The International Atomic Energy Agency’s Decision to Find Iran in Non-Compliance, 2002-2006
Nima Gerami and Pierre Goldschmidt
WMD Case Study 6, December 2012
The public revelations of Iran’s clandestine nuclear activities in August 2002 unleashed one of the most intensive and highly publicized inspections in the history of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). As the debate ensued over Iran’s nuclear program, deep divisions emerged within the IAEA that delayed its decision to find Iran in non-compliance with its safeguards obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. This case study describes the role and response of the IAEA to a state’s safeguards violations and examines how the Agency decided to formally find Iran in non-compliance more than two years after its investigation began.