Chapter 2 Nuclear Non-Proliferation (1) Acceptance and Compliance with Nuclear Non-Proliferation Obligations
Chapter 2 Nuclear Non-Proliferation1
(1) Acceptance and Compliance with Nuclear Non-Proliferation Obligations
A) Accession to the NPT
The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) has 191 adherents (including North Korea, the Holy See and Palestine). Among the current 193 United Nations (UN) Member States, those remaining outside the NPT are: India and Pakistan, both of which tested and declared having nuclear weapons in 1998; Israel, which is widely believed to possess them; and South Sudan, which declared its independence and joined the UN in July 2011, and does not possess any nuclear weapons. North Korea declared its withdrawal from the NPT in 2003, but there is no agreement among the states parties on North Korea’s official status with regard to the NPT. It has refused to return to the treaty despite UN Security Council resolutions (UNSCRs) demanding that it do so at an early date.
B) Compliance with Articles I and II of the NPT and the UNSCRs on nonproliferation
Since the NPT entered into force, no case of non-compliance with Articles I and II of the Treaty has been officially reported by the UN or any other international organization.2 However, if North Korea’s withdrawal is interpreted as not being legally valid or if it acquired nuclear weapons before announcing its withdrawal from the NPT, such acquisition of nuclear weapons would constitute non- compliance with Article II. The U.S. Department of State declared in its 2020 annual report, titled “Adherence to and Compliance with Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament Agreements and Commitments,” that North Korea was in violation of its obligations under Articles II and III of the NPT and in noncompliance with its International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Safeguards Agreement at the time it announced its withdrawal from the NPT in 2003.3
UNSCR 1787, adopted in October 2006, stipulates that:
[T]he DPRK shall abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programmes in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner, shall act strictly in accordance with the obligations applicable to parties under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and the terms and conditions of its Safeguards Agreement (IAEA INFCIRC/403) and shall provide the IAEA transparency measures extending beyond these requirements, including such access to individuals, documentation, equipments and facilities as may be required and deemed necessary by the IAEA.4
The Security Council also decided that North Korea “shall abandon all other existing weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programme in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner.” In defiance, North Korea has failed to respond to the UN Security Council’s decisions, and has continued nuclear weapon- and ballistic missile-related activities.
The new Joseph Biden administration’s review of U.S. policy toward North Korea was completed at the end of April. While its details have not been declassified, Press Secretary Jen Psaki explained: “Our goal remains the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. With a clear understanding that the efforts of the past four administrations have not achieved this objective, our policy will not focus on achieving a grand bargain, nor will it rely on strategic patience. Our policy calls for a calibrated, practical approach that is open to and will explore diplomacy with the DPRK, and to make practical progress that increases the security of the United States, our allies, and deployed forces.”5 This approach appears to be aimed at mitigating and reducing threats to the United States and its allies through an incremental and phased process of denuclearization, and lifting of sanctions through engagement and pressure. In June, Sung Kim, the U.S. special representative for North Korea, announced that he was ready to meet North Korean officials “anytime, anywhere without preconditions.”
However, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Son Gwon said, “We are not considering even the possibility of any contact with the U.S., let alone having it, which would get us nowhere, only taking up precious time.”6 At the Supreme People’s Assembly on September 29, “[p]ointing out that the U.S. remains utterly unchanged in posing military threats and pursuing hostile policy toward the DPRK but employs more cunning ways and methods in doing so, as proven by the deeds done by it over the past eight months since the emergence of its new administration, [Chairman Kim Jong Un] said that the U.S. is touting ‘diplomatic engagement’ and ‘dialogue without preconditions’ but it is no more than a petty trick for deceiving the international community and hiding its hostile acts and an extension of the hostile policy pursued by the successive U.S. administrations.”7At the UNGA First Committee in October, North Korea also criticized the U.S. “hostile policy,” and made it clear that North Korea had no intention of abandoning its nuclear capability. It said:
Given the U.S. and south Korea increase military threat against the DPRK with excessive arms buildup and alliance military activities, nobody can deny the legitimate right to self-defense for the DPRK to develop, test, manufacture and possess the weapons system equivalent to those possessed or developed by them.
For the sake of maintaining peace and security of the Korean peninsula, the U.S. should withdraw its hostile policy and double standards vis-a-vis the DPRK and permanently refrain from conducting offensive military exercises and introducing various nuclear strategic assets in and around the Korean peninsula.8
Suspension of JCPOA implementation
The E3/EU+3 (France, Germany and the United Kingdom/European Union plus China, Russia and the United States) and Iran agreed on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in July 2015, which stipulates that Iran accepts restrictions on its nuclear activities, including uranium enrichment, and that other parties ease or lift sanctions against Iran. However, the United States under then-President Donald Trump decided to withdraw from the JCPOA, and to reimpose sanctions against Iran in May 2018. In response, from May 2019, Iran gradually suspended the implementation of obligations set out in the JCPOA, including limitations on the storage and enrichment level of enriched uranium as well as of the number of centrifuges for enriching uranium. In 2021, Iran further stepped up its level of violations (see Section 2 of this chapter regarding suspension of implementation of monitoring and verification measures, including IAEA safeguards).9
At the end of December 2020, Iran informed the IAEA that “in order to comply with a legal act recently passed by the country’s parliament, the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran [(AEOI)] intend[ed] to produce low-enriched uranium (LEU) up to 20 percent at the Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant.”10 It started to implement this activity on January 4, 2021. Iran also announced that it aimed to produce 120 kilograms of 20% enriched highly-enriched uranium (HEU) per year, which it stated will be used as nuclear fuel for the Tehran Research Reactor for peaceful purposes. In October Iran announced it had reached this goal.11 In December 2021, the IAEA reported that Iran had started the process of enriching uranium to up to 20% purity with one cascade of 166 advanced IR-6 centrifuges at Fordow.12
In February, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei stated, “Iran’s uranium enrichment level will not be limited to 20%. We will increase it to whatever level the country needs…We may increase it to 60%.”13 On April 13, AEOI spokesman said, “From tonight, practical preparations for 60% enrichment will begin in Natanz; 60% uranium is used to make a variety of radiopharmaceuticals.”14 On April 16, Head of the AEOI Ali Akbar Salehi said that Iran produced nine grams of 60% enriched uranium. By November 6, Iran’s stockpile of HEU enriched up to 60% reached 17.7 kg.15
Furthermore, Iran informed the IAEA in its letter on January 13 that it had set up relevant facilities for the research and development of uranium metal. The IAEA verified the presence of 3.6 grams of uranium metal at Iran’s Fuel Plate Fabrication Plant (FPFP) in Esfahan on February 8.16 On July 6, Iran started to produce uranium metal enriched to 20% U-235.17 According to the report by the IAEA Director-General on August 16, Iran produced 200 g of uranium metal enriched up to 20% U-235.18
Tehran continues to expand its centrifuge capabilities qualitatively and quantitatively. In February, Iran’s ambassador to the IAEA, Kazem Gharibabadi, said on Twitter that Tehran had started installing advanced IR-6 centrifuges at Fordow.19 In April, President Hassan Rouhani officially announced the start of operations of a cascade linked 164 IR-6 and 30 IR-5 centrifuges at the Natanz nuclear facility. Iran has also begun operational testing of the IR-9. It was reported in November that Iran had resumed operations at the Karaj workshop in August, where enough parts for 170 centrifuges had since been produced.20
As mentioned below, Iran is also increasing its stockpile of enriched uranium. U.S. private experts estimate that as of the end of November 2021, Iran possesses enough enriched uranium to produce weapons-grade HEU sufficient for three nuclear weapons, and that the breakout time (the time required to produce weapons-grade fissile material for one nuclear weapon) is three weeks for a first nuclear weapon, less than two months for a second nuclear weapon, three-and-a-half-months for a third nuclear weapon, and about six months for a fourth nuclear weapon from natural uranium.21 These timelines have not been officially corroborated.
Report by the IAEA Director- General in November 2021
The IAEA Director-General’s quarterly report on verification and monitoring of Iran in relation to the implementation of the JCPOA dated November 17, 2021, reported, inter alia:22
➢ Iran has been enriching UF6 up to 5% U-235 since July 8, 2019, has been enriching UF6 up to 20% U-235 since January 4, 2021, and has been enriching UF6 up to 60% U-235 since April 17, 2021.
➢ The IAEA has estimated that, as of November 6, Iran’s total enriched uranium stockpile was 2489.7 kg.
➢ The estimated total enriched uranium stockpile in the form of UF6 (2313.4 kg) comprises: 559.6 kg of uranium enriched up to 2% U-235; 1622.3 kg of uranium enriched up to 5% U-235; 113.8 kg of uranium enriched up to 20% U-235; and 17.7 kg of uranium enriched up to 60% U-235.
◇ FEP—Iran has installed IR-1 (31 cascades), IR-2m (6 cascades) and IR-4 (2 cascades), and planned to install further IR-1 (5 cascades), IR-4 (4 cascades) and IR-6 (1 cascade);
◇ PFEP—Iran has installed up to 164 IR-4 and up to 164 IR-6 for 60% enrichment to produce UF6 enriched up to 60% U-235, and a small number of IR- 1/2m/4/5/6/6s/7/8/8B/9/s, respectively; and
◇ FFEP—Iran has installed, among others, up to 1044 IR-1 (6 cascades reorganized into 3 sets of connected cascades), 166 IR-6 (1 cascade), and 23 IR-6 (1 cascade).
➢ Iran has not pursued the construction of the Arak heavy water research reactor (IR-40 Reactor) based on its original design.
➢ Since February 23, 2021, Iran has neither informed the Agency about the inventory of heavy water in Iran and the production of heavy water at the Heavy Water Production Plant (HWPP), nor allowed the Agency to monitor the quantities of Iran’s heavy water stocks and the amount of heavy water produced at the HWPP.
➢ Iran has not carried out activities related to reprocessing at the Tehran Research Reactor (TRR) and other facilities which it has declared to the IAEA.
➢ Since February 23, 2021, the Agency’s verification and monitoring activities have been seriously undermined as a result of Iran’s decision to stop the implementation of its nuclear-related commitments under the JCPOA, including the Additional Protocol. Iran and the IAEA reached a temporary agreement in February, and some inspections and verifications are continuing. While the Agency has had regular access to FEP, PFEP and FFEP, it has not been able to perform daily access upon request.
➢ Since February 23, the IAEA has not been able to access data from the inspection and monitoring equipment installed at Iran’s nuclear facilities, including online enrichment monitors and electronic seals.
➢ The Joint Statement on September 12 provided, inter alia, that the IAEA’s inspectors are permitted to service the identified equipment and replace their storage media which will be kept under the joint IAEA and AEOI seals in Iran. From 20 through 22 September 2021, Iran permitted Agency inspectors to service the identified Agency monitoring and surveillance equipment and to replace storage media, at all necessary locations in Iran with the exception of the centrifuge component manufacturing workshop at the Karaj complex.
➢ During October 2021, the IAEA sought access to the workshop at the Karaj twice, but Iran refused to accept the requests.
Efforts to restore the JCPOA
For much of 2021, the countries involved in the JCPOA actively engaged in discussions on restoring the nuclear agreement.
Immediately after its inauguration, the new Biden administration sent a positive signal for its returning to the JCPOA. On February 18, the Biden administration sent a letter to the UN Security Council stating that it would reverse the previous Trump administration’s policy of unilaterally insisting on the snap-back of the UN Security Council sanctions against Iran, which were lifted under the JCPOA. On April 7, U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said, “We are prepared to take the steps necessary to return to compliance with the JCPOA, including by lifting sanctions that are inconsistent with the JCPOA.”23 On the other hand, Washington has repeatedly emphasized that its return to the JCPOA is conditional on Iran’s compliance with it; that is, amending its nuclear activities in violation of the agreement, as described below. A joint statement of the Foreign Ministerial Meeting by France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States on the Iran nuclear issue held on February 18 also mentioned, “Secretary [Antony] Blinken reiterated that, as President Biden has said, if Iran comes back into strict compliance with its commitments under the JCPOA, the United States will do the same and is prepared to engage in discussions with Iran toward that end.”24
In response, Iran has repeatedly stressed that if the United States complies, then Iran will also comply with the provisions of the JCPOA. For instance, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said, “We have heard many nice words and promises which in practice have been broken and opposite actions have been taken. … Words and promises are no good. This time (we want) only action from the other side, and we will also act.”25 Political Deputy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Abbas Araghchi also argued that return by the United States to the nuclear deal did not require any negotiation, but only the lifting of the illegal sanctions imposed by the United States on Iran.26 In addition, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif stated:
The incoming Biden administration can still salvage the nuclear agreement, but only if it can muster the genuine political will in Washington to demonstrate that the United States is ready to be a real partner in collective efforts. The administration should begin by unconditionally removing, with full effect, all sanctions imposed, reimposed, or relabeled since Trump took office. In turn, Iran would reverse all the remedial measures it has taken in the wake of Trump’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal. The remaining signatories to the deal would then decide whether the United States should be allowed to reclaim the seat at the table that it abandoned in 2018. International agreements are not revolving doors, after all, and it is not an automatic right to return to a negotiated agreement—and enjoy its privileges—after one simply leaves on a whim.27
In April 2021, indirect negotiations by the countries involved in the JCPOA (at which the United States and Iran did not meet directly) were launched in Vienna. At the first meeting, they agreed that two technical groups would be established to discuss measures for Iran’s compliance with the nuclear deal and for the lifting of U.S. sanctions against Iran. By mid-June, six rounds of indirect talks reportedly resulted in the parties coming close to an agreement on restoring the JCPOA. However, after the presidential election victory that month of Ebrahim Raisi, the conservative candidate endorsed by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, talks went into abeyance for over five months.
President-elected Raisi said at a press conference on June 21 that while negotiations that guarantee the national interest would definitely be supported, negotiations for negotiations’ sake would not be tolerated. He also argued that the negotiations must have “outcomes” for Iran. Furthermore, he emphasized that Iran’s ballistic missiles and regional presence are “not negotiable.”28
At the UNGA in September, U.S. President Biden stated, “The United States remains committed to preventing Iran from gaining a nuclear weapon. We are working with the P5+1 to engage Iran diplomatically and seek a return to the JCPOA. We’re prepared to return to full compliance if Iran does the same.”29 On the other hand, Iranian President Raisi said, “the [U.S.] policy of ‘maximum oppression’ is still on. We want nothing more than what is rightfully ours. We demand the implementation of international rules. All parties must stay true to the nuclear deal and the UN Resolution in practice. Fifteen reports released by the IAEA have attested to the adherence of Iran to its commitments. However, the US has not yet discharged its obligation, which is lifting sanctions. It has encroached upon the agreement, withdrawn from it and levied even more sanctions on my people.”30 Iran also insisted in Twitter that negotiations to revive the JCPOA would fail unless U.S. President Biden could guarantee that Washington would not again abandon the deal.31
The indirect negotiations resumed in Vienna on November 29. Before the negotiations, there was strong pessimism that progress toward reaching an agreement would be difficult since both the United States and Iran were adamant on the issues mentioned above, including Iran’s re-compliance with the JCPOA, the scope of the lifting of the U.S. sanctions, assurances that the United States would not again withdraw from the nuclear agreement, and the handling of various non-nuclear issues concerning Iran. U.S. State Secretary Blinken said that with Iran making significant progress in its nuclear program, “time is running out” for negotiations, and warned that if negotiations failed, “other options” would be pursued.32
At the resumed meeting, while details were not reported, Iran presented two working documents on the lifting of sanctions by the United States, and on the Iran’s nuclear program, and proposed to make major changes to a draft agreement which had been 70-80% completed in negotiations by June.33 France, Germany and the United Kingdom expressed “disappointment and concern” that some of Iran’s demands are incompatible with the restoration of the JCPOA. The United States also criticized Iran for pushing more demands. The United States Special Envoy for Iran, Rob Malley, said, “If they continue [their nuclear development] at their current pace, we have some weeks left but not much more than that, at which point, I think, the conclusion will be that there’s no deal to be revived.” He also warned: “At some point in the not-so-distant future, we will have to conclude that the JCPOA is no more, and we’d have to negotiate a wholly new different deal, and of course we’d go through a period of escalating crisis.”34
The indirect talks resumed on December 27, and the participating countries agreed to continue consultations at the working groups. According to press reports, the atmosphere was improved and Iran agreed to return to its position when talks stalled in June. However, no agreement to revive the JCPOA was reached by the end of 2021.
Withdrawal from the NPT
Although Article X-1 of the NPT contains some guidance on how a state can legitimately withdraw from the treaty, there remains a lack of clarity over certain aspects of this process. In light of North Korea’s declaration to withdraw from the NPT—and, in order to prevent a state from choosing to withdraw from the NPT after first acquiring nuclear weapons in violation of the treaty—Japan, South Korea and several other Western countries have proposed measures, among others, to prevent the right of withdrawal from being abused, and to exercise their right to incorporate dismantling and/or return clauses or fallback safeguards to be triggered in the event of withdrawal into contracts or other arrangements concluded with the withdrawing state.35
On the other hand, the Chinese and Russian positions on this issue seem more cautious than the above-mentioned countries. Furthermore, Brazil, Iran and other NAM countries have been critical of the tightening of withdrawal requirements, arguing that withdrawal is a right of the parties.
Alleged interest in acquiring nuclear weapons
Since the mid-2010s, there have been repeated statements from Saudi Arabia suggesting an interest in acquiring nuclear weapons. Although no such statements emerged in 2021, some parties remained concerned about a lack of full transparency concerning Saudi Arabia’s nuclear activities. Although Saudi Arabia made no significant statements in 2021, its attitudes continued to be closely watched. Iran stated at the IAEA General Conference in September 2021, “The professional, impartial and independent nature of the work of the Agency would only be guaranteed if the Agency also considers unequivocally and impartially the available information on the nuclear activities of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. If Saudi Arabia is seeking for a peaceful nuclear program, it should act in a very transparent manner and allow the Agency’s inspectors to verify its activities.”36
Regarding Iran, the U.S. intelligence community maintains its assessment as following: “We continue to assess that Iran is not currently undertaking the key nuclear weapons-development activities that we judge would be necessary to produce a nuclear device.”37 Meanwhile, Iran’s Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi said, “The Supreme Leader has explicitly said in his fatwa that nuclear weapons are against sharia law. … [If the Western states] push Iran in that direction, then it’s no longer Iran’s fault.”38 Supreme Leader Khamenei also said, “Tehran had never sought a nuclear weapon but if it wanted to, no one could stop Tehran from acquiring it.”39
C) Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones
Treaties establishing nuclear-weapon-free zones (NWFZs) have entered into force in Latin America (Tlatelolco Treaty), the South Pacific (Rarotonga Treaty), Southeast Asia (Bangkok Treaty), Africa (Pelindaba Treaty), and Central Asia (Central Asian NWFZ Treaty). In addition, Mongolia declared its territory a nuclear-weapon-free zone at the UNGA in 1992, and the UNGA has been adopting a resolution entitled “Mongolia’s International Security and Nuclear- Weapon Free-Status” every two years since 1998, in support of Mongolia’s declaration.40
With regard to the Middle East, the second session of “the Conference on the Establishment of a Middle East Region Free of Nuclear Weapons and Other Weapons of Mass Destruction” (hereinafter the “Middle East Conference”), which had been postponed for nearly two years due to the global pandemic of COVID-19, was held from November 29 to December 3, 2021. The conference was attended by 19 countries in the region, four observer countries (NWS other than the United States), international organizations and NGOs. Israel and the United States did not participate in it.
At the thematic debate of the conference following the general debate, participants exchanged preliminary views in a systematic way on core issues related to the negotiation of a legally binding instrument on a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction (hereinafter a “Middle East WMD free zone”). The thematic debate was undertaken on the basis of an informal paper by the President, including: principles and objectives; core obligations related to nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, including verification; transparency and security through implementation of the treaty; definitions, clarifications, consultations and cooperation; peaceful uses and international cooperation; institutional arrangements, entry into force and dispute settlement; protocols including security assurances; and other relevant issues.41 In addition, participating countries agreed to establish an informal working committee, and hold two meetings, at a minimum, during each intersessional period.42
At past UNGAs from 1980 to 2017, a resolution titled “Establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the region of the Middle East” was adopted without a vote. However, the resolution in 2021, following the previous years, was taken to a vote: Israel was against it, and the United States (which had been against in 2020) abstained.43 The United States stated: “Though the stated goals of [the Middle East Conference] initiative are noble, the manner in which it was pursued has unfortunately undercut those very goals. We therefore question what the conference can achieve – chiefly how it will be possible to pursue the most ambitious regional arms control treaty ever negotiated without the participation of all the regional states.”44
Concerning Northeast Asia and South Asia, while initiatives for establishing NWFZs have been proposed by nongovernmental groups in the respective regions, there are few indications that states parties in these regions are taking any serious initiative toward such a goal. One exception is Mongolia, which in its report submitted to the 2015 NPT Review Conference (RevCon) expressed a willingness to “[p]lay an active role in promoting the idea of establishing a nuclear weapon-free zone in north-east Asia.”45
1 This chapter is authored by Hirofumi Tosaki.
2 No international body is explicitly mandated with a responsibility for assessing compliance with these articles, apart from the IAEA’s safeguards verification mandate.
3 The U.S. Department of State, “Adherence to and Compliance with Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament Agreements and Commitments,” April 2021, https://www.state.gov/2021-adherence-t o-and-compliance-with-arms-control-nonproliferation-and-disarmament-agreements-and-commitments/.
4 S/RES/1718, October 14, 2006. The UN Security Council Resolution 1874 in June 2009 also demanded that North Korea “immediately comply fully with its obligations under relevant Security Council resolutions, in particular resolution 1718 (2006).”
5 “Press Gaggle by Press Secretary Jen Psaki Aboard Air Force One En Route Philadelphia, PA,” White House, April 30, 2021, https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/press-briefings/2021/04/30/press-gaggle-by-press-secretary-jen-psaki-aboard-air-force-one-en-route-philadelphia-pa/.
6 “North Korea Says Not Considering Contact with U.S. That Would Waste Time,” Reuters, June 24, 2021, https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/nkorea-say-it-is-not-considering-any-contact-with-us-kcna-2021-06-23/.
7 “Respected Comrade Kim Jong Un Makes Historic Policy Speech ‘On the Orientation of Present Struggle for a Fresh Development of Socialist Construction,’” KCNA, September 30, 2021, http://www. kcna.co.jp/item/2021/202109/news30/20210930-01ee.html.
8 “Statement by North Korea,” General Debate, First Committee, UNGA, October 11, 2021.
9 Iran justifies that its suspension of obligations was in accordance with Articles 26 and 36 of the JCPOA. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also stated, “Iran has significantly increased its nuclear capabilities since May 2019—but it has done so in full conformity with paragraph 36 of the nuclear agreement, which allows Iran to “cease performing its commitments” under the deal should another signatory stop performing its own. If the new U.S. administration hopes to alter the current trajectory, it needs to promptly change course.” Mohammad Javad Zarif, “Iran Wants the Nuclear Deal It Made: Don’t Ask Tehran to Meet New Demands,” Foreign Affairs, January 22, 2021, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/ articles/iran/2021-01-22/iran-wants-nuclear-deal-it-made.
10 “Iran Vows 20 Percent Uranium Enrichment ‘As Soon As Possible,’” RFE/RL, January 21, 2021, https://www.rferl.org/a/iran-uranium-enrichment-20-percent/31029739.html.
11 “Iran Says More Than 120kg of Uranium Enriched to 20%,” Guardian, October 9, 2021, https://www. theguardian.com/world/2021/oct/10/iran-says-more-than-120kg-of-uranium-enriched-to-20.
12 Francois Murphy and Parisa Hafezi, “Iran Makes Nuclear Advance Despite Talks to Salvage 2015 Deal,” Reuters, December 2, 2021, https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/iran-starts-enriching-with-adva nced-machines-fordow-during-deal-talks-2021-12-01/.
13 “Iran Threatens ‘60% Enrichment’ as US Repeats Readiness for Talks,” Israel Hayom, February 22, 2021, https://www.israelhayom.com/2021/02/22/as-iran-backs-away-us-still-ready-to-revive-nuclear-accord/.
14 Parisa Hafezi, “Iran to Begin 60% Uranium Enrichment After Nuclear Site Incident,” Reuters, April 13, 2021, https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/irans-zarif-says-israel-made-very-bad-gamble-by-sab otaging-natanz-site-2021-04-13/.
15 GOV/2021/51, November 17, 2021.
16 GOV/INF/2021/11, February 10, 2021.
17 “Iran Takes Steps to Make Enriched Uranium Metal; U.S., Europe Powers Dismayed,” Reuters, July 7, 2021, https://jp.reuters.com/article/us-iran-nuclear-iaea-idCAKCN2EC21S. France, Germany and the United Kingdom expressed their grave concern in their joint statement, stating “Iran has no credible civilian need for uranium metal R&D and production, which are a key step in the development of a nuclear weapon.” “UK, France and Germany State ‘Grave Concern’ over Iran Nuclear Work,” Reuters, July 6, 2021, https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/uk-france-germany-state-grave-concern-over-iran-nuclear-work-2021-07-06/.
18 GOV/INF/2021/39, August 16, 2021.
19 Francois Murphy, “Iran Deepens Breach of Nuclear Deal at Underground Enrichment Site,” Reuters, February 2, 2021, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-nuclear-iaea/iran-deepens-breach-of-nuclear-deal-at-underground-enrichment-site-idUSKBN2A21YL.
20 Laurence Norman, “Iran Resumes Production of Advanced Nuclear-Program Parts, Diplomats Say,” Wall Street Journal, November 16, 2021, https://www.wsj.com/articles/iran-resumes-production-of-advanced-nuclear-program-parts-diplomats-say-11637079334.
21 David Albright, Sarah Burkhard and Andrea Stricker, “Analysis of IAEA Iran Verification and Monitoring Report – November 2021,” Institute for Science and International Security, November 19, 2021, https://isis-online.org/isis-reports/detail/analysis-of-iaea-iran-verification-and-monitoring-report-november-2021/.
23 The U.S. Department of State, “Department Press Briefing,” April 7, 2021, https://www.state.gov/ briefings/department-press-briefing-april-7-2021/.
24 “Statement by the Foreign Ministers of France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States of America,” February 18, 2021, https://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/french-foreign-policy/news/2021/ article/statement-by-the-foreign-ministers-of-france-germany-the-united-kingdom-and-the.
25 Parisa Hafezi, “Iran’s Khamenei Demands ‘Action’ from Biden to Revive Nuclear Deal,” Reuters, February 17, 2021, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-nuclear-usa-idUSKBN2AH0UQ.
26 Ellen Knickmeyer and Raf Casert, “‘First Step:’ US, Iran to Begin Indirect Nuclear-Limit Talks,” AP, April 3, 2021, https://apnews.com/article/us-iran-indirect-talks-nuclear-program-a6558ac21b600cb7a3c8542f18a7aece.
27 Zarif, “Iran Wants the Nuclear Deal It Made.”
28 Erin Cunningham and Kareem Fahim, “Raisi Says Iran’s Ballistic Missiles Are ‘Not Negotiable’ — and He Doesn’t Want to Meet Biden,” Washington Post, June 22, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/ world/2021/06/21/iran-nuclear-power-plant-bushehr/.
29 “Remarks by President Biden before the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly,” September 21, 2021, https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/speeches-remarks/2021/09/21/re marks-by-president-biden-before-the-76th-session-of-the-united-nations-general-assembly/.
30 “Raisi Tells UN: Nuclear Talks Useful Only If They Lead to Lifting All Oppressive Sanctions on Iran,” Tehran Times, September 21, 2021, https://www.tehrantimes.com/news/465334/Raisi-tells-UN-Nuclear-talks-useful-only-if-they-lead-to-lifting.
31 “Iran Warns Nuclear Talks Would Fail Unless Biden Provides Guarantees,” Reuters, November 3, 2021, https://www.reuters.com/business/cop/iran-warns-nuclear-talks-would-fail-unless-biden-provides-gua rantees-2021-11-03/.
32 Joseph Choi, “Blinken: US Looking at Other Options on Iran Nuclear Negotiations,” The Hill, October 31, 2021, https://thehill.com/homenews/sunday-talk-shows/579293-blinken-us-looking-at-other-optio ns-on-iran-nuclear-negotiations.
33 Parisa Hafezi, Francois Murphy and John Irish, “Iran Nuclear Talks on Brink of Crisis as They Adjourn Until Next Week,” Reuters, December 4, 2021, https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/iran-nuclear-talks-break-friday-with-formal-meeting-officials-2021-12-03/.
34 Adam Pourahmadi, “US Special Envoy for Iran Warns of ‘Escalating Crisis’ If Talks Fail to Revive Iran Nuclear Deal,” CNN, December 21, 2021, https://edition.cnn.com/2021/12/21/politics/iran-nuclear-deal-rob-malley/index.html.
35 See, for instance, NPT/CONF.2020/PC.III/WP.5, March 15, 2019.
36 “Statement by Iran,” IAEA General Conference, September 21, 2021.
37 Office of Director of National Intelligence, Annual Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community, April 2021, p. 14.
38 “Iran’s Spy Chief Says Tehran Could Seek Nuclear Arms If ‘Cornered’ by West,” Reuters, February 9, 2021, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-nuclear/irans-spy-chief-says-tehran-could-seek-nuclear-ar ms-if-cornered-by-west-idUSKBN2A91OX.
39 “Khamenei Warns If Iran Seeks Nuclear Weapon, ‘No One Could Stop Tehran from Acquiring It,’” i24 News, February 23, 2021, https://www.i24news.tv/en/news/international/middle-east/1614013130-khamenei-warns-if-iran-seeks-nuclear-weapon-no-one-could-stop-tehran-from-acquiring-it.
40 A/RES/53/77D, December 4, 1998.
41 A/CONF.236/2021/4, December 3, 2021.
42 A/CONF.236/2021/DEC.3, December 3, 2021.
43 A/RES/76/20, December 6, 2021.
44 The United States, “Explanation of Vote,” First Committee, UNGA, October 27, 2021.
45 NPT/CONF.2015/8, February 25, 2015.