Some Facts on Iran’s Peaceful Nuclear Issue

Remarks by H.E. Ambassador Mohammad Khazaee

Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the United Nations 

at the Briefing for Press Representatives on Iran’s Peaceful Nuclear Issue

(New York-  29 June 2012)

(Some Facts on Iran’s Peaceful Nuclear Issue) 

In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

 

Distinguished Members of the Press,

The reason why we have called this press conference is an issue of utmost importance to us. This issue is also high on press and media and that is Iran’s recent talks with 5+1 that is to say five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany. As you know last week, Iran and 5+1 met at a high level again for another round of talks in Moscow. The good point about that meeting was that both sides agreed that a technical group should discuss in detail the proposals by each side and hammer out a framework or a road map for the continuation of the talks. So a technical group is going to have a new round of talks next Tuesday in Istanbul.

At the same time it is clear for us that some members of 5+1 for whatever reasons, obviously and mainly political reasons are not forthcoming and serious enough for finding a solution. If the talks do not proceed as it should be, we are going to have another standoff in the talks. Therefore, we can say that we are at a critical point in our talks with some members of 5+1. The USA and some Europeans have said that they are going to increase their pressure and sanctions against us and this by itself indicates that they are not willing to engage with us in a meaningful dialogue. We thought that we must address this issue and shed some lights on the latest developments and to analyze the issue from our own vantage points.

Let me touch briefly some of the points that we currently discuss with 5+1.

A-    The right to enrichment under the NPT

The main sticking point in Moscow talks as well as in our previous talks with 5+1 in Baghdad and Istanbul was the issue of Iran’s right to enrich uranium. This right stems from International law and NPT. Under NPT developing, research, production and use of nuclear energy and having full national nuclear fuel cycle, and enriching Uranium for peaceful purposes are among the inherent and inalienable rights of each sovereign State.

Article 4 of the NPT not only draws no limitation on the kind of technology or the level of peaceful applications of nuclear technology, including the full national nuclear fuel-cycle including enrichment, but also it states that nothing in that Treaty shall be interpreted as affecting the inalienable right of all the Parties to the Treaty to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

In the texts, records, and documents of the diplomatic negotiations which led to the codification, adoption and ratification of the NPT, there is no suggestion or reference to the possibility to limit the kind of technology or the level of peaceful applications of nuclear technology.

NPT makes clear that all the Parties to the Treaty undertake to facilitate, and have the right to participate in, the fullest possible exchange of equipment, materials and scientific and technological information for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Parties to the Treaty in a position to do so shall also cooperate in contributing alone or together with other States or international organizations to the further development of the applications of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, especially in the territories of non-nuclear-weapon States Party to the treaty, with due consideration for the needs of the developing areas of the world.

According to the NPT, IAEA statutes, and other relevant international instruments neither uranium enrichment nor the stockpiling of enriched uranium for peaceful uses is prohibited.

This fact has also been asserted clearly by 120 NAM countries that repeatedly underlined the inalienable right of the NPT members to all peaceful uses of nuclear energy, including full national nuclear fuel cycle and the need to respect their policies, choices and decisions with regard to fuel cycle.

B-    Framework for comprehensive and targeted dialogue with 5+1

One major issue that we discussed with 5+1 in our rounds of talks was an attempt to work out a framework for a comprehensive and targeted dialogue. We strongly believe that we should not have talks for the sake of talks. Rather our talks should be conducted based on good will, mutual respect and in a spirit of cooperation and to have tangible results. We therefore should avoid moves and actions that go contrary to good will, spirit of cooperation and mutual respect. We further believe that we should consider the NPT as the cornerstone for our talks and commit ourselves to the rights and obligations specified in the NPT. We are strongly opposed to any preconditions particularly when they are outside the framework of NPT.

Only in this spirit we could set a new process for the talks and only in such a process the talks could be comprehensive, sustainable and constructive. We are willing to have a mutually agreed long term solution. This could only come through tangible actions and on the basis of step by step approach, and based on reciprocity.

C-    Our objectives:

You may ask what our objectives are. What are the goals that we want to achieve? I would like to make it clear and reiterate again that the main Iranian objective  in the negotiations as well as cooperation with the IAEA is to show to the other side that all Iranian peaceful nuclear activities are transparent, legal and within the framework of NPT. The Fatwa of the Supreme Leader is indeed supporting these facts. We believe that confidence building is a two-way street. In this regard I should say that we want to normalize Iran’s nuclear file at the Board of Governors of IAEA by total termination of sanctions of the Security Council as well as those unilateral and multilateral sanctions against Iran. We want also to make sure that we can practically enjoy fully our rights to peaceful nuclear rights within the framework of the NPT and regulations of the IAEA. We also look forward to achieve a sustainable nuclear cooperation and transfer of advanced technologies. We wish to conclude a comprehensive agreement on collective commitments in the areas of economic, political, security and international cooperation as well.

D-    How to materialize our objectives:

In order to materialize the objectives set forth in the talks we believe that we need to define and implement some reciprocal steps that could increase confidence between the two sides. These steps should be “simultaneous”, “equipollent” and “balanced”. This requires an appropriate context and a clear vision of the process. Within such context, attestation of parties to each other side’s demand indicates the required commitment to conclude the process of talks. The first step in this process we emphasize once again on our commitments under the NPT and our opposition to nuclear weapons based on the Supreme Leader’s Fatwa against such weapons. Simultaneous to that we expect from 5+1 to recognize the nuclear rights of the Islamic Republic of Iran based on NPT, particularly our enrichment activities.

In the next step we will promote our cooperation with the IAEA on the issue of “possible military dimensions” of Iran’s nuclear program (PMD), provided that 5+1 terminates all its unilateral and multilateral sanctions that goes beyond the Security Council resolutions.

In another confidence building measure, the third step, we are ready to cooperate with 5+1 to provide fuel needed for TRR in exchange for the termination the sanctions imposed by 5+1 and removal of Iran’s nuclear file from SC agenda. In fact, this issue refers to the issue of %20 enrichment which could be discussed within a reasonable and practical framework.

And as step 4 we are also ready to boost our cooperation with 5+1 in the designing and building nuclear power plants, and research reactors provided that 5+1 cooperates with us in the light water research reactors, nuclear safety and security and nuclear fusion. In this regard, we expect the full cooperation of the other side.

And finally as we indicated in Moscow meeting we are ready to fully cooperate with the other side on non-nuclear areas. We have suggested that we can discuss regional issues and the other side indicated an interest in cooperating in combating Piracy and counter narcotic activities, which we are ready for full cooperation.

Again as we indicated in Moscow talks we are ready to make bridge between our proposals and that of 5+1 and find common denominators in the two proposals. We believe that we should start with low hanging fruits first. But if the other side wants a cherry pick then I am afraid we will not have any fruits at all.

Let me therefore to conclude that we are very serious to continue the talks and we want a win-win solution. We  are looking at the negotiations as a process that  a resolution should be achieved based on mutual understanding and cooperation.  We have no other choice but to work together.  The world is looking at this process. On our side I should underline that our people remain strong, steadfast and determined to enjoy the benefit of nuclear technology.

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Some Facts on

 Iran’s Peaceful Nuclear Issue

  • The Fatwa of Iran’s Supreme leader on nuclear weapons, 19 February, 2012: 

“The Iranian nation has never pursued and will never pursue nuclear weapons. There is no doubt that the decision makers in the countries opposing us know well that Iran is not after nuclear weapons, because the Islamic Republic, logically, religiously and theoretically, considers the possession of nuclear weapons a grave sin and believes the proliferation of such weapons is senseless, destructive and dangerous.”

  • Under International Law, “to develop researchproduction and use of nuclear energy, to have full national nuclear fuel cycle, and to enrich Uranium for peaceful purposes” is an inherent and  inalienable right of each sovereign State.
  • Taking into account the importance of diverse portfolio of energy sources, each State also has the “sovereign right to define its national energy policies, including fuel-cycle policies, without external pressure or interference.”
  • Theses rights are based on the principle of “sovereignty of States” and also have been reaffirmed in particular by the NPT.
  • Neither the NPT nor the IAEA Statute or Safeguards agreements and even theAdditional Protocolprohibit enrichment.
  • In exercising these rights, NPT Parties have legal “obligation” “to prevent diversion of nuclear energy from peaceful uses to nuclear weapons.”
  • Iran is firmly determined to exercise its inherent rights in all areas of peaceful uses of nuclear energy and fully committed to its obligations.
  • Iran’s cooperation with the IAEA and the Agency’s inspections in Iran areunprecedented in the history of the IAEA. 
  • Continuous inspections in the most robust and intrusive manner, more than 4000 man-day routine inspections, and over 100 intrusive inspections are only some examples of Iran’s cooperation with the IAEA.
  • To date, no single evidence of diversion to military purposes has been found.
  • Latest IAEA report corroborates Iran’s cooperation with Agency and peaceful nature of its nuclear activities. It states: “the Agency continues to conduct verification activities under Iran’s Safeguards Agreement” and “continues to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material at the nuclear facilities and Locations outside facilities declared by Iran under its Safeguards Agreement.
  • According to the report, despite sanctions, Iran’s nuclear activities, in particular in the area of enrichment and enrichment related technology are progressing.
  • The said report states as well that Iran is not implementing Additional Protocol. The answer is clear: Additional Protocol is voluntary in nature and Iran has no obligation to implement it.
  • To accept the Agency’s request to visit Parchin military complex does not fall within Iran’s legal obligations with respect to the NPT.
  • Despite this, according to the IAEA’s November 2011 report, “the Agency was permitted to visit the site twice in 2005 and did not uncover anything of relevance.” 
  • As a confidence-building measure, Iran stands ready to provide access to Parchin, only when the agreement on modality is reached with the IAEA. 
  • Iran’s Natanz and Fordow facilities have been declared to the IAEA well in advanceof the due date and in accordance with the Iranian obligations under IAEA Safeguards Agreement. Their activities continue to be under the IAEA constant monitoring.
  • Earlier this year, the IAEA Deputy Director General for Safeguards visited Natanz and Fordow as well as other Iranian nuclear sites, including Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant, Reactor and Heavy Water Production Plant at Arak, and the conversion and fuel fabrication facilities at Esfahan.
  • Iran also provided the IAEA Deputy Director General access to an installation where Research & Development on advanced centrifuges was taking place, which is beyond Iranian obligations and also unprecedented in the history of IAEA inspections.
  • In spite of the fact that the IAEA did not fulfill its obligations including delivery to Iran of the documents on the “Alleged Studies”, Iran did submit to the Agency its assessment in a 117-page document.
  • As during recent talks with P5+1in Moscow demonstrated, Iran is determined to a faithful negotiations on interested issues to both parties based on mutual respect and a win-win solution.
  • Iran proposed a road-map for negotiations which includes guiding principles, structure, issues and steps, according to that any step by one party should be responded by a homogeneous and simultaneous step by the other party.
  • Iran made it clear that ambiguous and unrealistic proposals are counterproductive and may lead to more uncertainty between the parties.
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