Iran’s Ambassador to the United Nations Majid Takht-Ravanchi called on the international body to clarify the nuclear activities of Saudi Arabia and the Israeli regime.
Takht-Ravanchi made the remarks at a virtual meeting of the UN General Assembly on Wednesday that endorsed the IAEA’s annual report.
He said it is “of the utmost importance” for the IAEA to consider available information on Riyadh’s nuclear activities, adding, “If Saudi Arabia is seeking a peaceful nuclear program, it should act in a very transparent manner and allow the agency’s inspectors to verify its activities.”
Additionally, he noted, the IAEA needs to take “an unbiased and professional approach” toward the Israeli regime, which has refused to adhere to the agency’s safeguards, is not a party to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) and is widely believed to possess nuclear weapons.
The full text of the ambassador’s remarks is as follows:
In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful
At the outset, I would like to thank the distinguished Director-General of the IAEA for his report.
The peaceful use of nuclear energy plays a significant role in the scientific, technological, and socio-economic advancement of developing countries.
In this context, as enshrined in the NPT and the IAEA Statute, nuclear knowledge-sharing and the transfer of nuclear technology to interested developing countries are imperative. Based on its statue, the IAEA is responsible for assisting the Member States in research on, and development and practical application of, nuclear energy for peaceful uses.
We reiterate that one of the main responsibilities of the IAEA is “to foster the exchange of scientific and technical cooperation on the peaceful uses of atomic energy” and “to encourage the exchange and training of scientists and experts in the field of peaceful uses of atomic energy” among member states.
Iran has made considerable investments in establishing the necessary nuclear infrastructure and has achieved significant progress in the civil applications of nuclear science in the electrical, medical, agricultural and industrial fields.
Furthermore, Iran underscores that safeguards-related verification activities, as another statutory mandate of the IAEA, should be carried out in support of its primary responsibility in promoting the application of nuclear science and technology throughout the world.
In this context, we emphasize that the design and implementation of required safeguards must comply with the inalienable rights of NPT States Parties without hampering their economic or technological development.
Along the same line, efforts to enhance the safeguards’ implementation need to ensure these inalienable rights and the respect for the national sovereignty of NPT States Parties.
In this context, concerns related to nuclear proliferation should not, in any way, restrict the said rights. However, one cannot but reject the systematic attempts, applied under the pretext of promoting non-proliferation and contrary to the letter and spirit of the Treaty, to restrict the application of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), is considered to be an important achievement of multilateral diplomacy which enjoys the strong support of the international community.
The US’ unilateral withdrawal in May 2018 from the JCPOA and the reimposition of the illegal sanctions against Iran as well as the US’ significant non-performance of its obligations under the JCPOA and UNSCR 2231, have effectively impeded the Islamic Republic of Iran from enjoying its rights enshrined in resolution 2231.
It goes without saying that the responsibility of such mockery of international law lies with the USA and any other country that aligns itself with that US approach.
The Agency and the Islamic Republic of Iran are working closely in different fields. It is noteworthy that Iran alone receives 22 percent of the total inspections of the IAEA at the global level, 432 inspections and 33 complimentary accesses have also been conducted in Iran in 2019.
Furthermore, the Agency has also been able to carry out its verification activities in Iran even during the difficult situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. With this transparent and extensive cooperation, Iran and the Agency have agreed to work in good faith to resolve three safeguards-related questions.
However, within the framework of the safeguards obligations of States under the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement (CSA) and Additional Protocol (AP), the Agency’s impartiality, independence and professionalism should not be compromised under any circumstances.
In this context, it is of utmost importance to consider the available information on the nuclear activities of Saudi Arabia. If Saudi Arabia is seeking a peaceful nuclear program, it should act in a very transparent manner and allow the Agency’s inspectors to verify its activities.
Another problem in our region is caused by the Israeli regime which as a non-party to the NPT, that has continuously and adamantly refused to adhere to the IAEA safeguards. The Agency needs to take an unbiased and professional approach toward this regime.
I thank you, Mr. President.