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Kaitie Watson Position Paper
 

Kaitie Watson Position Paper

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    Kaitie Watson Position Paper Kaitie Watson Position Paper Document Transcript

    • Kaitie WatsonEU-3 Position on Iran’s Pursuit of Uranium Enrichment Capabilities1. Introduction Iran’s recent defiance of international agreements with respect to its uranium enrichmentactivities has emerged as a pressing concern in the international community. Finding a solution tothis issue is a priority for the United Nations Security Council. The UE-3 (France, Germany, andthe United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) represent the interests of theEuropean Union at the United Nations Security Council. The UE-3 considers the most criticalEuropean concerns in this matter to be the threat of nuclear proliferation and the preservation ofEU-Iran relations. In response to these concerns, the EU-3 proposes a policy path that includesdiplomatic negotiations and trade concessions in order to reach an agreement with Iran.2. Background and Existing Policy Iran is a major player in today’s energy-hungry world. Iran holds over 10% of the world’soil and gas reserves and operates an extensive nuclear research program. Since the 1950’s, Iranhas run nuclear research and development programs. Iran has received support from countriessuch as Russia and China to run its nuclear facilities. In 2002, it was revealed to the InternationalAtomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that Iran’s uranium enrichment program was much larger thanexpected. Iran claims to be in compliance with Article IV of the Nuclear Non-ProliferationTreaty which allows a state to develop uranium enrichment programs with peaceful intentions.However, Iran was not in compliance with IAEA Safeguard Agreements and this lack oftransparency in its program raised international suspicions. In November 2004, facing harsh 1
    • pressure from the United States, Iran froze its enrichment activities. It then proceeded to resumethe program in August 2005. This defiance of international agreements by Iran is disappointingto the EU-3 and perhaps warrants a reevaluation of our foreign policy options. The EU-3 mustnow carefully weigh their options of diplomatic or forceful actions with the economic andsecurity concerns of the EU-3 and the rest of the European Union.3. Concerns Held by the EU-3 a. Threat of Nuclear Proliferation The threat of nuclear proliferation for military use is of great concern to the EU-3. Asoutlined in the European Security Strategy of 2003, the “proliferation of Weapons of MassDestruction is potentially the greatest threat to our security.” It is in Europe’s best interest to doall that is in its power to promote non-proliferation and effectively enforce the agreements of theNuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and other such pacts. The spread of nuclear weaponstechnology is a threat to both Europe and the international community as a whole, and as suchthe EU-3 must act both assertively and tactfully to ensure that non-proliferation agreements arerespected. b. Preservation of EU-3-Iran Relations Preserving economic and political relations with Iran is a second pressing concern for theEU-3. Since the early 1990’s, European states (France, Germany and the United Kingdom inparticular) have forged stronger political and economic ties with Iran. In a move away fromhistorically strained relations with Iran, the EU-3 have created stronger ties with Iran in the pastdecade and a half. We have identified Iran as a potential long-term energy source for Europe, andmaintaining this connection requires strong diplomatic and economic ties between the two 2
    • regions. The reliance on Iran to help fuel an ever-expanding and developing European Union is afactor that cannot be overlooked in this situation. Iran has become an invaluable trade partner forthe European Union, and continued economic and diplomatic links with the state are important tofoster a stronger relationship with Iran.4. Policy Options a. Sanctions The first policy option faced by the EU-3 is to impose sanctions on Iran, a hardlineapproach that has been strongly supported by the United States. This option would includepolitical and economic sanctions imposed on Iran to coerce the state into complying with IAEASafeguard Agreements and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The United States has alsomade clear its belief that a preemptive strike, though it is a worst-case scenario, would be a realoption to tackle Iran’s non-compliance. While some states deem this strategy effective, it has thecapacity to permanently derail economic relations between Iran and members of the internationalcommunity. The EU-3 feel that this type of coercive technique will have the opposite of thedesired effect, and will ultimately lead to increased tension and a heightened threat to security forall states. The prospective interstate tensions created by a coercive policy for compliance are toorisky for the EU-3 and the European Union to consider it as a potential policy option. b. Continued Negotiations It is in the best interest of the EU-3 to pursue a path to cooperation through non-coercivediplomatic means. Continued negotiations and incentive programs are the best option availablefor the United Kingdom, France, and Germany, as well as the other members of the EuropeanUnion. Through diplomatic and transparent negotiations, both economic and political relations 3
    • with Iran can be preserved. It is important at this time for Iran to build its confidence in theinternational community. The EU-3 recognizes Iran’s right to pursue nuclear energy research forpeaceful reasons under Article IV of the Treaty on the Non Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.However, Iran’s lack of transparency in its nuclear programs and its failure to comply with IAEASafeguard Agreements and other regulations have presented its nuclear program in a very badlight. As diplomatic and trade partners, we must give Iran the opportunity to demonstrate thispeaceful development to the world and regain the trust of the international community. It isimportant for the EU-3 and the European Union to give Iran the chance to re-build internationalfaith in their state. By pursuing cooperation through peaceful and diplomatic means, it will bepossible for this faith to be restored and for Iran to forge stronger ties with Europe and well asthe rest of the international community. Iran’s track-record of non-compliance in this area remains a great concern to the EU-3.While the EU-3 and other European Union member states prefer to take a diplomatic and non-coercive route to cooperation, if Iran continues to reject agreement proposals and defyinternational agreements such as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty the time may come for theEU-3 to adopt more forceful policy options in the form of economic sanctions and trade barriers.The EU-3 strongly urges Iran to freeze uranium enrichment programs immediately. However, inrecognition of Iran’s rights under Article IV of the Treaty on the Non Proliferation of NuclearWeapons, we are willing to pursue diplomatic negotiations at the present time in hopes ofreaching a peaceful resolution to this issue. The EU-3 strongly advocate a policy of diplomatictalks and trade concessions in order to persuade Iran to freeze uranium enrichment programs, andwe urge the United States to adopt a similar strategy rather than one of force and coercion. 4
    • 5. Conclusion In this delicate time, it is important for the EU-3 to stay true to their diplomatic roots andkeep to the current path of cooperation found through peaceful means. The EU-3 aredisappointed by Iran’s recent defiance, but maintain that a combination of continued negotiationsand trade concessions will be the most effective way of reaching a resolution to this issue.Through continued talks, the EU-3 are confident that an agreement can be reached with Iran thatwill reinforce confidence in Iran and increase security in the international community.Reference ListEuropean Union. (12 December 2003). A Secure Europe in a Better World: European Security Strategy. Brussels, Belgium. Retrieved from http://www.consilium.europa.eu/eeas/ security-defence/european-security-strategy.aspx?lang=enInternational Atomic Energy Agency (26 November 2004). Information Circular INFCIRC/637, Communication dated 26 November 2004 received from the Permanent Representatives of France, Germany, the Islamic Republic of Iran and the United Kingdom concerning the agreement signed in Paris on 15 November 2004. Retrieved from http:// www.iaea.org/newscenter/focus/iaeairan/ms_communications.shtml. 5
    • International Atomic Energy Agency (2 August 2005). Information Circular INFCIRC/649, Communication dated 2 August 2005 received from the Permanent Missions of France, Germany and the United Kingdom to the Agency. Retrieved from http://www.iaea.org/ newscenter/focus/iaeairan/ms_communications.shtml.International Atomic Energy Agency (18 January 2006). Information Circular INFCIRC/662, Communication dated 13 January 2006 received from the Permanent Missions of France, Germany and the United Kingdom to the Agency. Retrieved from http://www.iaea.org/ newscenter/focus/iaeairan/ms_communications.shtml.International Atomic Energy Agency (4 February 2006). Board of Governors GOV/2006/14, Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Retrieved from http://www.iaea.org/newscenter/focus/iaeairan/ ms_communications.shtml.Noi, Aylin Ünver (2011). Iran in EU and US Foreign Policy: The Case of Iran’s Nuclear Program. In M. Cebeci, Issues in EU and US Foreign Policy (201-227). Plymouth, UK: Lexington Books. 6