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Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

Israeli Security, Regional Diplomacy, and International Law

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Why Iran Has No Right of Enrichment

 
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There are voices in the West who think that if you recognize Iran’s right of enrichment, the crisis between Iran and the West will go away, but it will only get much worse. And it will lead to many other countries saying, “Oh, there’s a right of enrichment? We’re going to build enrichment facilities too.” And the whole structure of nuclear nonproliferation will begin to erode and could even collapse.

It’s clear that Iran has an intent to develop nuclear weapons contrary to the nuclear nonproliferation treaty. So how can Iran demand what’s guaranteed in Article 4, that is the right to develop civilian nuclear technology, and at the same time violate Article 2 and to develop nuclear weapons? You can’t derive benefit from an international treaty that you’re violating in a most fundamental way.

Considering Iran’s missile programs, considering its warhead research, considering its systematic concealment of what it is doing to international inspectors, I don’t think Iran can come with clean hands to the international community and say that it has a right to enrich uranium. That right must be denied to states that are suspected of engaging in nuclear weapons development.