Article IV of the NPT Treaty and Legitimacy of Sensitive Nuclear Activities

  •  Hedayatollah Shenasaei    
  •  Faramarz Shirvani    


Recently, ambiguity determining the scope of nuclear activities has been posed serious challenges to the world security. Indeed, what has exacerbated the international concerns regarding sensitive nuclear activities in the legal and technical weaknesses and shortcomings that prevent the control of these activities in the best and possible way. These weaknesses and shortcomings can pave the way for building nuclear bombs under the guise of a peaceful nuclear plan or the threat of terrorist groups access of sensitive nuclear materials. Anyway, multilateralization of nuclear fuel cycle has been suggested as a strategy for the elimination of these weaknesses and concerns to International society. These proposals generally should be considered as an appositive step in preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and improving global security to the benefit of all state parties. However, these constructive proposals need serious modifications to encourage nations to comply with it. This paper seeks to shed light on the crises created by the nations’ nuclear activities disguised under peaceful nuclear activities with the focus on Article IV of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), its legal interpretation, scope and disputes between various countries on how to interpret it. The second part of the paper examines the similarities and differences between the two concepts of ‘inalienable right’ and ‘absolute right’. Finally, we review the strategies proposed by the international community for the mitigation of the threats posed by sensitive nuclear activities.

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