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UN unfairly pressuring Iran: Zarif

New York, Aug 15, IRNA-Iran's Permanent Ambassador to the United Nations Mohammad-Javad Zarif, in an article written for the website, believes that "the UN is unfairly pressuring Iran." Zarif's article is hereunder reprinted in full.

"The recently adopted UN Security Council Resolution 1696 on Iran's peaceful nuclear program was unwarranted and unhelpful.

"There was no legal basis to involve the Security Council in Iran's peaceful nuclear energy program, particularly when the council is badly failing in its real task of addressing threats to international peace and security, he reiterated.

"Neither are the sponsors' efforts to make the suspension of uranium enrichment in Iran mandatory consistent with international law, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) or the views of the majority of UN members. Iran, as a member of the NPT, has carried out its obligations and is entitled to enjoy its full rights under the treaty.

"To demonstrate the peaceful nature of its program, Iran submitted its nuclear facilities to an unprecedented inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in the preceding years, which enabled the agency to organize the most robust inspection it has ever carried out. It included more than 2,000 inspector-days of scrutiny in the past three years.

"Iran even went far beyond any of its legal obligations by taking the unprecedented step of repeatedly allowing inspectors to visit military sites in order to investigate baseless allegations.

"Consequently, in November 2003 and in the wake of sensational media reports on the so-called 18 years of concealment by Iran, the IAEA confirmed that `to date, there is no evidence that the previously undeclared nuclear material and activities...were related to a nuclear weapons program.' The same conclusion can be found in many other IAEA reports, even as recently as February 2006.

"Much has been made of a statement by the IAEA that it is not yet in a position `to conclude that there are no undeclared nuclear materials or activities in Iran.'

"But no attention has been paid to repeated IAEA acknowledgments that reaching such a conclusion is a time-consuming process. Also ignored is the recent IAEA report that 45 other countries are in the same category as Iran, including 14 European nations and several members of the Security Council.

"Yet, if the IAEA had been allowed to continue its inspections in its proper technical context and without political hindrance of Security Council involvements, even such a final conclusion on Iran's totally peaceful nuclear program was not out of reach.

"IAEA inspections were already making good progress in resolving the outstanding issues, chief among them (being) the foreign origin of high-enriched uranium contamination on imported centrifuges.

"What is utterly incomprehensible is the rush with which the sponsors of the UN resolution decided to push their draft through the Security Council. They did so while the Iranian government had already said that it required just three more weeks to complete its consideration of the package recently proposed by the group of five plus one and to come up with a substantive response, and despite a consensus view, including that of the US intelligence community, on the absence of any urgency.

"The lack of any genuine ground suggests that involving the Security Council was aimed at imposing pressure on Iran to abandon its rightful program. This is a shortsighted policy, as it would, in the process, undermine the NPT by depriving its members from drawing rightful benefits from their membership. This is particularly troubling while non-members are rewarded for their intransigence. It is shortsighted also because threats hamper negotiations and make a resolution more difficult.

"The Iranian people and government are not seeking confrontation and have always shown their readiness to engage in serious and result-oriented negotiations based on mutual respect and equal footing.

"They have also shown, time and again, their resilience in the face of injustice and imposition."

... Payvand News - 8/15/06 ... --

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