Statement of Dr. Ali Akbar Salehi, Vice President of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran at the IAEA 57th General Conference

September 16, 2013

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear

Mentioned Suspect Entities & Suppliers: 

The increasing demand of Member States for various nuclear applications such as power generation, medicine and agriculture has led to an even greater importance for nuclear energy in recent years. The most important vehicle and statutory function for responding to needs of the Member States is technical cooperation as stipulated in Article II of the Statute. Hence, the IAEA plays a great role in ensuring the use of peaceful nuclear energy for its members. However, an imbalance between promotional and non-promotional activities of the Agency remains to be overlooked, thus increasing serious concerns of developing countries.

In the context of technical cooperation, Iran is ready to contribute. While continuing its peaceful nuclear activities consistently under the IAEA surveillance, my country has in recent decades attained considerable achievements in various fields of nuclear science and technology for peaceful purposes. Iran is prepared, within the framework of the NPT, to cooperate with other Member States under the auspices of the IAEA. Likewise, Iran expects to benefit from the technical cooperation activities of the Agency in different areas of peaceful nuclear applications.

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Despite all constrains imposed on my country over the last three decades, Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) has been commissioned, connected to the national grid and soon will be handed over to the BNPP local operator and thus my people's long awaited aspiration is brought into realization. The plant is modified and uprgraded with the latest IAEA Safety Standards and is supervised and licensed by the Iranian Nuclear Regulatory Authority. We have to recall that upon the invitation by the Islamic Republic of Iran, the IAEA mission of Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) was conducted in March 2010 and as a result the activities of Iran's nuclear safety system for deploying the relevant standards in Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant was confirmed. It is worth mentioning that in bringing the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant into operation, my government has carefully observed all safety aspects to assure the safety of its nation, especially those residing adjacent to the plant and the littoral Persian Gulf states. In the meantime, as we have stated before, Iran has already begun the constitutional process of joining the Nuclear Safety Convention.

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Undoubtedly, the best guarantee for nuclear security is a world free from nuclear weapons; thus, the total elimination of nuclear weapons and their facilities would strengthen nuclear security efforts. In this respect, a clear time frame with a target date of 2025 for the full implementation of Article VI of the NPT, as proposed by the Non-Aligned Movement at the 2010 NPT Review Conference, is an urgent need.

In this regard, two principles should be observed. First, as it was emphasized by the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in its 16th Summit of Heads of State or Government, held in Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, on 26-31 August 2012: "measures and initiatives aimed at strengthening nuclear safety and nuclear security must not be used as a pretext or leverage to violate, deny or restrict the inalienable right of develoing countries to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination." And second, the need for the involvement of all Member States of the Agency in nuclear security-related activities and initiatives in an inclusive manner.

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Despite repeated calls by the international community, demonstrated in the 1995 NPT Resolution on the Middle East, related resolutions of the General Assembly, the IAEA and the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation, the Zionist regime, confident of the political and military support of certain UN Security Council permanent members, has neither acceded to the NPT, nor placed its secretive nuclear facilities under the full-scope of IAEA safeguards. In his report on the "Application of IAEA Safeguards in the Middle East," GOV/2013/33, the Director General has clearly stated that "All States of the Middle East region except for Israel are Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and have undertaken to accept comprehensive Agency Safeguards." Israel's prohibited nuclear activities seriously threaten regional peace and security and endanger the non-proliferation regime. More regrettably, the inaction imposed upon the Security Council over the past several decades in addressing the well-documented nuclear weapons program of Israel, has given the audacity to this regime to explicitly acknowledge possession of nuclear weapons which has already been condemned by the Non-Aligned Movement. The unilateral decision of postponement by one of the conveners of the Conference on the Establishment of a Middle East Zone Free of Nuclear Weapons, planned to be held in 2012, under illusive pretexts was only aimed to protect Israel from international condemnation. Such unreasonable decision is a violation of the unanimous decision made by the NPT 2010 Review Conference and it certainly undermined the NPT credibility as well as 2015 process. My delegation advises the conveners of the Middle East Conference to honor their commitments and rapidly organize the Conference without any preconditions.

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In recent years, the Islamic Republic of Iran has with full transparency cooperated with the Agency in implementation of safeguards on its nuclear material and facilities. Under our comprehensive safeguards agreement (INFCIRC/214), all peaceful nuclear activities and facilities in Iran are subject to the Agency's safeguards including containment and surveillance measures. Since 2003, more than 8,000 person-days of inspection, including 100 unannounced inspections, have been conducted by the Agency's inspectors at Iran's nuclear facilities. Based on the Agency Safeguards Implementation Report (SIR) for 2012, Iran has also dispatched more than 4,000 accounting reports to the Agency without delay. Such intensive and frequent IAEA inspections have ranked Iran as the second most-inspected country in the world. Unprecedented in the history of the IAEA, such inspections resulted in the confirmation of non-diversion as it is indicated in SIR 2012, which concludes that "safeguards activities were implemented for 57 states with comprehensive safeguards agreements in force without additional protocol [including Iran]; the secretariat found no indication of the diversion of declared nuclear material from peaceful nuclear activities and these materials remained in peaceful activities." According to all reports of former and present Director Generals, all verification activities have been carried out without any obstacle, and reports repeatedly reflect that the Agency has been able to continue its verification activities, and no evidence of diversion of nuclear material to prohibited purposes has been found. For the baseless allegations on the so-called Possible Military Dimensions (PMD) issue in which negotiations are underway, we have already declared our readiness for continuation of constructive interaction with the Agency with the aim of removing possible ambiguities.

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