Campaigners claimed today that South Africa’s backing for a 90-day time out before any further sanctions against Iran are considered, has the support of over 100 nations. The idea for a time out, first proposed by Mohammed ElBradei, the Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, would be supported by all the 56 signatory nations of the Baku Declaration as well as a majority of the 118 nations of the Non-Aligned movement, according to academics in London and Washington.
This revelation is important in establishing that South Africa’s position represents not a minority but the majority of the nations of the world and their populations. The resolution, drafted by Germany and the five permanent council members, did not include the opinions of the other members of the Security Council. Dumisani Kumalo, South Africa's Ambassador to the UN, who currently holds the Security Council chair, expressed fears that the non-permanent members are being used as "window dressing" for a resolution.
South Africa’s recognition of Iran’s right to uranium enrichment, and determination that the non-permanent members of the Security Council should not to be bullied into voting for further sanctions against Iran this week has been commended by spokespersons of the Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran (CASMII) on both sides of the Atlantic. Concerns about coercion in the build-up to a Security Council vote have persisted since it was revealed that pressure tactics were used by London and Washington to try and secure a second resolution against Iraq in 2003. These fears have intensified recently after reports that the U.S. coerced India during crucial votes in the International Atomic Energy Agency in 2005 and 2006: fears confirmed by Stephen Rademaker, a former top Bush administration official, during a talk in India last month.
Rostam Pourzal of CASMII said today:
"This 90 day period of grace provided to Iran would allow for a de-escalation of tensions and create an opportunity for Iran and the other parties involved to resume negotiations towards a long-term peaceful solution. It is important that the non-permanent members of the Security Council stand firm in the face of pressure to vote against Iran. An impression is being created that the so-called "international community" is in favour of action against Iran, but this is not the case. Most nations around the world recognize that Iran is not in breach of any of its Non-Proliferation Treaty obligations and that no evidence of a nuclear weapons programme in Iran has been found. Recently, 56 nations signed the Baku Declaration which stated "the only way to resolve Iran's nuclear issue is to resume negotiations without any preconditions and to enhance cooperation with the involvement of all relevant parties". Similarly the Non-Aligned movement representing 118 nations has recognised Iran’s right for a civilian nuclear technology.
We commend the South Africa’s principled stand in not allow the UN Security Council to be used as a tool to try and gain a veneer of legitimacy for the US’s planned military action against Iran."
See http://www.campaigniran.org for further information about CASMII.
... Payvand News - 3/22/07 ... --