBU-39s to not be used there is little evidence that anyone should believe you.

      Where are the post-attack imagery that backs up your claim? How soon after the raid were they taken. Please share.

      If you were among the Israeli intelligence then one can assume you have a biased viewpoint.

      GBU-28s are not the only munitions that contain U — the smaller GBU-39s also do and Israel uses those also. And these would not make a large crater.

      The fact that UNIDIR found that Israel used munitions incorporating U on non-military targets suggests that it is possible they used them on what they may have thought was a well-shielded reactor.

      The fact that you say you know the trajectory of the bombs kind of lessens your general credibility.

      The final point is this: even the IAEA admits it does not know the origin of the U.

      Various hypotheses have been put forth at:

      http://lewis.armscontrolwonk.com/archive/2090/traces-of-uranium-at-alkibar

      It is entirely plausible the the U did not indicate a reactor or weapons work, and it is also plausible that the U originated in the munitions used to bomb the reactor.

  6. Andrew (History)

    The most interesting part about whether there is a “new paradigm” or whether “this non-compliance finding is consistent with previous findings where the lack of cooperation with the IAEA has been a major factor” is the fact that non-proliferation judgments are increasingly happening within a debatable political framework.
    The following observations seem particularly pertinent:

    *Certain countries perceive they have an interest in advocating that this model used as a template for the future cases they can immediately foresee

    *The Agency may be slightly tainted to some by comments of its director general that he “was solidly in the US court on every key strategic decision, from high-level personnel appointments to the handling of Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program.””

    *GOV/40 has received ‘buy-in’ from fewer than half the board’s 35 members

    *Advocates of different narratives wittingly or unwittingly classify others in to ‘camps’ with perceived motives

    The best way forward would not involve the perception of the splitting of nonproliferation in to camps within a political framework. If one group of nations perceives another group of nations is creating double standards aligned with their immediately perceived political interests, the long term credibility and health of the system for all nations is called in to question as every nation will begin acting in its own perceived short term interests.

    Briefly: A nonproliferation house divided against itself cannot stand, hence the need for consensus-driven “blind” universal standards which are meted out in a consistent and impartial way regardless of context or identity

    • FSB (History)

      “Like”

  7. FSB (History)

    The proper way to resolve disputes (that do not involve the mis-accounting of declared nuclear materials) is to kick off arbitration — see the CSA.

    Also, when a non-NPT nation bombs an NPT member nation over an alleged secret nuclear power reactor, the correct thing may be to kick off Chapter 7 sanctions (“the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression”) against the bombing nation.

    Just a thought.

    Might help y’all with yer NPT-thingee in the long run, assuming y’all are interested in the long run that is.

    • Andy (History)

      FSB,

      Iran, Syria or whomever is free to request arbitration at any point. None have done so, nor have they given any indication that that will. All parties seem perfectly content to pursue their positions through diplomacy and politics rather than risk arbitration.

    • FSB (History)

      Dearest Andy,

      we have been through this before — why do you raise it again?

      So that you are no longer confused let’s go through it for the fourth or fifth time again:

      Yes, it would absolutely make sense for Iran to ask to kick off arbitration **IF** its “dossier” had not been passed on to the UNSC.

      Incidentally, that action itself was legally questionable:

      http://brillwebsite.com/writings/irannucleardispute-102010-0.pdf

      Since Iran’s “dossier” has been now sent to the UNSC, it no longer makes sense for Iran to kick off arbitration because even if it wins arbitration of the IAEA level (CSA-level) concerns, there are now separate UNSC demands that it stop enrichment.

      Hillary Clinton has been quoted as saying that the UNSC sanctions — which themselves are illegal or extra-legal since no “threat to the peace” has been determined — will stay in place until Iran stops enrichment.

      So Iran can perfectly satisfy the IAEA and yet there will still be UNSC sanctions on it.

      So why would it be stupid enough to _now_ ask for arbitration? It is in a illegal lose-lose scenario.

      Because the process has been sent out of the IAEA, Iran is now answerable to two committees with different standards. The UNSC demands — stopping enrichment — have nothing to do with what would satisfy the IAEA.

      So, yes, if the process had been handled within legal bounds and kept at the IAEA level then the right course of action would have been for the IAEA or Iran to ask for arbitration.

      But the process has been trashed — Iran’s file has been sent to the UNSC and sanctions imposed without satisfying Art 39 of Chapter 7 of the UNSC Charter — and there are now completely ad-hoc UNSC demands the Iran stop enrichment no matter if Iran can satisfy the IAEA.

      As Eric Brill’s article above states:

      “Though nearly all commentators overlook this, the Security Council has no authority to enforce Iran’s Safeguards Agreement. Although the Security Council has also imposed harsh sanctions on Iran, the UN Charter authorizes punishment only if the Security Council determines that a threat to the peace exists, which it has never done.”

      Let me know if I can clarify anything else for you.

    • Andy (History)

      FSB,

      On one hand you say the “proper way to resolve disputes” is through arbitration, yet in your latest comment you say that arbitration, for Iran at least, is stupid. Well, which is it, because you’ve called for arbitration WRT Iran many times on this blog (talk about repeatedly raising the same point!) and Iran was referred to the UNSC over 5 years ago. Furthermore, Iran had plenty of opportunity to invoke arbitration prior to referral.

      Whatever the case, my only point is that nations have legitimate reasons to not heed your advice regarding arbitration simply because they are reluctant to cede control over an outcome to what amounts to a third party. So they don’t share your view that arbitration is “the proper way to resolve disputes.”

    • FSB (History)

      Andy you say:

      “On one hand you say the “proper way to resolve disputes” is through arbitration, yet in your latest comment you say that arbitration, for Iran at least, is stupid. Well, which is it, because you’ve called for arbitration WRT Iran many times on this blog (talk about repeatedly raising the same point!) and Iran was referred to the UNSC over 5 years ago. Furthermore, Iran had plenty of opportunity to invoke arbitration prior to referral. ”

      As I made clear — *****if**** Iran’s “dossier” had not illegally been sent out of the IAEA to the UNSC there would have been an opportunity for the proper procedure — arbitration — to have been followed.

      I have always made clear that it does not ****now*** make sense for Iran to invoke arbitration since the legal process has been trashed already.

      This is why I replied to your post.

      My position has never changed and is perfectly rational. Go read the previous posts to verify.

      You are wrong that “Iran had plenty of opportunity to invoke arbitration”.

      The IAEA illegally “referred” Iran’s “nuclear file” to the Security Council in 2006 based on disclosure of alleged violations that had occurred during the last two decades of the 20th century and which ended in 2003-4.

      There was NO opportunity for Iran to invoke arbitration.

      And btw, even the US DNI admits that Iran does not have an on-going nuclear program, with “high confidence”.

      And wikileaks makes clear that any alleged weapons’ program was wrapped up in 2003-4 even before the new 2011 NIE came out supporting that view:

      http://cablesearch.org/cable/view.php?id=09UNVIEVIENNA192

      “¶13. (C) Recalling the U.S. Intelligence Community’s assessment in the 2007 NIE that Iran halted its nuclear weapons work in 2003, France asked about information in DDG Safeguards Olli Heinonen’s February 2008 technical briefing which indicated some activities had taken place in 2004. The U.S. responded that the information in Heinonen’s February 2008 briefing was consistent with the 2003 weaponization halt assessment, since some activities were wrapping up in 2004.”

      So the fact that there are sanctions on Iran for a nuclear weapons program that the USG says does not now exist is a travesty of justice and a monumental failure of the NPT and a disgraceful stain on IAEA.

      No wonder the real international community composed of the 118 nations of the NAM supports Iran and not the IAEA.

      Please let me know if I may help you further.

    • Spruce (History)

      Again with this “Dossier” thing? This has been hashed time and again here and every time you quote that Brill’s article that actually argues something completely different than you do here.

      Once again, the Director General has full right to report whatever pleases him to UNSC. Direct quote from that article you yourself linked:

      “The IAEA need not satisfy any conditions to “report” whatever it may feel like reporting to the Security Council (see, footnote 4). On the other hand, the
      making of such a report confers no authority on the Security Council under Iran’s Safeguards Agreement,
      regardless of what “conditions” the IAEA may have satisfied”

      Therefore, this “passing of dossier” that you keep harping on was completely legal and explicitly within right of the IAEA. Therefore, the only question becomes whether UNSC is acting under the Chapter VII rules – and if it is, it is utterly insignificant whether IAEA had referred Iran to IAEA or not since the UNSC would’ve had authority to take it up on its own initiative.

      Here, Brill’s arguments against what he labels the “implied Article 39 resolution” are as weak as always. See, for example, http://umu.diva-portal.org/smash/record.jsf?pid=diva2:201416 or http://www.operationspaix.net/La-Charte-des-Nations-Unies for arguments that support that argument. The main argument by Brill against that “implied Article 39 resolution” is that UNSC hasn’t done it before, which is extremely weak one for arguing against a legality of an action – simply not doing something does not lose its legal basis. of Furthermore, the sole authority on interpreting these articles is on UNSC itself. Therefore, the statement “Although the Security Council has also imposed harsh sanctions on Iran, the UN Charter authorizes punishment only if the Security Council determines that a threat to the peace exists, which it has never done” is purely Brill’s conjecture, disagreed by other experts on the field (see the links above) and which is not supported by the actions or statements of the only organization that has the legal power to interpret UN Statute: the UNSC.

      So, in short, “sending the dossier to UNSC” was fully in power of IAEA and Brill also states that. You can argue whether it was constructive, but you can’t argue whether it was legal. The actions by UNSC afterwards are somewhat gray area, but there are several persuasive arguments that it was totally within UNSC’s rights. Finally, NO country, including Iran, has argued against the sanctions based with the arguments Brill puts forward, which really points to the weakness of the whole thing. And the reason is also simple: Brill’s argument is that the resolutions are technically incorrect. Chapter VII gives the UNSC power to do what it has done, the only problem in the resolutions is just that they have not explicitly spelled this out. If the UNSC would make the same resolutions, but this time explicitly state the Article 39, whole of Brill’s argument would no longer apply. And should Iran argue against the sanctions on the same basis Brill does, that’s exactly what UNSC would do.

    • Andy (History)

      FSB,

      The fact of the matter is that Iran (and now Syria) had plenty of opportunity to request arbitration before referral to the UNSC and they didn’t. Personally, I would like to see arbitration used as well and that includes both Syria and Iran. However, I also understand why states are reluctant to invoke it which was my point. As often as you bring up the topic of arbitration here I simply feel the need to occasionally point out why states didn’t and don’t use it. So please don’t confuse analysis with advocacy. Thanks.

    • FSB (History)

      There was not plenty of opportunity to request arbitration in Iran’s case.

      In any case, the “referral” to UNSC and the subsequent sanctions are not legal.

      See:

      http://brillwebsite.com/writings/irannucleardispute-102010-0.pdf

      See the DNI’s statements about why Iran does not have a nuclear weapons program with “high confidence”.

      And see my wikileaks above which confirms when it was wrapped up.

      So it is a tempest in a teapot and is brought about by a politically motivated DG and IAEA as Mark Hibbs’ article also verifies.

      Good day.

    • Andy (History)

      FSB,

      Iran did not have plenty of opportunity? According to whom or by what metric? Iran had at least three months because the original January 2006 vote was delayed until March. It also had several months prior to January since referral was being openly discussed for many months before. The disputes between Iran and the IAEA go back even further than that. In all that time Iran had no opportunity to request arbitration? If Iran wanted arbitration why has it never mentioned it? If Iran was denied the opportunity to invoke arbitration then why haven’t we heard any complaint from Iran?

      No, you are simply wrong here. Iran had plenty of opportunity and it specifically chose not to pursue arbitration.

    • masoud (History)

      Andy,

      With all due respect, I think you’re a bit confused. Iran has many objections to the way the US and Western Europe have politicized the IAEA, and yes, it does retain the legal right to ask for arbitration, but Iran’s behavior isn’t suspect here.

      If Iran had say, cut off all cooperation it was statutorily required to have provided the IAEA, ‘referred’ it’s current misgivings to the Organization of the Islamic Conference, and pushed for a resolution declaring a Jihad against the Safeguards Department at the IAEA, and worked diligently to starve IAEA civilians through economic warfare, and had carried out covert assassinations of IAEA scientists, and sabotaged Safeguards Department laboratories in a fashion meant to murder all the technicians working therein, and still had the cheek to demand that the IAEA cooperate in the preparation of a genocide against itself by disarming and providing all the technical information Iran required to carry one out, and justified all these measures by citing a series of resolutions containing an ever expanding set of demands bounced back and forth between it’s own Majlis and an OIC executive body with no discernible legal authority in this matter, in that alternate universe, it would be quite rational to say that Iran had overstepped it’s legal bounds as dictated by the NPT, that it was in fact acting illegally, that it should cease doing so, and attempt to address any grievances it has with the IAEA within the agreed upon framework layed out in the relevant treaties.

      In such a universe, it would also be rational to remark that even though one can recognize that the IAEA has the legal authority to initiate some of the same procedures as does Iran, that it would be understandable, given the balance power in the world, if the IAEA, on the basis of a cost benefit calculation, and given the overwhelming power differential involved and the low probability of Iran abiding by the outcome it did not approve of(an unmistakable feature of Iran’s behavior in this universe), would choose not to initiate such a procedure.

      But we do not live in the twilight zone like alternate universe outlined above. And just about the only conclusion about this particular conflict that rings true in both universes is that it is downright warped to draw a moral equivalence between the behavior of the two parties.

    • FSB (History)

      Andy,

      maybe you are not familiar with the law, but in legal matters 3 months is not a great deal of time: Iran may well have assumed that a legal path would be followed by the IAEA and that it had much more time to discuss internally how to handle the false accusations of the politically motivated IAEA.

      Indeed, it may have felt that given the wrong accusations and politically warped atmosphere that arbitration would not have resulted in a fair hearing.

      Who knows they may have thought they will get bombed if they request arbitration.

      Nevertheless, the fact that Iran did not request arbitration in a short timeframe, does not mean that the correct path for the IAEA was an illegal “referral”: if Iran was seen to be dragging its feet then the correct course of action was for the IAEA to kick of arbitration.

      That is the CSA-prescribed way to handle disputes that do not involve the accountancy of declared nuclear materials (ie. Art 19 exemption).

      Which was the case at hand.

      See:

      http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Infcircs/Others/infcirc214.pdf

      “Article 22

      Any dispute arising out of the interpretation or application of this Agreement, except a dispute
      with regard to a finding by the Board under Article 19 or an action taken by the Board pursuant to such
      a finding, which is not settled by negotiation or another procedure agreed to by the Government of Iran
      and the Agency shall, at the request of either, be submitted to an arbitral tribunal…”

      Good day.

    • Andy (History)

      Masoud,

      I think you are reading way to much into my comments. My point is pretty limited to pointing out why countries, generally, are not disposed to use arbitration. Arbitration would actually, in my opinion, cut out a lot of the politicization you describe and, as I mentioned, I would personally like to see it invoked more often.

      FSB,

      So what are you suggesting – that Iran wanted to pursue arbitration but wasn’t given the opportunity? You say three months (it was actually much longer than that) wasn’t enough time? By what standard? If Iran seriously considered arbitration for any of it’s disputes with the IAEA, and was denied the opportunity by whatever means, then why haven’t we heard about it? Wouldn’t Iran complain that it’s rights under its CSA were violated? Do you have ANY evidence whatsoever that Iran, or anyone else, wanted to pursue arbitration? I’ve done some pretty extensive searches and found nothing in the reporting that would suggest Iran considered arbitration and nothing that would suggest Iran was somehow “denied” the opportunity to invoke that article. So if you have something besides idle speculation, then by all means, let’s hear it.

    • FSB (History)

      Andy,
      that’s really sweet that you’d like to see arbitration used more often.

      Indeed it would make sense if the IAEA did not illegally refer Iran to the UNSC.

      Now there is no reason for Iran to kick of arbitration since there are ad hoc demands emanating from Hillary Clinton’s mouth about Iran suspending enrichment before Ch. 7 sanctions are limited — even if Iran complies with the politicized demands of the IAEA.

      Sit back and watch the NPT fall apart due to the West’s own cheap underhanded politics. Nations gave up sovereignty in the NPT to get nuclear power technology and to force NWSs to disarm. Ain’t neither happening.

      So it is best to say that the NPT is dead.

    • FSB (History)

      Andy,
      Maybe Iran did or maybe it didn’t intend to kick off arbitration before Iran’s file was illegally referred to the UNSC. I have no idea.

      Indeed, it may have felt that given the wrong accusations and politically warped atmosphere that arbitration would not have resulted in a fair hearing.

      Who knows they may have thought they will get bombed if they request arbitration.

      Nevertheless, the fact that Iran did not request arbitration in a short timeframe, does not mean that the correct path for the IAEA was an illegal “referral”: if Iran was seen to be dragging its feet then the correct course of action was for the IAEA to kick of arbitration.

      That is the CSA-prescribed way to handle disputes that do not involve the accountancy of declared nuclear materials (ie. Art 19 exemption) as you should know by now.

      Whatever the legality or illegality of the referrals — it is now quite clear to the DNI with high confidence that Iran does not have an ongoing nuclear weapons program.

      So the Chapter 7 sanctions need to be lifted — like, yesterday.

  8. masoud (History)

    All I can say is thank God for Mark Hibbs. Given the milieu he works in, I can’t imagine it’s an easy task to be as reasonable and honest as he manages to be.

  9. Anon (History)

    The following article may be of interest to you folks — it was co-written by Richard Dalton and five other former ambassadors to Iran: Paul von Maltzahn (Germany), Steen Hohwü-Christensen (Sweden), Guillaume Metten (Belgium), François Nicoullaud (France) and Roberto Toscano (Italy)

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jun/09/iran-nuclear-power-un-threat-peace

    Iran is not in breach of international law

    There is no evidence that the country is building nuclear weapons. The west’s strategy has helped create the standoff

    Excerpt:

    “But what constitutes the threat? Is it the enrichment of uranium in Iranian centrifuges? This is certainly a sensitive activity, in a highly sensitive region. The international community’s concerns are legitimate and Iran has a moral duty to answer them. In principle, however, nothing in international law or in the non-proliferation treaty forbids uranium enrichment. Several other countries, parties or not to the treaty, enrich uranium without being accused of “threatening the peace”. And in Iran, this activity is submitted to inspections by the IAEA inspections. These inspections, it’s true, are albeit constrained by an agreement on safeguards dating from the 70s. But the IAEA has never uncovered any attempted diversion of nuclear material to military use.

    So is Iran attempting to build a nuclear weapon? For at least three years, the US intelligence community has discounted this hypothesis. The US director of national intelligence, James Clapper, testified last February to Congress: “We continue to assess [whether] Iran is keeping open the option to develop nuclear weapons … We do not know, however, if Iran will eventually decide to build nuclear weapons.”

  10. FSB (History)

    Spruce,
    The IAEA can indeed “refer” whatever they want to the UNSC — but the result of doing so on no evidence of illicit behavior (just suspicions of unknown possible thing the Iranians may or may not be hiding, possibly) brings you to the situation we find ourselves in: an impotent IAEA that is tainted by being known to be politically motivated and does not have the support of 118 nations of the NAM.

    Most certainly, Chapter 7 sanctions REQUIRE Art 39 triggers. It is written for all to see.

    If Israel — who bombed another nation’s possible alleged nuclear reactor — is not subject to Chapter 7 sanctions for being a threat to the peace, then it is no surprise that most countries will thumb their nose at the IAEA and the UN and label them as politically motivated since that is what they most certainly are.

    If Syria becomes subject to Ch 7 sanctions and Israel walks off scott free I will personally advocate for the NPT dissolution.

    And if the Ch 7 sanctions are not lifted from Iran even when is clear to the DNI and various other sources that any alleged nuclear weapons program was wrapped up in 2003-4, then I encourage all countries to leave the NPT.

    Iran and Syria should be getting nuclear technology and assistance under article 4 not assassinations, bombs and STUXNET.

    If you are worried about enrichment and sneaky ways to get the bomb and a lack of AP: go investigate Brazil.

    Non-NPT nations are treated much better by the NWSs than NPT nations.

    The racist and politically motivated IAEA is a laughingstock.

    Only nuclear weapons keep you safe from the P-5 as NK has learned.

    • Spruce (History)

      This is completely different line of argument. Here you are arguing that the UNSC and IAEA actions are politically unwise. And I tend to agree with that. However, that does not remove the fact the actions have been in line of their powers.

      Legal does not make wise and unwise does not make illegal.

  11. Anon (History)

    In fact, spruce is wrong.

    The IAEA did not have the right to refer Iran to the UNSC over false findings of non-compliance.

    Iran provided exactly how much co-operation it was legally required to give, given that it did not ratify the AP.

    Iran was fully compliant with the IAEA.

    If there was an argument then the IAEA should have triggered Art 22 Arbitration — not an illegal and meaningless referral.

    • FSB (History)

      Agreed.

      I only meant that the IAEA *can* “refer” Iran to any international body — not that that doing so is legitimate or meaningful.

      As Masoud has previously, the IAEA *can* also refer Iran to “Extreme Makeover” if the IAEA objects to Ahmedinejad’s haircut but who cares?

      They would be well advised to stick to the CSA-prescribed route: Arbitration.

    • Spruce (History)

      IAEA has full right to refer any country for any reason it wants. Even one that is working in full cooperation with IAEA. It’s right there in the IAEA Statue, there’s no criteria needed to be fulfilled before that referral. It might not be sensible course of action, but it is in its right.

      Namely, the Article III B.4 allows the IAEA to “Submit reports on its activities annually to the General Assembly of the United Nations and, when appropriate, to the Security Council: if in connection with the activities of the Agency there should arise questions that are within the competence of the Security Council, the Agency shall notify the Security Council, as the organ bearing the main responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, and may also take the measures open to it under this Statute, including those provided in paragraph C of Article XII;”

      Most likely the confusion arises from that referred paragraph C of Article XII, which speaks of non-compliance. The important difference between those articles is that Article XII forces IAEA to report non-compliance. However, in addition to this, Article III allows IAEA to report to Security Council whatever it deems necessary. It’s important to note that Article III does not limit the right in any way.

      IAEA may report about any country for any reason it wants. It may report a country for a bad hairdo of the NPP operator if it wants according that Article III – no non-compliance is necessary. Again, it’s different argument whether it’s sensible, but it is unquestionably its right.

    • FSB (History)

      “IAEA has full right to refer any country for any reason it wants. Even one that is working in full cooperation with IAEA. ”

      I tend to agree with you here that this may be a possible — though stretched — reading of the law. But in any case it is highly unwise to do this with Iran, especially in light of the DNI’s statements re. 2011 NIE.

      The IAEA is undermining its legitimacy.

      The condition specified for referal is “if in connection with the activities of the Agency there should arise questions that are within the competence of the Security Council, the Agency shall notify the Security Council”

      The CSA is not within the competence of UNSC, and the DNI and other sources confirm that Iran’s alleged weapons program ended in 2003-4.

      The “referral” should now be un-done and the Ch. 7 sanctions lifted. Anything else is extra-legal.

  12. FSB (History)

    This is from Masoud’s response to Jeffry’s Zombie Fuel Swap post from last year — worth re-reading:

    ======================

    The fact that the US and it’s allies have an easy time stacking the BOG doesn’t grant their legal arguments validity.

    Article 19 of Iran’s safeguards agreements spell out exactly when the BOG can “report” the IAEA to the UNSC:

    ———————————————————————— Article 19
    If the Board, upon examination of relevant information reported to it by the Director General, finds that the Agency is not able to verify that there has been no diversion of nuclear material required to be safeguarded under this Agreement, to nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, it may make the reports provided for in paragraph C of Article XII of the Statute of the Agency (hereinafter
    referred to as “the Statute”) and may also take, where applicable, the other measures provided for in that paragraph. In taking such action the Board shall take account of the degree of assurance provided by the safeguards measures that have been applied and shall afford the Government of Iran every reasonable opportunity to furnish the Board with any necessary reassurance.
    ———————————————————————

    Article 22 explicitly denies the Agency the authority to “report” Iran to the UNSC for any other disagreements, and establishes the proper procedure for handling such circumstances:

    ——————————————————————-
    Article 22
    Any dispute arising out of the interpretation or application of this Agreement, except a dispute with regard to a finding by the Board under Article 19 or an action taken by the Board pursuant to such a finding, which is not settled by negotiation or another procedure agreed to by the Government of Iran
    and the Agency shall, at the request of either, be submitted to an arbitral tribunal composed as follows:
    the Government of Iran and the Agency shall each designate one arbitrator, and the two arbitrators so designated shall elect a third, who shall be the Chairman. If, within thirty days of the request for arbitration, either the Government of Iran or the Agency has not designated an arbitrator, either the Government of Iran or the Agency may request the President of the International Court of Justice to appoint an arbitrator. The same procedure shall apply if, within thirty days of the designation or appointment of the second arbitrator, the third arbitrator has not been elected. A majority of the members of the arbitral tribunal shall constitute a quorum, and all decisions shall require the concurrence of two arbitrators. The arbitral procedure shall be fixed by the tribunal. The decisions of the tribunal shall be binding on the Government of Iran and the Agency.
    ————————————————————————

    The Agency has never found that it “is not able to verify that there has been no diversion of nuclear material required to be safeguarded under this Agreement”, so the Agency has no authority to report the matter to either the security council or the General Assembly.

    The fact that it did so contrary to the agreements in force render it’s findings moot. It may just as well have found that you need a haircut and reported you Extreme Makeover.

    Neither does the UNSC “calling upon” Iran to take measures to “comply with provisional measures” that have been explicitly identified as being “without prejudice to the rights, claims, or position of the parties concerned” under article 40 of the UN charter create any obligation for Iran under the either the NPT, it’s safeguards agreement, the IAEA statute (which it has not even ratified) or any other relevant instrument.

    Iran remains in full compliance with it’s international obligations, US propaganda notwithstanding.

    • Spruce (History)

      FSB said: “Article 19 of Iran’s safeguards agreements spell out exactly when the BOG can “report” the IAEA to the UNSC:”

      No, no, no. You are reading that all wrong. That Article 19 refers to Paragraph C of Article XII. Thus, the Article 19 says when IAEA MUST report Iran to UNSC. However, it no way limits the powers given to IAEA in Article III, which say that IAEA MAY report to UNSC on any subject it feels necessary.

    • FSB (History)

      See my reply above.

      The condition specified for referal is “if in connection with the activities of the Agency there should arise questions that are within the competence of the Security Council, the Agency shall notify the Security Council”

      The CSA is not within the competence of UNSC, and the DNI and other sources confirm that Iran’s alleged weapons program ended in 2003-4.

      The “referral” should now be un-done and the Ch. 7 sanctions lifted. Anything else is extra-legal.

    • masoud (History)

      Spruce,

      I hate to draw this thread out even more than it already is, but just what is it about Article 22 of the CSA that you don’t understand?

  13. FSB (History)

    BTW, Brother Desmond Tutu has a good take on who is dragging their feet in the NPT bargain:

    http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2011/07/201173125755997845.html

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