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Going, going, gone? Assessing Iran’s possible grounds for withdrawal from the treaty on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons

Evans, C. P. (2021) Going, going, gone? Assessing Iran’s possible grounds for withdrawal from the treaty on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. Journal of Conflict and Security Law. ISSN 1467-7954

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1093/jcsl/krab001

Abstract/Summary

The recent targeted attack resulting in the death of Qassem Soleimani has received extensive attention for its violations of international law by the United States. However, one area that has not been considered following the 3 January 2020 attack is the possible consequences this may have for Iran’s nuclear non-proliferation legal obligations. Iranian officials have previously alluded to the possibility of Iran withdrawing from the NPT following the US withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in May 2018 and re-imposition of targeted economic sanctions against Iran. This article considers whether Iran can withdraw from the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of nuclear Weapons (NPT) 1968, thus freeing Iran from its legal commitments not to develop nuclear weapons. It revisits the withdrawal provisions found in Article X of the NPT and examines the invocation of the ‘extraordinary events’ clause by other states in relation to other instruments too. In light of this, the discussion considers whether Iran can legally withdraw from the NPT, before concluding with some thoughts as to whether it should in fact pursue this option.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Law
ID Code:96052
Publisher:Oxford University Press

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