Joint Press Conference with Secretary-General Kofi Annan and Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Manouchehr Mottaki

September 3, 2006

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear

Related Country: 

  • Iran

. . .

SG: We also discussed the nuclear issue. And on the nuclear issue, the President reaffirmed to me Iran's preparedness and determination to negotiate and find a solution to the crises. He indicated that they do not accept suspension before negotiations. But he assured me that they are prepared to negotiate. And of course, I know there is going to be a meeting between Mr. Larijani and Mr. [Javier] Solana [High Representative of the European Union for Common Foreign and Security Policy] in the next few days. And I hope at that point they will find a way to move forward and begin serious work on this dossier.

. . .

FM Mottaki: . . .

With regard to the nuclear matter, His Excellency, the Secretary General, was provided with the clear positions and points of the view of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The gentleman is, of course, familiar with our positions and points of view. We have submitted our positions in a written form to the Secretary[-General] on a previous occasion. So the rational response provided by the Islamic Republic of Iran must pave the way for the next appropriate steps to be taken. The two important factors we have to keep in mind, vis-à-vis the nuclear issue, is to respect the inalienable right of the I.R. of Iran to enjoy peaceful nuclear energy and technology and also the transparent activities of the I.R. of Iran have to be appreciated as well. They are quite peaceful.

. . .

Q: (translated from Persian) I have a question for Mr. Annan. Despite what the [International Atomic Energy] Agency has said that Iran has abided by international laws and regulations, the UN and you personally, Sir, refuse to defend it. Thank you.

SG: I think that was a statement not a question. So let's move on to the nest question.

Q: (translated from Persian) . . . Second question for Mr. Mottaki. It relates to the nuclear matter. A new time table, well some time has been given by the Europeans to Iran to suspend. After negotiations between Mr. Annan and Iranian high ranking, has Iran changed its position, vis-à-vis suspension, or not.

. . .

FM Mottaki: Well those who have devised the proposed package, in the middle of the studies of the IR of Iran, committed a considerable mistake, i.e. they passed an illegal, a political resolution because of the pressure put on them by the British and the Americans in the UN SC. This is a bad grade given to them in the context of the road we had started on jointly. We have completed our studies. Now it is their turn to closely study Iran's response. If they need some time we are going to give them the time they need. I recommend to them to, as soon as possible, to respond, vis-à-vis the Iranian response. Inform us. We never asked for time to be given to us. Well, we shouldn't do everything and everything that needs to be there, is there in the written text that we have submitted to those who have put together the original package. We are waiting for their response.

. . .

Q: (translated from Persian) . . . My second question is about Iran has asked for its dossier to be studied in a legal fashion or context. In your capacity as the SG of the UN, will you be working on that and what will the UNSC do to deal with this dossier in an unbiased fashion?

SG: On the question of the nuclear dossier and what will the UN do? First of all, the UN Security Council is fully seized of the matter, the Atomic Agency is also engaged and there have been contacts and negotiations between the 5 [Permanent Members of the Security Council] and Iran. And of course now we have 5 + 1 [Germany] on one side and Iran on the other side. I have had very good discussions here and I think it has helped me further understand the position of Iran, which I will be able to discuss with key governments and the Security Council members when I get back. But the decision [is] in the hands of the Atomic Agency and others. But I will play my role as Secretary-General.

Q: (translated from Farsi) I have a question for the Secretary-General and the Foreign Minister, please. Iran's position that there is not going to be uranium suspension as pre-condition was made pretty clear. But newspapers here are reporting different officials saying, as talks go along, this might be an issue that could be discussed. I wanted to ask you, first, in your talks here, and for the Iranian position, you got any closer on this. Is there any news on this issue?

SG: I think the position is as you have stated. Iran has indicated that it is open for negotiations with everything on the table and that all issues can be discussed at the negotiations.

Thank you very much.