Statement by Gholam-Reza Aqazadeh, Head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization, to the IAEA General Conference

September 18, 2006

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear

Related Country: 

  • Iran

Vice President and Head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization Gholam-Reza Aqazadeh delivered a speech at the IAEA 50th Annual General Conference (September 18-22) at the Austria Center in Vienna on Monday morning.

Assurance on supply of nuclear fuel and Non-proliferation are high on the agenda of the conference.

The conference opened this morning and was attended by experts and high-ranking delegations from 140 world countries.

Addressing the conference, Aqazadeh said that the meeting is mainly expected to deal with use of nuclear energy in the 21st century and consequently supply and assurance of nuclear fuel, which has been examined alternately over the three past decades.

"However, such talks have never led to any clear and effective outcome. Despite apparent progress observed at this point, there is still no hope for a final result."

"The doubt of some member states, ambiguity of the goals of the main negotiators as well as lack of confidence in what is facing us and what is behind the scene," he added.

He maintained that the reply should be sought in the approach of some world states with nuclear potentials in the face of the rights and authorities of IAEA member states.

Aqazadeh appreciated the unanimous support of 116 Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) member states for the inalienable right of all world countries to nuclear research as well as production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

He also thanked NAM member states, representing the majority of the international community, for respecting Iran's nuclear right.

Turning to the IAEA Board of Governors decision to send Iran's nuclear dossier to the United Nations Security Council, he said that the move was neither legal, nor did it accord with the agency's policy.

"Given that after three years of accurate inspection of Iran's nuclear activities the UN nuclear watchdog failed to prove that they are non-peaceful, how can it consider the program a threat to global peace and security? Why did it send the relevant dossier to the UNSC despite the fact that its deviation from peaceful path was not proved? Moreover, the UNSC considers our voluntary measures as a compulsory move. This is undoubtedly a disaster in the agency's working process," he added.

The IAEO head said that most of the outstanding international lawyers with whom the issue has been discussed believe that the Board of Governors decision and measure were beyond its rights and authorities and that Iran is not legally obliged to accept their calls.

"Besides, IAEA is authorized to inspect Iran's nuclear activities and facilitate the program. These two are interdependent," he added.

Aqazadeh said that if the agency fails to comply with its mutually agreed commitments with Iran and violates Iran's inalienable right to nuclear energy, this will practically be violation of the Safeguard Agreement.

"Any hostile approach by the UNSC will limit Iran's interaction with the agency. Unilateral, headstrong and isolated views of a few countries will be detrimental to everyone."

"Meanwhile, it is not difficult to come up with a solution. We believe that through talks based on good will as well as political determination and flexibility it is possible to reach an agreement," added the official.

The vice president declared the country's readiness for talks and political compromise, given that solving the issue in this way will prepare the grounds for reaching more important understandings, reduction of tension and promotion of regional stability.

"That is why Iran accepted Europe's proposal, despite its deficiencies and ambiguities, as a step forward and after full assessment of the package submitted a complete response on schedule (August 22) to pave the way for talks and facilitate reaching an agreement," he said.

Summarizing the main points, he said that Iran's approach is merely peaceful, that it does not at all intend to violate the NPT framework and that it is prepared to continue its nuclear program within the framework of NPT and under the IAEA inspection.

"Iran has regularly facilitated inspection of its nuclear installations within the framework of the Safeguard Agreement."

"It is prepared to cooperate with any world country to produce nuclear fuel."

"Iran believes in regional cooperation on nuclear activities for peaceful purposes. It is against production of nuclear weapons and calls for a region and consequently a world free from such weapons."

The IAEA head pointed to the two options, namely "understanding" and "confrontation" and said that Iran favors reaching understanding.

Aqazadeh hoped that ration will gradually overcome force and that priority will be given to compromise and understanding rather than hostility and confrontation.