Possible Challenges on the Path towards Iranian Active Scientific Research Presence in the Antarctic: An International Legal Approach

In: The Yearbook of Polar Law Online
Zia E. Madani
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Recently Iran commenced its scientific research activities in the Antarctic, namely through dispatch of scientists in collaboration with other foreign state scientific institutions with research stations in Antarctica. In the meantime, the Iranian Antarctic research plan received approval of the Iranian Ministry of Science, Research, and Technology and was then submitted to the relevant higher state organs for the allocation of budgets. However, there will be challenges on the trend towards Iranian active participation in the scientific research activities in the Antarctic, particularly from an international legal perspective. The author of this paper has been in charge of doing the preliminary legal studies of the plan in the Iranian National Institute for Oceanography and Atmospheric Science. Accordingly, this paper is intended to tackle the said international legal challenges. These include, but are not limited to: accession to the Antarctic Treaty and the Antarctic Treaty System (ATS); devising and implementing the Iranian polar roadmap in compliance with international law; codification and drafting of necessary domestic laws or/and revision of existing ones; analysis of the international legal regime of the Antarctic, particularly environmental protection; and the linking between Antarctic science and Antarctic policy. Addressing these questions and many others would result in the perception that even prior to becoming a party to the Antarctic Treaty and the ATS, relevant decisions have been made, and measures taken to be compatible with the existing legal regime in the Antarctic.

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