Iran's envoy to UN: Security council tool of national foreign policy of few countries

(source: IRNA)
Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The international community is once again witnessing that the credibility of the Security Council, whose primary responsibility is to maintain international peace and security, is readily downgraded to a mere tool of the national foreign policy of just a few countries, Iranian Representative to the United Nations Mohammad Khazaee said in his address to the Security Council.

"The Council has been once more pushed to take unlawful action against a proud and resolute nation merely because that nation is defending its legal and inalienable rights enshrined in international instruments."

Today's action of some members of the Security Council against Iran's peaceful nuclear program, along with the measures taken in this regard in the past, do not meet the minimum standards of legitimacy and legality for the following reasons:

1. Iran's peaceful nuclear program was brought to the Security Council in violation of the Agency's Statute. Iran had not violated, and therefore had not been in non-compliance with its NPT comprehensive safeguards agreement. Iran had signed the Additional Protocol in 2003 and began its voluntary implementation then, which continued for two and a half years, and thus had not been supposed to implement its provisions prior to 2003. Our country accepted the modified code 3.1 of the Subsidiary Arrangement in 2003 and had no obligation to it (to inform about nuclear installations) prior to that date. Therefore Iran was only obliged, according to the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement (INFCIRC/153), to inform the IAEA 180 days prior to feeding nuclear material into facilities. We informed the IAEA about the Uranium Conversion Facility (UCF) by inviting the Agency's Director General in the year 2000, that is, 4 years prior to its operation in 2004, and also 4 years before Iran was obliged to do so.

2. Iran's nuclear program has been, is, and will remain absolutely peaceful and in no way poses any threat to international peace and security, and thus does not fall within the purview of the Security Council. There is solid evidence and there are concrete arguments attesting to the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear program. In this regard:

A. The peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear program has been confirmed by each and every IAEA report in the past several years, including the most recent one that clearly stresses that "the Agency has been able to continue to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material in Iran. Iran has provided the Agency with access to declared nuclear material and has provided the required nuclear reports."

As the latest example, the IAEA report of February 22, 2008 clearly attests to the exclusively peaceful program of the Islamic Republic of Iran, both in the past and at present, and serves to strongly and unambiguously support our country's long-standing position that the allegations raised by few states against the peaceful nuclear program of the Islamic Republic of Iran have been entirely groundless.

In the Work Plan, concluded between Iran and the IAEA in August 2007, it has also been emphasized that "the IAEA has been able to verify the non-diversion of the declared nuclear materials at the enrichment facilities in Iran and has therefore concluded that it remains in peaceful use."

B. On the basis of ideological and strategic grounds, Iran categorically rejects the development, stockpiling and use of nuclear weapons as well as all other weapons of mass destruction. This fundamental position has been reiterated by every senior Iranian official on numerous occasions. The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran has unequivocally stressed this position before, through a religious verdict, a fatwa, and once again reiterated the same principled position during Mr ElBaradaei's recent visit to Tehran. Also, the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran has emphasized repeatedly that Iran's nuclear program has been and will remain absolutely peaceful and that Iran is a leading country in international efforts to oppose nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction.

C. The IAEA Director General has stressed in his various statements that "the Agency does not have any data or evidence indicating that Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons." He has also said "there is no evidence Iran's enrichment of uranium is intended for a military nuclear program."

In the wake of the US NIE report - which reversed many of its previous baseless allegations against Iran's nuclear program - the IAEA Director General stressed that Iran has been "vindicated in saying it has not been working on a weapons program".

3. In addition, the Security Council's actions are unjustifiable because the main pretext on the basis of which the consideration of Iran's peaceful nuclear program was imposed on the Security Council, namely the outstanding issues, are now resolved and closed. The co- sponsors of today's resolution have argued in the past that Iran's peaceful nuclear program should be dealt with by the Security Council due to unresolved outstanding questions. In order not to leave any stone unturned in its cooperation with the agency and to remove this much ballyhooed, yet baseless pretext, Iran agreed to work with the Agency on a Work Plan to address and resolve the outstanding issues.

In this regard, the text of the "Understandings of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the IAEA on the Modalities of Resolution of the Outstanding Issues" was negotiated and finally concluded in August 2007.