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Grounds ready for Iran to Withdraw from Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty

By Ali Baharlou, Australia


European Trio and United States’ desire to haul Iran before the Security Council has no legal basis in any of the international conventions,  NPT Treaty in particular. It is a recipe for Iran to withdraw from the Treaty and ask IAEA staff to leave the country.


Section (c) of the 2/2/06 IAEA Draft Resolution on Iran is a vivid acknowledgment of Iran’s right under ARTICLE IV of the Non Proliferation Treaty which states that:   


“1. Nothing in this Treaty shall be interpreted as affecting the inalienable right of all the

Parties to the Treaty to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination and in conformity with Articles I and II of this Treaty.


2. All the Parties to the Treaty undertake to facilitate, and have the right to participate in the fullest possible exchange of equipment, materials and scientific and technological information for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Parties to the Treaty in a position to do so shall also cooperate in contributing alone or together with other States or international organizations to the further development of the applications of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, especially in the territories of non-nuclear-weapon States Party to the Treaty, with due consideration for the needs of the developing areas of the world.”


I would like to draw the readers’ attention to the string in part 2 of Article IV which reads “…especially in the territories of non-nuclear-weapon States Party to the Treaty, with due consideration for the needs of the developing areas of the world.” Article IV is telling Iran it is your right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes on your own soil. Accepting Russian formula flouted as the compromise formula amounts to capitulating Iran’s internationally sanctioned rights.


The excuse forwarded by the European Trio and the US is that Iran had for eighteen years concealed its atomic program. The question that’s rarely asked and never answered is: Why didn’t West assist Iran with peaceful nuclear infrastructure when asked before the Russians or Pakistanis were asked?  Nowhere in the NPT Treaty and its affiliated documents it is stated that the signatory countries have to relay the establishment of nuclear infrastructure for peaceful purposes to  IAEA or anyone for that matter until a few months before the facilities become operational. Iran has already given IAEA more access to nuclear facilities than the NPT Treaty requires. Two countries that granted similar or broader access were Iraq and Libya. The former, as we now know lost more than their sovereignty and dignity and the latter was taken in for a ride by empty promises of trade and economic benefits which never materialized.


Western Countries insist it is up to Iran to convince the international community it does not mean to produce nuclear weapons. It is a lame excuse and amounts to asking the impossible. How can a shopper convince the sales assistant that the set of knives she is about to purchase is for use in the kitchen and not for committing murder! It is indeed up to the international community, commensurate with the democratic legal systems, through IAEA to prove that Iran intends to build atomic weapons not for Iran to prove it doesn’t.


Iran’s attempt to carry small scale nuclear fuel research is within the provisions of the ARTICE IV and in fact Iran would not be breaking any of the Treaty’s provisions if it started commercial scale fuel production as long as it is for peaceful and scientific purposes and done under IAEA’s supervision. It is indeed very easy for IAEA to monitor and make sure Iran does not enrich uranium to higher grade than it is necessary for peaceful applications. If Iran is forced to withdraw from NPT Treaty such supervision becomes impossible.


ARTICLE V of the treaty in fact obliges the Parties to the Treaty to make available the potential benefits from any peaceful applications of nuclear explosions to non-nuclear States Party to the Treaty, on a non-discriminatory basis. Iran is a Party to the Treaty and must not be discriminated against.

It also states that “Non-nuclear-weapon States Party to the Treaty so desiring may also obtain such benefits pursuant to bilateral agreements.” This is what makes Russian-Iranian cooperation perfectly legal.  US have vigorously been lobbying the Russians to put an end to a perfectly legitimate cooperation.  Why?


ARTICLE VI of the NPT reads, “Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.”


Thirty five years have passed since the Treaty was first signed and the nuclear power countries have dismally failed to keep their end of the bargain, in fact all five original nuclear States have upgraded their nuclear arsenal rather than complete disarmament as required by the same Treaty that is being brandished in front of Iran!


One cannot help but view Iran’s nuclear saga and hysteria created by the Western Powers as shameful and hypocritical. Iran is at the cross roads today. Iran must abide by all its internationally sanctioned obligations as well as stand firm in demanding its rights sanctioned as inalienable. Iran must not succumb to the illegal demands of a few Western countries. Yielding to such demands will not only hurt Iran’s global standing Politically, economically and scientifically today, it will also make life so much harder for the next generation of Iranians aspiring to independence and true sovereignty when they choose to regain their country’s right that has already been signed away. By succumbing to unwarranted Western demands, Iran will also signal to the international community that it is OK to treat Iranians as a second class nation.


Every sovereign country in the world has its own military, economic and scientific secrets for very practical reasons and allowing IAEA’s inspectors free and unfettered access to wherever they wish to go is tantamount to giving away Iran’s security and sovereignty. Iran’s security and sovereignty being compromised it has every right to withdraw, with three months advance notice, from NPT Treaty and its actions will not be illegal as ARTICLE X of the Non-Proliferation Treaty states that:  “Each Party shall in exercising its national sovereignty have the right to withdraw from the Treaty if it decides that extraordinary events, related to the subject matter of this Treaty, have jeopardized the supreme interests of its country.”


It is in the interest of the World Community if Europe and United States and in particular IAEA stopped making demands of Iran that are not mandated by NPT Charter.  Last time IAEA demanded and was granted such a wish it took its inspectors to Saddam Hussein’s Bedrooms and we all know what catastrophe befell the nation of Iraq.  Iran is a much bigger and stronger country than Iraq was and one man does not run the show there. Pushing it too far is destined to backfire in ways no one can predict. Let Iran have what it is legally entitled to if we don’t want to wake up one day, with bulging eyes, and see it already has what it is not entitled to.


About the author:

Ali Baharlou ( is a concerned Iranian Australian citizen. He works in Sydney at Australian Centre for Languages as teacher coordinator.


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