Iran's Nuclear Policy and the IAEA:An Evaluation of Program 93+2
Jan 1, 2002
Thwarting Iran's ambitions to acquire nuclear weapons has been a key focus of nuclear nonproliferation efforts since the early 1990s. These efforts were given new urgency by President George W. Bush's January 29, 2002, State of the Union address, which identified Iranian nuclear weapons development as a threat that the United States would not tolerate.
In addition to Iran, the nuclear arms-control community has faced two other serious challenges since the early 1990s: Iraq and North Korea. In 1991, following the Gulf War, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) discovered that Iraq had developed an advanced nuclear weapons program, although the country was (and still is) a party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and was outwardly in full compliance with its safeguards obligations. In 1993, North Korea threatened to withdraw from the NPT while refusing to accept an IAEA special inspection aimed at verifying the discrepancies in its declaration. The need for a more effective IAEA safeguards regime emerged with the revelation that these two NPT parties, each bound by a comprehensive safeguards agreement, had succeeded in developing a clandestine nuclear weapons program.
In this Military Research Paper, Chen Zak presents and evaluates the IAEA's strengthened safeguards system known as "Program 93+2," appraising the system's capabilities and limitations as well as its potential for contributing to nuclear nonproliferation efforts in the Middle East generally, and in Iran in particular.