Sunday, May 14, 2006

Q: Is Iran breaking the NPT? A: No, but the US/EU are

'Under NPT [Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty] rules, there is nothing illegal about any state having enrichment or reprocessing technology – processes that are basic to the production and recycling of nuclear reactor fuel – even though these operations can also produce the high enriched uranium or plutonium that can be used in a nuclear weapon. An increasing number of countries have sought to master these parts of the "nuclear fuel cycle"'

These are words of the Director-General of the IAEA, Mohamed ElBaradei, in an interview with the Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram (6-12 April 2006) [1].

Specifically, on Iran’s enrichment programme, he told Reuters on 30 March 2006 [2]: 'Nobody has the right to punish Iran for enrichment. We have not seen nuclear material diverted to a nuclear weapon'.

It could hardly be clearer. By engaging in uranium enrichment-related activities to produce nuclear fuel, Iran is acting within the NPT. And the IAEA has found no evidence that Iran is diverting nuclear material for weapons purposes. In short, Iran is not breaking any of its NPT commitments.