chapter  5
16 Pages

Iraqi Circumvention of Export Controls

WithKathleen C. Bailey

A primary policy tool used to stem proliferation of weapons of mass destruction has been export controls. There are three regimes in existence: nuclear, chemical, and missile. International controls on the export of nuclear technology originated with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Article III.2 of the NPT obligates parties to refrain from exporting certain items to non-nuclear weapon states unless the material exported or fissile materials produced by the exported item are under International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards. During 1976 and 1977, the Nuclear Suppliers Group more than doubled in size and continued working on the suppliers control list. In February 1978, the IAEA published the export controls guidelines as INFCIRC/254. Following the Israeli attack on the Osirak reactor in 1981, Iraq pursued multiple approaches to enriching uranium. In part because electromagnetic isotope separation (EMIS) technologies were not subject to export controls by nuclear suppliers, Iraq pursued EMIS.