The woman who wrote the atomic rules Iran is preparing to abandon next week has a message for both the Biden and Rouhani administrations as they navigate an intensifying nuclear crisis: “Take a deep breath.”
“There is nothing to be gotten by escalating this conflict to a military tipping point,” said Laura Rockwood, who helped lead the International Atomic Energy Agency’s legal department for some three decades.
Warnings of war have punctuated the nuclear poker unleashed by former U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to break with a 2015 deal and sanction Iran. But the stakes are escalating with Tehran set to strip monitors of their ability to carry out surprise visits — powers that help prevent suspicions of dubious atomic activity from leading to military strikes.
Rockwood is in a unique position to know the dangers that will arise once Iran suspends the IAEA’s so-called Additional Protocol from Feb. 23. The rules she drafted for Iran and the 136 other countries that subscribe to the protocol closed loopholes exposed in Iraq after Saddam Hussein’s defeat in the Gulf War.
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