Press Conference with Minister of Foreign Affairs Taro Aso on the International Atomic Energy Agency's Iran Report

September 1, 2006

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear

Related Country: 

  • Iran

Question: Regarding the Iran nuclear issue, the deadline for submissions has arrived. The United States is talking of making a decision regarding sanctions this month. What is Japan's position on this?

Minister: According to the United Nations Security Council Resolution number 1696, the Director General of the IAEA must at least issue a report. Since that report has not yet been made public, I am unable to comment precisely on the issue. However, all I can say in an overall sense is that, as with what Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Araghchi brought with him yesterday, it definitely does not indicate that Iran has responded in a way that satisfies the IAEA's demands. I believe that a meeting is taking place today between Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Araghchi and Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Nishida, and, in the present situation, this is not something I can comment on; however, if the present state of things continues in which nothing can be done, the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1696 expresses the Security Council's intention to adopt measures under Article 41 of Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter. Therefore, there are many different ways in which this issue may develop from now; however, I will refrain from making any predictions at this stage. We, too, are in the position of being a member of the Security Council, and will therefore duly apply ourselves to taking our part in the decision making process. The High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy Solana and the Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Larijani, are going to hold talks next week.

Question: With the release of the IAEA report, I understand that United States ambassador Bolton has stated the possibility of economic sanctions able to be applied by the EU, Japan and other countries without any action by the Security Council. What is your view of this proposal for sanctions?

Minister: I said that I would refrain from making predictions. There are a number of things that are able to be done. That's for certain. But what can be agreed upon or not agreed upon is up to the various countries involved, each with their various vantage points.