Document Type : Article


Assistance professor, Nuclear Science and Technology Research Institute, Tehran, Iran



The right to innocent passage is a right conferred by international law on ships of all states to pass through the territorial waters of costal states. The 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (the LoS Convention), subject to certain conditions, has recognized this right for both nuclear powered ships and ships carrying nuclear substances. However, in the national law and practice of some states, including Iran, these ships are either deprived from the right of innocent passage or their passage is subject to conditions and/or restrictions in excess of the terms of the LoS Convention. In view of such laws and practices, it would seem that the LoS Convention’s provisions on innocent passage of nuclear powered ships and ships carrying nuclear substances  cannot be considered as general international law and their applicability is limited to the states parties to the LoS Convention.


  1. Englsih

    1. A) books
    2. Angrand, Ram Prakash (1983), Origin and Development of the Law of Sea: History of International Law, New Delhi, Jawaharlal Nehru University.
    3. Attard, David (2012), The IMLI Manual on International Maritime Law:Volume I: the Law of the Sea", Leiden,Martinis Nijhoff publishers.
    4. Connolly Kevin J., Pope, Ronald B. (2016), A Historical Review of the Safe Transport of Spent Nuclear,Washington Fuel,US Department of Energy, available in
    5. Currie, Duncan E. J. (1995), The Right to Control Passage of Nuclear Transport Vessels Under International Law, Amesterdam, Greenpeace International, in
    6. Dixon, David. B. (2006), Transnational Shipment of nuclear Materials by Sea: Do Current Safeguards Provide Coastal States a Right to Deny Innocent Passage? Washington, George Washington University.
    7. Gemma, Andreone (2017), The Future of the Law of the Sea: Bridging Gaps Between National, Individualand Common Interests, Switzerland,springer.
    8. Jia, Bing Bing (1998), The Regime of Straits in International Law, London, oxford press university.
    9. Marr, Simon (2003), The Precautionary Principle in the Law of the Sea: Modern Decision Making in International Law", Leiden, Martinus Nijhoff publishers.
    10. Nordquist, Myron H.. Nandan, Satya N. Kraska, James (2012), UNCLOS 1982 Commentary: Supplementary Documents, Leiden, Martinus Nijhoff publishers.
    11. Reitzig, Andreas (2005), New Zealand’s Ban on Nuclear-Propelled Ships Revisited, A thesis submitted in fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Political Studies, Aucland,Newsland,The University of Auckland.
    12. Reazavi, Ahmad (1997), Continental Shelf Delamination and Related Maritime Issues in the Persian Gulf, Netherlands, Springer.

    12.Welming,Lisa" (2007), The Transportation of Nuclear Cargo at Sea - Shrinkage of the Right of Innocent passage, Master thesis, Public International Law, Lund Sweden, University of Lund.

    1. World Nuclear association (2019), Nuclear Powered Ships, london in


    1. B) Articles
    2. Agyebeng, William.k. (2006), "Theory in Search of Practice: The Right of Innocent Passage in the Territorial Sea", Cornell International Law Journal, Vol.39, pp.371-398.
    3. Bischof, werner (1989), "Nuclear ship", Encyclopedia of Public International Law, Vol.11, pp. 240-245.
    4. Ferro, Miguel Sousa (2006), "Right of Innocent Passage of Ships Carrying Ultra-hazardous Cargoes", Nuclear Law Bulletin, Issue.78, pp. 5-18.
    5. Gauci, Gotthard Mark (2016), "Is It a Vessel, a Ship or a Boat, Is It Just a Craft, Or Is It Merely a Contrivance?', Journal of Maritime Law & Commerce, Vol. 47, No. 4, pp. 477-499.
    6. Hakapää, Kari & Molenaar, Erik J. (1999), "Innocent passage – past and present”, Marine Policy", No. 23, pp. 131-146.
    7. Roscini, Marco (2002), "The Navigational Rights of Nuclear Ships ", Leiden Journal of International Law, Vol.15, pp. 251-265
    8. Suykens, katthy (2011), "Globalisation of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle and Maritime Carriage of Radioactive Material Review of the Legal Regime", The International Journal o Marine and Coastal Law,Vol.26, No.3, pp. 385-411.


    1. C) Conventions /Documents
    2. Bamako Convention on the ban on the Import into Africa and the Control of Transboundary Movement and Management of Hazardous Wastes within Africa,1991.
    3. Brussels Convention on Liability of operators of nuclear ships,1962.
    4. Convention on the Territorial Sea and Contiguous Zone, 1958.
    5. International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), 1974.
    6. International of Life at Sea of 1 November 1974(London, 27 May 1999) Code for the Safe Carriage of Packaged Irradiated Nuclear Fuel, Plutonium and High-Level Radioactive Wastes on Board Ships (INF Code) under the International Convention for the Safety.
    7. Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Rad ioactive Waste Management, 1997.
    8. Paris Convention on Third Liability in the field of Nuclear energy 1960.
    9. Protocol on the Prevention of Pollution of the Mediterranean Sea by Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, Izmir Protocol 1992.

    29 . United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, 10 December 1982.


    1. A) Books
    2. Churchill, R.R. & Lowe, A.V. (2013), The Law of the, Translated by Bahman Aghaei,Tehran: Ganj Danesh Publication, Seventh Edition (In Persian).
    3. Ziai Bigdeli, MR. (2014), Public International Law Tehran, Ganj Danesh Publication, Forty-eighth edition Edition (In Persian).


    1. B) Articles
    2. Hashempour,A.& Arashpoor,A. (2019),"Prevention And Compensation in Environmental Damage in Nuclear spent fuel Management", Public Law Studies Quarterly, Vol. 2, issue.1, pp. 573-589 (In Persian).
    3. Sadat Akhavi, S.A.(2015), "The role of subsequent practice of states in the interpretation of treaties: The judgment of the International Court of Justice in the Application of the Interim Accord of 13 Sept 1995", Public Law Studies Quarterly, Vol.45, issue,1, PP.3-18 (In Persian).
    4. Mousavi, S.F &Arashpour,A, (2015), The Principle of Prevention in International Environmental Law, Public Law Studies Quarterly,Vol.45, Issue.2, pp.167-179 (In Persian).


    1. C) Conventions
    2. Law on Delimitation of Territorial Waters And Contiguous Zone in sea, July 1934 (In Persian).
    3. Law on Amending law of Delimitation of Territorial Waters And Contiguous Zone in sea, July 1959 (In Persian).
    4. Law of Marine Areas of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the Persian Gulf and the Oman Sea,1993 (In Persian).
    5. Law on Protocol on the Protection of the Marine Environment against Land-Based Pollution Sources, 1992 (In Persian).