Media Release by Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer welcoming U.N. Security Council action on Iran

March 30, 2006

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear

I welcome the adoption by the UN Security Council of a firm statement on Iran's nuclear program. The 29 March statement was adopted by consensus and is a clear message that Iran must comply with the steps set out in IAEA Board of Governors resolutions including re-instating a full suspension on all uranium enrichment activities.

Australia supported the IAEA Board's 4 February resolution reporting Iran's non-compliance with its Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty safeguards obligations to the Security Council.

Despite three years of investigations, the IAEA has still not been able to conclude that Iran's nuclear program is for exclusively peaceful purposes. I am pleased that the Security Council has now reinforced the IAEA's efforts to investigate Iran's nuclear program.

Australia is extremely concerned about Iran's nuclear activities. Iran has a record of concealment over nearly two decades and our concerns are compounded by Iran's determined pursuit of uranium enrichment without convincing justification. Uranium enrichment is a key technology for producing nuclear fuel but also nuclear weapons.

Iran's right, as a party to the NPT, to access peaceful nuclear energy is not in question. Australia supports strongly the rights of those NPT parties who faithfully comply with their non-proliferation obligations to benefit from the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

The Security Council has given Iran 30 days to comply with IAEA Board resolutions before again considering this matter.

I urge Iran not to lose this opportunity to take the steps necessary to restore international confidence in its nuclear intentions.