Press Conference by UN Security Council President (Excerpts)

April 4, 2006

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear

Iran's nuclear programme, the situation in the Sudan and the election of the next United Nations Secretary-General where the issues that dominated this afternoon's press conference by the President of the Security Council for April, Ambassador Wang Guangya of China.

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In response to a number of questions on Iran, he said that China believed the international non-proliferation regime must be maintained. There were two sides to the Iranian nuclear issue. On the one hand, Iran was a member of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and its rights under the Treaty must be respected. On the other hand, Iran must honour its obligations under that Treaty. The issue was best addressed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and the role of the Security Council was to support and reinforce the Agency's authority, "because the Council itself is not the watchdog on this particular issue".

He hoped that, after the passing of last week's presidential statement by the Council -- giving Iran 30 days to take the steps required by IAEA to build confidence in the exclusively peaceful purpose of its nuclear programme -- diplomatic efforts would lead to a solution of the issue. He cautioned that actions by the Council on the issue, acting under chapter VII of the Charter, would be counterproductive. "This region itself… the Middle East region has so many problems already, we don't need to escalate the situation for the worse."

Asked about the next steps if Iran did not cooperate within the given timeframe, he stressed the need for the cooperation of all parties, especially that of the Iranian Government with the IAEA, in order to solve the issue. He hoped the major players would pick up the momentum created by the Council's presidential statement to engage in negotiations leading to a solution that was agreeable by all sides. He did not believe chapter VII action by the Council would be helpful with regard to Iran.

In coming up with a solution, it was necessary to put pressure, as well as provide the right incentives, for the Iranians to cooperate. While encouraging the Iranians to cooperate, they should also be warned about non-cooperation. They had to realize that non-cooperation would lead to undesirable results. China, for its part, was talking to the Iranians and encouraging them to cooperate with the IAEA, the EU-3 ( France, Germany and the United Kingdom) and others. It was ready to play a further role if asked to.

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