Article 2(4) of the UN Charter states that “All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.” The United States is a founding member of the UN and has adopted the UN Charter by treaty Any attack or threat of attack is a violation of both international law and U.S. law.
Based on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NNPT), of which Iran is a signatory, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has had regular access to Iranian nuclear facilities and has not found Iran to be in violation of the NNPT. The latest IAEA report, issued in November 2011, said the agency continues to verify the non-diversion of nuclear material. The U.S. National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), issued in 2007, found that Iran did not have an active nuclear weapons program.
Brazil and Turkey submitted a plan to store Iran’s nuclear fuel that was very similar to one advanced by the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, plus Germany. The United States rejected the Brazil and Turkey plans, creating the impression that the United States would rather have the issue than have a solution.
We should all recall the erroneous, low-grade or falsified intelligence used to justify military action in Iraq.
U.S. Role in Iran’s Nuclear Program
In 1957 the United State and Iran signed their first civil nuclear cooperation agreement. Over the next two decades the U.S. not only provided Iran with technical assistance but supplied the country with its first experimental nuclear reactor, complete with enriched uranium and plutonium with fissile isotopes. In 1975 the Ford administration approved the sale of up to eight nuclear reactors, with fuel, to Iran and, in 1976, approved the sale of lasers believed to be capable of enriching uranium.