Luxembourg Forum Working Group Memorandum

The Luxembourg Forum Workshop Meeting on the Iranian Nuclear Problem

(Moscow, April 14, 2008)

On April 14, 2008 the Working Group of the Advisory Council of the International Luxembourg Forum on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe had its regular meeting. The experts addressed the situation which followed the adoption by UN Security Council of Resolution 1803 on Iran's nuclear dossier on March 3, 2008.

The meeting participants acknowledged the lack of progress in resolving the Iranian nuclear crisis. Moreover, they noted that the situation had become more acute as Iran has continued to advance its nuclear program, despite four resolutions by UN SC (including three resolutions which imposed sanctions on Iran). These resolutions require Iran to suspend uranium enrichment and other activities related to nuclear fuel cycle until all issues are removed which have been raised by IAEA in connection with Iran's past activities in the area of nuclear and missile materials and technologies which did not comply with Iran's obligations under the NPT Safeguards Agreement.

All participants of the Working Group were concerned that the limited sanctions implemented up till now did not appear sufficient to convince Iran's leaders to comply with the UN requirements. Of greatest concern is the apparent strengthening of Iran's determination to continue its uranium enrichment and plutonium separation efforts. Iran's defiant reaction to UN SC Resolution 1803, against the backdrop of a declared increase in the number of Natanz centrifuges from 3,000 to 9,000 was an apparent sign that additional efforts are required to obtain Iran's compliance, including considering tougher sanctions and more attractive incentives.

Excluding tougher sanctions on Iran and declaring the necessity to resolve the crisis solely by way of diplomacy only encourage Iran's leaders to drag out the negotiations. Thus Iran's leadership continues building up its uranium enrichment capabilities and using IAEA cooperation conditions to exert pressure on the UN SC and the global community.

The meeting discussed the positions and roles of major organizations and nations directly involved in the process, including the UN SC, IAEA, NSG, Iran, USA, Russia, EU, and China. The experts also considered the possibility of indirect or potential impact which can be caused by Israel, India, Pakistan, Japan, Turkey, Arab states in North Africa, Middle East, Central Asia, and the Persian Gulf.

The experts touched on the legal, financial, economic and energy aspects of the crisis and considered the impact of Iran's domestic political and economic context on the prospects of finding a solution to this issue. The meeting participants also discussed the theoretical possibility that a military campaign might be launched either under the aegis of the UN or beyond it. They analyzed in detail various unpredictable consequences which such a campaign may entail. However, the position was voiced that the option of military force should remain an option for policy makers and recognized that some might consider military force a lesser evil as compared with the emergence of Iran with nuclear weapons, and the subsequent spreading of weapon programs throughout the region and world.

The members of the Advisory Council Working Group believe that three possible options should be considered to find a solution to the Iranian nuclear issue.

The first possible course of action is for the global community to continue exerting pressure on Iran using the formulae "no enrichment until outstanding IAEA issues are fully resolved." In parallel, IAEA safeguards and activities should be restored in the format of Additional Protocol Plus.

An important tool for achieving these goals may become tighter sanctions imposed by UN SC and certain states in the investment, trade and other areas. At the same time, Iran should be offered a detailed list of more compelling and innovative political and economic incentives to comply with the UN SC resolutions.

The secondalternative is to apply all the sanctions described above should Iran fail to comply with UN SC Resolution 1803 without offering any new political or economic incentives. The provision of such incentives may be considered only after IAEA safeguards and activities have been restored on the basis of the Additional Protocol with enhanced inspection capabilities.

The third option to resolve the current deadlock is to abandon the formulae "no enrichment until outstanding IAEA issues are removed" and focus instead on the unconditional restoration of IAEA's safeguards and activities in the format of Additional Protocol Plus, removal of outstanding issues regarding past violations and elimination of their consequences. The abandonment or restriction of uranium enrichment program and other activities related to nuclear fuel cycle should become a subject for negotiations which may be promoted using both all available incentives and efficient sanctions.

The meeting also voiced the opinion that, as Iran's leadership on numerous occasions assured the global community of the civil nature of its nuclear program (including by reference to Islam doctrine) as well as of its commitment to the letter and spirit of the NPT, the UN SC could adopt a framework resolution stating the possibility of collective actions as per Articles 41 and 42 of the UN Charter, should Iran fail to comply with its obligations (i.e. withdraw from NPT and proceed with nuclear weapons creation). Some members believed the third option should be proposed immediately, while others thought it was premature to abandon the "no enrichment" position.

The members of the Advisory Council of the International Luxembourg Forum who attended the Working Group meeting believe that the above options to resolve the current deadlock should be presented to the leaders of the major nations and international organizations.

Members of the Advisory Council of the International Luxembourg Forum


Viatcheslav KANTOR

President of the International Luxembourg Forum; Ph.D. (Russia).



Head of the Center for International Security of the Institute for World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO), Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS); Scholar-in-Residence of the Carnegie Moscow Center (former Deputy Chairman of the Defense Committee of the State Duma, Federal Assembly - Russian Parliament); Corresponding member (RAS, Russia).



Deputy Director of the IMEMO; Corresponding Member (RAS, Russia).


Vladimir DVORKIN

Principal Researcher of IMEMO (RAS, former Director of the 4th Major Institute of the Ministry of Defense); Professor; Major-General, ret. (Russia).



Senior Adviser (International Security Program) of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (former Assistant Secretary for Nonproliferation of the U.S. Department of State).



Director of the Carnegie Moscow Center (former Assistant Secretary for Non-Proliferation and National Security of the U.S. Department of Energy).


Alexander KALIADIN

Principal Researcher of the IMEMO (RAS); Ph.D. (Russia).



Senior Fellow of the James Martin Center for Non-Proliferation Studies of the Monterey Institute of International Studies (USA).



Director of the Institute for Strategic Assessments; Professor of the Moscow State Institute for International Relations (MGIMO, Russia).


Alexander PIKAEV

Vice Chairman of the Committee of Academics for International Security; Head of the Department, IMEMO (RAS); Ph.D. (Russia).



President of the Institute of the Middle East; Ph.D. (Russia).



Senior Fellow (International Security Program) of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (USA).