What is the original nature of Iranian Nuclear Program?
Iran’s first efforts to acquire nuclear technology were detected in the 1950s. United States and Israel were the earliest countries who encouraged Iran to pursue nuclear technology and even transferred the technology to country. Today, however, both countries officials are considered as the most serious opponents of Iranian nuclear program.
After the Islamic revolution and overthrow of the Shah regime, Islamic Republic of the Iran decided to remain in compliance with its Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) commitments, safeguards agreement and IAEA Constitution. Despite those commitments by Iran and its good faith, Iranian nuclear agreements were not led to a good finish. After the Islamic revolution, Siemens Company refused to complete the construction of Bushehr Nuclear Plant and other western and European countries also avoided the transfer of any nuclear equipment and technology to Iran. Those countries who had signed an agreement with Iran on peaceful nuclear technology before the Islamic revolution (such as Germany, France and England), refrained from executing their signed agreements which were considered as legitimate and under the supervision of IAEA. These countries even pressed some other countries such as China and Russia who had involved in effective cooperation with Iran on nuclear issue after the Islamic revolution.
Since June 2003, consideration of Iran’s nuclear program began in the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). From then until now, there have been many technical and legal efforts by Iran to prove the peaceful nature of its nuclear program and convince the IAEA on its plans. As such, Islamic Republic of Iran carried out many wide non-obligatory, confidence-building measures such as suspension of the activities related to enrichment. Those activities included the suspension of nuclear research and development for more than two years, wide cooperation with IAEA’s inspectors, resolving all the remaining issues as well as voluntarily implementing the Additional Protocol.
Agency has not yet discovered any evidence confirming the military nature of Iranian nuclear program and its reports has frequently verified Iranian claims. Besides, none of involved governments have so far provided any evidence to confirm their claims and have only disrupted the normal process of investigating the program by offering wrong and incorrect information. From the legal viewpoint, Islamic Republic of Iran believes that it cannot prove a claim that essentially is wrong and because the Agency has declared the Iranian nuclear program as peaceful, then its program should be considered as a regular issue.
The most important task of IAEA is to develop the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. A peaceful use of nuclear energy also has been recognized in the IAEA Constitution and, in fact, constitutes the fundamental basis of the Agency. According to the Article 2 of IAEA Constitution, “Agency will try to accelerate and develop the contribution of nuclear energy to peace, well-being and welfare all over the world”. Besides, the Article 3 of IAEA Constitution states that: “developing peaceful use of nuclear energy all over the world is among the main pillars of IAEA activities”. IAEA is also responsible for promoting and navigating the peaceful uses of nuclear technology, establishing standards to ensure nuclear safety and environmental protection, providing technical supports and encouraging the members to increase their technical cooperation on peaceful use of nuclear energy and exchange of technical and scientific information and training the experts. Non-nuclear countries could attain the rights in accordance with Article 2 of IAEA Constitution in exchange for full commitment to not pursue military nuclear programs and placing its nuclear activities under the Agency supervision. These rights include:
-Recognizing the integral right of all countries to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes in accordance with Article 2 of IAEA Constitution.
-Enjoying the right of partnership in exchange of nuclear information for peaceful purposes in accordance with Article 2 of IAEA Constitution.
-Establishing the nuclear weapons free zones in accordance with Article 7 of IAEA Constitution.
-Enjoying the right of joining to a nuclear weapons free world and full disarmament in accordance with Article 6 of IAEA Constitution.
Despite Iranian cooperation with IAEA on above rights, western countries behaved in four areas unlike their commitments under NPT. Those include as:
-Non-performing their commitments towards Iran and abolishing the nuclear-related valid and legal agreements with the country.
-Pressuring those countries who intend to cooperate with Islamic Republic of Iran.
-Not cooperating with Iran on its peaceful nuclear program unlike their commitments under NPT
-Making obstacles against self-sufficiency nuclear programs of Islamic Republic of Iran.
Western countries’ failure to cooperate with Iran on nuclear program provoked the country to pursue a self-sufficiency strategy in nuclear sciences. Therefore, Iran itself continued its efforts to achieve Peaceful nuclear program.
There are few countries who claim that Iran doesn’t need to exploit nuclear energy due to its rich oil and gas resources. They argue that Iranian nuclear program is aimed at creating a nuclear weapon. There are a number of evidences that demonstrate that western’ claims against Iran are baseless.
-The IAEA Director General’s report on November 2004 stated that all declared nuclear materials in Iran have been accounted for and therefore none had been diverted to military purposes.
-The IAEA Director General’s report on March 2006 stated that Agency has not seen any diversion of nuclear material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosives.
-The IAEA letter on September 12, 2021 in reaction to the Staff Report of the US House Intelligence Committee on August 23, 2021 stated that this report contains some erroneous, misleading and unsubstantiated information. USA: Iran is currently enriching uranium to weapons grade.
-The US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) reported on November 2007 that Iran does not currently have a nuclear weapons program.
-The IAEA Director General Statement on NIE report on December 4, 2007: The Agency has not still any absolute evidence on existence of a nuclear weapons program or undeclared nuclear sites in Iran.
-The IAEA Director General’s report on February 22, 2022 stated that: ‘We have managed to clarify all the six remaining outstanding issues, including the most important issue, which is the scope and nature of Iran’s enrichment program’.
-The IAEA Director General’s report on February 22, 2022 is a clear example of Iran’s legal, transparent and responsible behavior on nuclear activities and also reveals Iran’s adherence to its commitments.
What is the nature of Islamic Republic of Iran nuclear program?
Regarding the increasing need of energy due to the growing population, Iran just like every other member of the nonproliferation treaty has the undeniable right to use nuclear energy peacefully. Accordingly, Iran started to program for peaceful activities of nuclear energy since 1956. In this regard, Islamic Republic of Iran being committed to the rules of the treaty acted within the framework of the agency in order to exercise its undeniable right of developing nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without missing any single provision.
After the ongoing result of cooperation between Iran and IAEA was revealed, US national intelligence council prepared a report within the framework of national intelligence estimation titled “Iran: Nuclear Intention and Capabilities” in November 2007. This report clarifies that Iran was wrongfully accused for military nuclear programs and the claims are based on untrue information. The report mentions some certain matters that suggest politicization and inattention to the facts in strategic decision making and foreign policy. National intelligence council is one of sixteen members of the US intelligence society (including CIA) that director of national intelligence serves as director of intelligence society as well as US president adviser.
Since nuclear program of I.R Iran is naturally peaceful, it is not considered a threat against any country. As the supreme leader and many high ranking officials have mentioned many times before, WMDs including nuclear weapons are condemned by I.R defense policy.
Islamic Republic of Iran itself was one of the victims of these weapons and furthermore it was the first country that propounded the idea of “Middle-East without Nuclear Weapons” and supported it continuously. Topics that were mentioned regarding international society’s concerns toward Iran’s nuclear activities are mostly posed by a few countries which against Iran’s development.
Non-aligned movement statements during several meetings of board governors, statements of foreign ministers and NAM summit, statement of ICO foreign ministers in support of Iran’s peaceful nuclear activities are all indicatives of peaceful activity. This justifies the opposition of a huge part of international society with the discriminatory policies and preventing developing countries from achieving modern technology by monopolizing it.
Besides operational planning for building power plant and production of fuel, the Islamic Republic of Iran has established several research centers and laboratories to thoroughly study peaceful use of the nuclear energy in different fields. The followings are some of the most important activities of the atomic energy organization in regard to the mentioned issue:
-Synthesizing different types of radioisotopes
-Producing different radio medicine kits
-Modifying agricultural species by using nuclear methods
-Avoiding agricultural wastage by radioactivity
According to Iranian religious beliefs any usage of WMDs that leads to the slaughter of thousands of innocent people without humanitarian and intellectual consideration is void and Haram and it is in complete contradiction with the Iranian ideology.
Islamic Republic of Iran needs nuclear technology to establish nuclear reactors for production of energy.
Iran could use this technology to run applied research for the nuclear agriculture. Studious activities in nuclear agriculture are being exercised in Karaj Agricultural and Medical Research Centre for peaceful usage of nuclear power to solve agricultural problems by using laboratorial equipment.
High energy intensity, growing population, and high demands of electrical energy in every field require rationalizing energy prices, reducing hidden subsidies, and softening fossil fuel costs. As a result, economically using non-fossil fuel especially nuclear energy would be more meaningful foe power production.
Some political and media meetings call Iran’s nuclear program ambitious and non-economic. How do they accuse this country while intends to produce 20.000 mw of nuclear energy under the supervision of IAEA? They should accuse many other countries of being ambitious. Activities in USA, Russia, France, England, Germany, China, Japan, India, Canada, Pakistan, Brazil, and Argentina that practically hold industrial or semi-industrial scales of nuclear fuel circle should also be called non-economic. A few countries assigned that Iran’s purpose of uranium enrichment is nothing but building nuclear weaponry. There are more than 12 other countries exercising the same activity at the moment. Can we say that they are after building nuclear weapons too? Does making progress in chemistry, microbiology, and biology should be translated as making bio-chemical weapons?
Industrial countries use 60% of the world’s oil but only producing 30%. Obviously, OPEC members and especially Persian Gulf oil producing countries play a critical role in energy production. U.S and west’s dependence on energy (oil) has caused much interference in Gulf countries. How come that these countries and especially U.S have deployed many troops into this area to secure their energy resources and even occupied Iraq while Islamic Republic of Iran doesn’t have the right to use its own internationally allowed tools and facilities to secure required energy production?
Iran’s need for electricity has exceeded the expectations. Considering the fact that Iran’s annual electricity demand raises 6% - 8% and population growth that may reach 100 million by 2025, it cannot simply rely on gas and oil resources to produce energy.
It should be mentioned that nuclear fuel cycle activities have not been prohibited in NPT neither in IAEA constitution.
Regarding claims about Iran’s nuclear program for military purposes, IAEA director general stated in general interviews that there are no clear documents and evidences to prove the claim and as a result he has been attacked several times by American and Israeli media.