Media Release by Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer on U.N. Security Council Resolution 1696

August 1, 2006

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear

I welcome the adoption by the UN Security Council on 31 July 2006 of a firm resolution making mandatory the suspension of all of Iran's uranium enrichment activities.

The resolution underscores the seriousness of international concern about Iran's nuclear activities, and demonstrates the international community's strong commitment to see these concerns resolved.

Despite more than three years of investigations, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has not been able to conclude that Iran's nuclear program is for exclusively peaceful purposes. The Security Council's resolution reinforces the IAEA's efforts to investigate Iran's nuclear program, by sending a clear message that Iran must now comply with the steps set out in IAEA Board resolutions.

Australia welcomed the comprehensive package of incentives offered to Iran on 6 June by the EU3 (United Kingdom, France and Germany) and the United States, Russia and China. We share the deep disappointment expressed by these countries that Iran has not taken the steps required to allow negotiations to begin.

The Security Council has given Iran one month to suspend all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities before again considering this matter. In the meantime, the incentives offer made to Iran remains on the table.

Australia urges Iran to reinstate a sustained and verifiable suspension of all enrichment and reprocessing activities and cooperate fully with the IAEA.

If Iran does not make use of current opportunities it will face a future of increasing isolation from the benefits of constructive international relationships. The right choices will set Iran on the path to a future as a respected member of the international community.