Curveballs and Sliders

Sorry for the light blogging lately. I’m teaching a lot this semester. The upside is that I won’t be teaching at all next semester, which will (hopefully) allow me to get my new Iran book done by the end of the Summer.

But I just can’t resist drawing attention to this great new piece over at Atomic Reporters, featuring the exploits of a couple of my most favorite people. The post is entitled “Curveballs, Sliders & the Little Pitches that Start Big Wars.” It’s both entertaining and insightful.

On a more serious note, there’s also a very good new post over at Opinio Juris by Roger Alford, on the approach to treaty interpretation taken by the US Supreme Court in the Recent Bond case, concerning the Chemical Weapons Convention.

Also, Yousaf Butt has a very good new piece over at the National Interest on why the IAEA is getting Iran wrong.

BTW for those of you on Twitter, if you want you can follow me at @DanJoyner1 for similar recommendations and pithy observations.


3 Comments on “Curveballs and Sliders”

  1. yousaf says:

    A few days ago Fredrik Dahl at Reuters made a big deal about the natural U Iranians were feeding into the IR5 for testing, based on information from Albright at the non-jihadi ISIS thinktank.

    Turns out — it is old hat. The Admin knew in JANUARY that the Iranians were doing this and that it is no big deal.

    Here’s the Atomic Reporters:

    “After the IAEA’s last quarterly report on Iran Albright ran to the gates declaring that Iran had fed a single IR-5 centrifuge under research and development that “should not have been fed.” In typical fashion, Reuters and other press agencies followed ISIS’s lead to proclaim Iran had violated its interim agreement.

    The fact that the IAEA also reported Iran didn’t accumulate any enriched material from the experiment was overlooked in Albright’s analysis. The actual text of the November 2013 Joint Plan of Action says that “Iran will continue its safeguarded R&D practices, including its current enrichment R&D practices, which are not designed for accumulation of the enriched uranium.“

    It is reasonable to expect that Albright would have been aware of the January 2014 remarks by a Senior U.S. administration official that what Iran does “at the Natanz R&D pilot facility is they feed those machines [IR-1, IR2M, IR-4, IR-5 and IR-6]with natural uranium and they at the end of the process, they combine the product in the tails so there’s no enriched uranium produced…those are the sorts of activities they continue to do.”


    More BS from ISIS.

  2. bucherli says:

    The US Supreme Court in the Bond v. United States was not directly concerned with treaty interpretation but with the interpretation of the law that was implementing the CWC (Chemical Weapons Convention Implementation Act of 1998).

    Thus I don’t quite agree with the conclusion that was given by Prof Alford, namely:

    “The Court has always accepted the tools of interpretation reflected in the Vienna Rules. It now has accepted those tools as part of a holistic, unitary approach.”

    The U.S. Supreme Court was not explicitly accepting those tools as part of a holistic approach, but was rather concerned with principles of federalism and the constitutional structure when interpreting the implementation act:

    “Fortunately, we have no need to interpret the scope of the Convention in this case. Bond was prosecuted under section 229, and the statute—unlike the Convention— must be read consistent with principles of federalism inherent in our constitutional structure.”

    “(…) and that the most sweeping reading of the statute would fundamentally upset the Constitution’s balance between national and local power. This exceptional convergence of factors gives us serious reason to doubt the Government’s expansive reading of section 229, and calls for us to interpret the statute more narrowly.”


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