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Non-Aligned Movement's support for Iran's nuclear programme
Editor's note: The following statement on Iran's nuclear programme was issued by the XV Ministerial Conference of the Non-Aligned Movement Tehran, Iran, 27-30 July 2008.
XV Ministerial Conference of the Non-Aligned Movement
Tehran, Iran, 27-30 July 2008
Statement on Iran ‘s Nuclear Issue
1. The Ministers reiterated their principled positions on nuclear disarmament and non- proliferation reflected in the Final Document of the Ministerial Meeting of the Coordinating Bureau of the Non Aligned Movement, held in Putrajaya, Malaysia, 27-30 May 2006 and the 14th Summit Conference of Heads of State or Government of the Non-Aligned Movement held in Havana, Cuba, 11-16 September 2006. The Ministers also reiterated the Movement’s principled position on the Islamic Republic of Iran’s nuclear issue as reflected in the NAM Ministerial Statement adopted in Putrajaya on 30 May 2006 and NAM Heads of State or Government Statement adopted in Havana on 16 September 2006. They considered the positive developments in the implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran as reflected in the reports of the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
2. The Ministers reaffirmed the basic and inalienable right of all states to develop research, production and use of atomic energy for peaceful purposes, without any discrimination and in conformity with their respective legal obligations. Therefore, nothing should be interpreted in a way as inhibiting or restricting the right of states to develop atomic energy for peaceful purposes. They furthermore reaffirmed that States’ choices and decisions, including those of the Islamic Republic of Iran, in the field of peaceful uses of nuclear technology and its fuel cycle policies must be respected.
3. The Ministers recognized the IAEA as the sole competent authority for verification of the respective safeguards obligations of Member States and stressed that there should be no undue pressure or interference in the Agency’s activities, especially its verification process, which would jeopardize the efficiency and credibility of the Agency.
4. The Ministers welcomed the continuing cooperation being extended by the Islamic Republic of Iran to the IAEA including those voluntary CBMs undertaken with a view to resolving all remaining issues, including those as reflected in the latest report of the Director General of the IAEA on 26 May 2008. They welcomed the fact that the IAEA has been able to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material in Iran as reflected in the Agency’s reports since November 2003 and further noted the assessment of the IAEA Director General in Safeguard Implementation Report (SIR) 2006 that all nuclear material declared by Iran had been accounted for and remains in peaceful activities. They noted at the same time, that the process for drawing a conclusion with regard to the absence of undeclared material and activities in Iran is an ongoing and time consuming process. In this regard, the Ministers further welcomed the modality agreement reached between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the IAEA on 21 August 2007 leading to the resolution of the six outstanding issues as a significant step forward towards promoting confidence and a peaceful resolution of the issue. The Ministers took note of the Document INFCIRC/7 ii in which the Agency and Iran agreed that after the implementation of the Work Plan and the agreed modalities for resolving the outstanding issues, the implementation of safeguards in Iran will be conducted in a routine manner.
5. The Ministers emphasized the fundamental distinction between the legal obligations of states to their respective safeguards agreements and any confidence building measures voluntarily undertaken to resolve difficult issues, and believed that such voluntary undertakings are not legal safeguards obligations.
6. The Ministers considered the establishment of nuclear- weapons-free-zones (NWFZs) as a positive step towards attaining the objective of global nuclear disarmament and reiterated the support for the establishment in the Middle East of a nuclear weapons free zone in accordance with relevant General Assembly and Security Council resolutions. Pending the establishment of such a zone, they demanded Israel to accede unconditionally to the NPT without delay and place promptly all its nuclear facilities under comprehensive IAEA safeguards in accordance with Security Council Resolution 487 (1981).
7. The Ministers reaffirmed the inviolability of peaceful nuclear activities and that any attack or threat of attack against peaceful nuclear facilities—operational or under construction—poses a great danger to human beings and the environment, and constitutes a grave violation of international law, principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations and regulations of the IAEA. They recognized the need for a comprehensive multilaterally negotiated instrument prohibiting attacks, or threat of attacks on nuclear facilities devoted to peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
8. The Ministers strongly believed that all safeguards and verification issues, including those of Iran, should be resolved within the IAEA framework, and be based on technical and legal grounds. They further emphasized that the Agency should continue its work to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue within its mandate under the Statute of the IAEA.
9. The Ministers stressed that diplomacy and dialogue through peaceful means must continue to find a comprehensive and long term solution to the Iranian nuclear issue. They expressed their conviction that the only way to resolve the issue is to pursue substantive negotiations without any preconditions among all relevant parties. In this regard, the Ministers welcomed Iran’s willingness to commence negotiations on various regional and global issues, including nuclear issues with NAM member States, particularly those of the region. The Ministers further welcomed the talks between Iran and the six countries held in Geneva in July 2008.