Iran, the IAEA, and the Verification Challenge; the Case for a Nuclear Material Security Convention; and India's Nonproliferation Record
For Immediate Release: June 3, 2015
Media Contacts: Tim Farnsworth, Communications Director, 202-463-8270 x110; Daryl G. Kimball, Publisher, Arms Control Today, 202-463-8270 x107.
(Washington, D.C.)--As Iran and six world powers are racing complete negotiations on a long-term deal to verifiably limit Tehran's sensitive nuclear activities by June 30, the role and capacity of the International Atomic Energy Agency in monitoring Iran's compliance with that agreement is becoming the focus of increasing attention.
In an in-depth article in the June issue of Arms Control Today by Thomas Shea, an independent consultant to who worked for 24 years at the IAEA's Dept. of Safeguards, explains and examines the verification tasks and challenges vis-a-vis Iran.
In his article, "The Verification Challenge: Iran and the IAEA," he concludes: "If the IAEA receives the support it needs, which is likely, it will be able to verify Iran's commitments [under the CJPoA] effectively. Even the skeptics should have confidence that if Iran changes course, IAEA verification will work effectively to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon."
Yesterday, the Senate cleared the way for U.S. ratification of key treaties designed to guard against the possibility of terrorist acquisition of nuclear weapons, a long-awaited U.S. contribution to the global nuclear material security architecture that has been discussed at a series of nuclear security summits in Washington in 2010, Seoul in 2012, and The Hague last year. President Barack Obama will host what is widely expected to be the last nuclear security summit in the United States in 2016.
In another article in the June issue, "A Convention on Nuclear Security: A Needed Step Against Nuclear Terrorism," Kenneth C. Brill, a former U.S. ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the founding director of the U.S. government's National Counterproliferation Center, and John H. Bernhard, a former Danish ambassador to the IAEA argue that "The summits and the work that precedes each of them have generated progress on a variety of issues related to diminishing the threat of nuclear terrorism." They write that the summits have, unfortunately, "not produced any 'durable institutions' to prevent nuclear terrorism or any clarity on how the nuclear security regime can be sustainably strengthened once the summits end."
Brill and Bernhard make the case for a new international convention on nuclear security to close existing gaps in the global nuclear security regime to effectively prevent what Obama called in 2009, "the most immediate and extreme threat to global security.
Ten years ago next month, President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh agreed to seek changes to global nuclear nonproliferation rules to allow India to engage in civil nuclear trade with the other nations.
In a third essay in the June Arms Control Today, John Carlson, the former director general of the Australian Safeguards and Nonproliferation Office and chair of the International Atomic Energy Agency's Standing Advisory Group on Safeguards Implementation, assesses whether lifting of the barriers to international nuclear cooperation with India achieved one of its intended goals: bring New Delhi into the "nonproliferation mainstream." He explains in detail in, "Nonproliferation Benefits of India Deal Remain Elusive," that a decade later, that goal remains unfulfilled as India has shown limited interest in meeting international nuclear norms and has flouted some of them.
Upon request, all three articles are available free to the media.
Arms Control Today is the monthly journal published by the Arms Control Association, an independent nongovernmental organization dedicated to providing authoritative information and practical policy solutions to address the threats posed by the world's most dangerous weapons.