Under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Iran agreed that it would pursue the peaceful applications of nuclear energy in strict compliance with its obligations under that treaty. This includes permitting the application of safeguards by the International Atomic Energy Agency, or I-A-E-A. But for at least eighteen years, Iran has secretly pursued the capability to make fissile material needed for nuclear weapons, without declaring those activities as required by the treaty. In short, Iran violated its legal obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty by conducting a clandestine program to manufacture fissile material for nuclear weapons.
Since 2003, the I-A-E-A has been investigating Iran’s program and has confirmed numerous serious violations. The I-A-E-A has called on Iran to tell the truth about its nuclear programs and to suspend its effort to make fissile material. Iran has refused, claiming it is only using its nuclear program to produce electric power for peaceful purposes. This despite the fact that oil-and-gas-rich Iran has no economic or energy-based need for nuclear power.
White House spokesman Scott McClellan says the U.S. will work with its allies, the United Nations, and the I-A-E-A to ensure that the extremist regime in Iran stops its nuclear weapons program:
“The international community recognizes that this is a real threat. Iran needs to comply with its international obligations. We expect that at the next board meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency, there will be a very strong statement regarding Iran's continued non-compliance with their international obligations. The international community recognizes that we cannot afford to let Iran move forward on building nuclear weapons.”
The I-A-E-A will take up Iran’s case again in September and could send it to the U-N Security Council for action against Iran, including possible sanctions.
Iran has been put on notice. “We’ve got to keep pressure on their government,” says President George W. Bush. “Iran,” he says, “must comply with the demands of the free world.”