Foreign Minister, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, received the text of Security Council Resolution 1737, according to the adopted custom in tackling the UN Security Council Resolutions, which imposes sanctions on Iran to keep it from continuing its nuclear programme.
Commenting on the Security Council Resolution, Aboul Gheit stated that Egypt hoped, and still hopes, for a peaceful solution to end the current crisis, since sanctions are not the best solution. He added that the door is still open for Iran and the international community to return to negotiations and work on reaching a peaceful settlement.
Aboul Gheit stated that he reviewed, with great interest, President Ahmadinejad's statements, which followed the adoption of Resolution 1737, in which the Iranian President called upon the western countries to coexist with Iran as "A Nuclear State". The Foreign Minister commented on these statements, clarifying that:
First: The possession of peaceful nuclear technology, implementing some phases of the nuclear fuel cycle, or practicing some peaceful nuclear activities does not, in any way, mean that they can claim themselves to be a "Nuclear State", since nuclear countries are those which possess military nuclear capabilities.
Second: The Egyptian vision supports peaceful use of nuclear energy, and in this context; Egypt understands the Iranian view point concerning its right to benefit from the peaceful use of atomic energy, since it is an inherent right stipulated by Article Four of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). However, acquiring this right is associated with dealing with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) with absolute transparency to ensure that all nuclear activities are for peaceful use.
Third: It is known that Israel possesses nuclear capabilities which are not subjected to any IAEA monitoring or inspection regimes, and that it keeps refusing to join the NPT or to implement any of the international resolutions calling for Israel's accession to the treaty. This situation is unacceptable to Egypt, and it will work on changing it through its proposed regional and international initiatives, as well as its keenness on issuing relevant resolutions from the international organizations.
Fourth: Speaking of nuclear capabilities in the Middle East further complicates the current situation and pushes the Middle Eastern countries towards a vicious nuclear armament competition, which is unacceptable because of the threat it poses to the international and regional peace and security.
Fifth: Some western countries take non-proliferation issues lightly, and permit some countries to possess nuclear capabilities while standing up to others. This constitutes a double standard policy which has led to clear malfunctions in the non-proliferation system in general. This policy should be stopped, and Egypt finds no substitute for maintaining the credibility of the nuclear non-proliferation system other than the international community living up to its responsibilities and working, with the same enthusiasm and seriousness, on pressuring Israel to join the NPT, and opening its nuclear facilities for IAEA inspectors as a step towards freeing the Middle East from weapons of mass destruction, particularly nuclear weapons.