26 November 2013
South Africa welcomes outcome of Iran Nuclear talks in Geneva
South Africa has consistently emphasised the importance of a peaceful resolution to the outstanding questions regarding the nature of the Iranian nuclear programme. We therefore welcome the successful conclusion of the negotiations in Geneva between the P5+1 (China, France, Germany, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States) and the Islamic Republic of Iran, which culminated in the adoption of the Joint Plan of Action on 24 November 2013.
South Africa recognises this as a period of confidence-building that is a prelude to the ultimate goal of a mutually-agreed long-term comprehensive agreement on Iran’s nuclear programme that would enable Iran to fully enjoy its inalienable right to nuclear energy for peaceful purposes in line with the provisions of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).
The Joint Plan of Action includes Iran agreeing not to enrich uranium above 5% for 6 months and not to expand its enrichment capabilities or to engage in reprocessing of its current uranium stocks while also addressing the provision of information by Iran to the IAEA, in return for sanctions relief by the P5+1. South Africa believes that this agreement demonstrates the scope of creative solutions that are possible when the choice is made to follow a constructive and pragmatic approach based on negotiations and dialogue.
South Africa is particularly encouraged that the Joint Plan of Action follows closely on the Framework for Cooperation agreement which Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) concluded on 11 November 2013 in Tehran. We note with appreciation that the Framework for Cooperation is aimed at improving cooperation between the two parties concerned and that the Government of Iran has committed to resolving all past and present outstanding issues.
In South Africa’s view, the IAEA remains the only internationally recognised competent authority responsible for verifying and assuring compliance with the safeguards agreements of States Parties concluded in compliance with their obligations under the NPT. The objective of the international community should therefore remain to ensure that the Agency is able to undertake its verification activities in Iran.
It is hoped that during this interim period all parties will keep to their obligations under the Joint Plan of Action. We are confident that the successful implementation of both the Joint Plan of Action and the Framework for Cooperation will contribute the necessary confidence between the respective parties to pave the way towards sustainable solutions in line with the provisions of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), allowing Iran to take its rightful place in the international fold and play its historic role in ensuring stability in its region.
For further information please contact Mr Clayson Monyela, Spokesperson for DIRCO on 082 884 5974
ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION
460 Soutpansberg Road