Monthly Archives: October 2012

Photo of KRL Entrance

An observant reader sent “this short article”: about the ex-meteorologist for Dr. A.Q. Khan Research Laboratories, Dr Nazir Ahmed, who, according to the piece,

bq. was placed on Exit Control List (ECL) and his passport was suspended after suspected of having ties with the global network of Pakistani nuclear scientist Abdul Qadir Khan involved in expanding nuclear technology.

Interestingly, the article contains a photo of the entrance to KRL “Take a look.”:

Regulations Implementing EU Iran Sanctions

Yesterday, the EU Council “announced”: that it was placing additional sanctions on Iran.

Well, “here is”: the implementing regulation. And “here is”: the Council decision as it appeared in the official EU Journal.

The Annexes of these regulations always make for interesting reading because they provide details regarding the decision to sanction an entity that typically don’t appear in U.S. sanctions announcements.


I meant to post this a while ago. “Via”: MIT’s Scott Kemp, we now have a “public version”: of the unclassified U.S. 1999 Nuclear Proliferation Assessment Statement. The United States issued the required NPAS in order to conclude the 1999 “_Agreement for Cooperation Between Australia and the United States of America Concerning Technology for the Separation of Isotopes of Uranium by Laser Excitation_.”:

Scott’s “BAS article”: is a great summary of the nonproliferation issues concerning SILEX.

Iranian Chemical Weapons Program

I recently “blogged”: about a Fars News “article”: regarding the Iranian SL’s 2010 fatwa on nuclear weapons.

According to that article, Khamenei stated that

bq. Iran is not after an atomic bomb, and it is even opposed to possession of chemical weapons. Even when Iraq used chemical weapons against Iran, *we did not try to manufacture chemical weapons.* Such things are not in line with the principles of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Of course, many people have long thought that Iran at least _had_ a CW program. According to the “2005 DOS compliance report,”:

bq. In May 1998 [I think it was actually November], during the Conference of the States Parties, *Tehran, for the first time, acknowledged the existence of a past chemical weapons program.* Iran admitted developing a chemical warfare program during the latter stages of the Iran-Iraq war, as a deterrent against Iraq’s use of chemical agents.

I haven’t been able to find a copy of that 1998 acknowledgement, but I can’t say I’ve looked wicked hard either. FWIW, the “most recent 721 report”: indicates that Iran has CW capabilities and the most recent “compliance report”: states that

bq. Based on available information, the United States cannot certify whether Iran has met its CWPF declaration obligations, destroyed its specialized CW equipment, transferred CW or retained an undeclared CW stockpile.

Now, an Iranian CW program wouldn’t invalidate a fatwa against _nuclear_ weapons, of course. But I’m more interested in why Iran would become a state-party to the CWC _at all_, if it really wanted to deter Iraq. After all, Iran could’ve done what Syria did and just refused to sign the thing. Plus, Iran had first-hand experience regarding the utility of CWs.

Well, I have some thoughts on this, but they can wait. More interesting, to me at least, is an “article”: published in the Winter 1999-2000 edition of the _Iranian Journal of International Affairs_. Written by Mohammad Javad Zarif and Mohammad Reza Aborzi (spelling in original), the piece is titled “Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iran’s Security Paradigm:the Case of Chemical Weapons.” Both authors were officials in Iran’s foreign ministry until a few years ago…the former was Iran’s Ambassador to the UN in NYC and the latter was Iran’s Ambassador to the UN in Geneva. I’m not sure what either are doing now.

The article, the discovery of which motivated me to write this post in the first place, is about Iran’s experience with the CWC. However, it also provides some details regarding Iran’s CW program. According to the authors, Iran decided to develop a “limited deterring capability” after Iraq attacked the country with CWs and the international community failed to respond. However, “Iranian religious leadership found it very difficult to condone the use of these weapons, even as reprisal.” This reluctance, coupled with the inferiority of Iran’s CW program to its Iraqi counterpart, as well as the high cost of developing the weapons, motivated Tehran to end the program.

The article doesn’t give dates for these decisions, but, according to the “2005 compliance report,”: “Tehran claimed [in 1998] that after the 1988 cease-fire, it ‘terminated’ its CW program.”

Readers might also find interesting the authors’ description of Iran’s security environment at the end of the 1990s, as well as the country’s domestic decision-making process regarding matters of national security.


Via Twitter, “ACRS”: pointed out “this 2003 statement”: to the OPCW in which Iran admitted to having developed CWs.

IAEA and Iran PMD – Non-November 2011 Version

So you know about the “November 2011 IAEA DG report”: which contains the most extensive account to date of the possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program. However, a “May 2008 IAEA DG report”: described some PMD-related questions which are not addressed in the November report.

These include:

bq.. information about a high level meeting in 1984 on reviving Iran’s pre-revolution nuclear programme

the scope of a visit by AEOI officials to a nuclear installation in Pakistan in 1987

information on 1993 meetings between Iranian officials and members of the Khan network

information about work done in 2000 which apparently related to reprocessing.

p. I don’t know why these issues weren’t included in the November report, but there it is.

Jomhouriye Eslami Hearts ACA

Every now and again, it’s worth taking the time to follow a link.

“IR Diplomacy”: has a page listing the headlines of Tehran’s morning newspapers. I happened to check it today and found this headline from _Jomhouriye Eslami_:

bq. -Director of US Arms Control Association: Iran has no plan to produce atomic bomb

Iran’s UN PermRep and Nuclear Decision-Making

You’ve likely seen Laura Rozen and Barbara Slavin’s “July interview”: with Iranian Ambassador Mohammad Khazaee, but I’ve been meaning to highlight a comment he made about Iran’s decision-making process with respect to negotiations concerning its nuclear program:

bq. Decisions on the nuclear issue are made by [Iran’s Supreme] Council of National Security, [chief nuclear negotiator Saeed] Jalili and the president [Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

This is interesting, especially when paired with Hassan Rowhani’s “account”: of the AEOI’s role.