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NAM's statement on Iran's nuclear program

Vienna, March 8, IRNA-The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) representatives at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors in Vienna on Wednesday issued a statement on Iran's nuclear program.

The full text of the statement by the NAM countries, which was delivered by Ambassador and Resident Representative of Malaysia to the IAEA, Rajmah Hussain, is as follows:

"Agenda item 5 (b): Report by the director general on the implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran

Mr chairman,

I have the honor to make this statement on behalf of the Vienna chapter of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).

NAM expresses its appreciation to the director general for his comprehensive report on the "implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran" as contained in document GOV/2006/15 dated February 27, 2006 as well as for his introductory statement. In this regard, NAM calls upon member states and the agency to respect the confidentiality of the documents issued for our consideration in order to protect the integrity of the agency and the board.

NAM expresses its appreciation to the director general and the agency and encourages them to continue their work and efforts in resolving all the issues pertaining to the Iran nuclear program.

NAM strongly reiterates the basic and inalienable right of all member states, as stipulated in the Statute of the IAEA, to develop research, production and use of atomic energy for peaceful purposes, without any discrimination and in conformity with their respective legal obligations. Therefore nothing should be interpreted in a way as inhibiting or restricting this right of member states to develop atomic energy for peaceful purposes. NAM further more reaffirms that member states' choices and decisions in the field of peaceful uses of nuclear technology and its fuel cycle policies must be respected.

NAM reiterates its principled position that non-proliferation and peaceful uses of nuclear technology must be addressed in a balanced and non-discriminatory manner. NAM reaffirms its strong conviction that the total elimination of nuclear weapons is the only absolute guarantee against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons.

NAM also believes that the efforts of the international community aimed at nuclear disarmament should be equal and simultaneous to the efforts aiming at nuclear non-proliferation.

NAM would like to emphasize that it is fundamental to make a clear distinction between legal obligations of member states to their respective safeguards agreements and their voluntary commitments. This is required to ensure that voluntary commitments of member states will not be turned into legal safeguards obligations. NAM is of the view that member states should not be penalized for not adhering to their voluntary commitments.

NAM is pleased to note that all the declared nuclear material in Iran has been accounted for, and that the agency has not seen any diversion of such material to prohibited activities. NAM is aware that corrective actions have been taken by Iran and that no new failures were identified. NAM notes that the verification of the correctness and completeness of Iran's respective declarations is ongoing. NAM also recognizes that any rightful activity under the agency's safeguard does not constitute any concern.

NAM is also pleased to note that substantial progress has been made that was key in resolving the issues pertaining to the implementation of Iran's safeguards agreements, including the agreement by Iran for the agency to visit defence and other nuclear related sites, permitting interviews with certain individuals as well as providing the necessary documents and information relating to the nuclear issue. In this regard, NAM is optimistic that the remaining issues will be promptly resolved.

NAM expresses its appreciation to Iran's continuing cooperation, even beyond its legal obligations, and welcomes the initiatives of Iran aiming at a greater degree of transparency. NAM encourages Iran to continue its cooperation with the agency to resolve remaining issues especially with regard to the full scope and nature of Iran's nuclear program.

NAM concurs with the assessment by the director general in his report that the process of drawing a conclusion with regard to the absence of undeclared nuclear materials or activities in Iran is a time-consuming process even with an Additional Protocol in force. In this regard, NAM recognizes that through continued cooperation, the agency would be able, without undue pressure, to conclude its verification work in Iran.

NAM wishes to emphasize the role of the agency and the director general in ensuring the safe and peaceful development and use of nuclear technologies. It is in this regard that both the agency and its director general were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2005. NAM recognizes the IAEA as the sole competent authority for verification and expresses its full confidence in the professionalism and impartiality of the IAEA led by the director general. In this regard, NAM strongly believes that all issues on safeguards and verification, including those of Iran, should be resolved only by the agency, within its framework, and be based on technical and legal grounds. NAM further emphasizes that the agency continues its work to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue within its mandate under the IAEA Statute.

NAM strongly believes that diplomacy and dialogue must continue in order to find a long-term peaceful solution to the Iranian nuclear issue. To this end, NAM is of the view that engagement of other UN bodies at this juncture should be avoided. All parties concerned must exercise patience and restraint and should not resort to any action which may escalate into a tense situation and create unnecessary confrontation.

In encouraging an environment of cooperation to find a mutually acceptable solution to this issue, NAM appreciates all initiatives aimed at facilitating the speedy conclusion of the Iranian nuclear issue within the IAEA. NAM welcomes the continued discussion between the Russian federation and Iran with the view to finding a solution to the uranium enrichment program.

Thank you mr chairman."

... Payvand News - 3/8/06 ... --

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