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View Diary: Khatami is In--This is a Clear Signal (309 comments)

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  •  You haven't read the NPT. (4+ / 0-)

    Article 4.1:

    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.

    Emphasis mine - to illustrate the fact that the current sanctions are politically based, and have no basis in the treaty.  Russian negotiators have admitted as much.  Many other non-weapon NPT signatories do their own enrichment as well, but only Iran is singled out for special sanctions.

    The issue isn't centrifuge count per se, but enrichment yield.  Iran's technology allows 3-4% with the 3,000 - 5,000 operational centrifuges they currently have.  They'd need far more with that technology to reach the 90%+ range they'd need for a nuke.  So far the IAEA has found no evidence of enrichment greater than reactor grade.

    Dubya's legacy: 25 million really pissed Iraqis...50 million shoes

    by skrekk on Mon Feb 09, 2009 at 02:16:24 PM PST

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    •  You are incorrect (0+ / 0-)

      Enrichment is not "research, production or use of nuclear energy." It falls in a separate category of production of fissionable material, which is a gray area under NPT. Because it is a gray area, Mohammed El Baradei called for a ban on ALL new enrichment facilities in all countries. He withdrew that demand only under US pressure.

      "Many" non-signatory and non-weapons states do not do their own enrichment. In fact the only recent examples are Japan, South Korea, Brazil, and Argentina, possibly Australia. Others that were on the list abandoned their programs -- South Africa, Libya, Iraq, North Korea, all because of weapons concerns.

      It is highly controversial and by no means is there any recognized right to enrich uranium.

      •  And you would be wrong; that's exactly what (3+ / 0-)

        enrichment is.  Read article 3 - essentially it says that if a state receives or develops technology to process or produce fuel for civilian purposes, it has to allow inspections.  That's the bargain non-weapon states make in order to agree not to develop a weapon: they gain access to the technology and legal cover to have a civilian program.  Further, the US is obligated by the terms of the treaty to help states like Iran in the development of their civilian program (as we did under the Shah).

        Article 4 (and its references to articles 2 & 3) was inserted in order to get the West German government to consent to the treaty.  I'd suggest doing your own research on Willy Brandt's role in getting Germany to agree to sign the NPT (since they already had enrichment facilities).  Further, what's not otherwise prohibited under the treaty is permitted, thus weapons-grade enrichment is explicitly prohibited, low-grade is not.

        That enrichment is, as you say, "controversial" amongst those who have weapons or amongst anti-proliferation groups has no bearing on international law.  The simple fact is that if the US continues to push on this issue, Iran will  withdraw from the treaty - as well they should.

        Dubya's legacy: 25 million really pissed Iraqis...50 million shoes

        by skrekk on Mon Feb 09, 2009 at 05:02:13 PM PST

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    •  thanks. saved me the typing. nt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you can succeed." -Nancy Pelosi, 6/29/07.

      by nailbender on Mon Feb 09, 2009 at 07:11:47 PM PST

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