Statement by South Africa's Governor, Mr Abdul Samad Minty to
the IAEA Board of Governors on the Implementation of NPT Safeguards in the Islamic
Republic of Iran, (Agenda item 3c: Other safeguards issues), Vienna, 24 November
At the outset, South Africa fully associates itself
with the statement made on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement. My delegation appreciates
and commends the Director General for his informative and factual report on the
"Implementation of NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran",
as contained in document GOV/2005/87. This report clearly demonstrates the progress
made in resolving the outstanding issues surrounding the Islamic Republic of Iran's
peaceful nuclear programme.
At the September 2005 Board
meeting, South Africa together with a significant number of Board Members abstained
on the resolution adopted by the Board of Governors which found the Islamic Republic
of Iran to be in non-compliance in the context of Article XII.C of the Agency's
Statute. South Africa together with a substantial number of Board Members believes
that the resolution was not the correct course of action to follow.
the Board resolution and the subsequent report by the Director General as contained
in document GOV/2005/87, South Africa continues to believe that the correct course
of action remains for the Board to allow for more time that would enable the Agency
to continue with its process to clarify certain issues pertaining to the Islamic
Republic of Iran's peaceful nuclear programme.
report by the Director General shows a continuing positive trend of co-operation
and transparency by the Islamic Republic of Iran with the Agency. The report recognises
that Iran continues to act as if its Additional Protocol were in force, which
is consistent with the undertaking provided by Iran to the Agency in November
2003. South Africa notes that the Agency is currently reviewing new information
provided by the Islamic Republic of Iran on the P-1 and P-2 enrichment programmes
and subject to the requested documentation, is hopeful that this issue would soon
Furthermore, South Africa welcomes the Agency's observation
that in their monitoring of the installations related to the uranium gas centrifuge
and laser enrichment programmes, no inconsistencies have been observed with the
Islamic Republic of Iran's undertaking not to carry out any enrichment activities.
Furthermore, the report confirms that the activities at the UCF plant remains
under Agency containment and surveillance measures.
It is also noted that
documents related to the casting and machining of enriched, natural and depleted
uranium metal into hemispherical forms, were, according to the Islamic Republic
of Iran, provided on the initiative of the procurement network and not at the
request of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran.
Recent experiences with
such illicit networks clearly demonstrated that individuals and structures operated
through various centres worldwide sourcing and supplying both tangible and intangible
technology. South Africa therefore believes that it is imperative that those who
have information on these networks, especially the countries from which these
networks operated or sourced technology, share all such information with the Agency,
as South Africa has done. We need to empower the Agency in every way possible
to gain an understanding of how these networks operate. We need to recognise that
this co-operation is urgent since the illicit structures are also adapting to
increased focus on their activities. It is only then that we can effectively combat
and eradicate these illicit activities.
It is of particular
significance that the Islamic Republic of Iran, in a demonstration of its commitment
to transparency, allowed the Agency access to buildings within the military Parchin
site and allowed the Agency to take environmental samples.
commends the Islamic Republic of Iran for this action and urges the Islamic Republic
of Iran to continue with this proactive and transparent co-operation with the
Agency. Such action contributes to the clarification of the outstanding issues
and strengthens the confidence of the international community that the issues
pertaining to the Islamic Republic of Iran's peaceful nuclear programme will soon
We urge the Islamic Republic of Iran to continue to provide
its full co-operation to the Director General and his staff, which would allow
the Agency to verify and complete its work in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Africa remains steadfast in its belief that weapons of mass destruction pose a
threat to humanity, and that these weapons should be eradicated as a matter of
priority. Regarding nuclear weapons, it is important for universal adherence to
the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and the early implementation
by the nuclear- weapon States of their unequivocal undertaking to eliminate their
nuclear arsenals leading to nuclear disarmament and the implementation of the
adopted practical steps for the systematic and progressive efforts to implement
Article VI of the NPT and paragraphs 3 and 4 (c) of the 1995 Decision on "Principles
and Objectives for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament.
all agree that no one should develop, acquire or possess nuclear weapons.
confidence building measures that the Islamic Republic of Iran has agreed to in
its effort to re-establish international confidence in the peaceful nature of
its nuclear programme, including the voluntary non-legally binding suspension
of its enrichment related activities, is without prejudice to its inalienable
right, as an NPT State Party, to pursue a nuclear programme for peaceful purposes
in conformity with its obligations under Articles I and II of the NPT. Furthermore,
South Africa has consistently urged Members not to equate such voluntary measures
with the legally binding obligations stemming from Members' safeguards agreements
with the Agency.
We have in the past welcomed and commended the Islamic
Republic of Iran for the confidence building measures and recognise the importance
of these measures in facilitating dialogue. South Africa wishes to emphasise the
importance of these measures including the implementation of the Additional Protocol
as if it is ratified, as this enables the Agency to discharge its verification
responsibilities. It is imperative that the Agency should conclude its work without
undue pressure, haste or hindrance.
These confidence building measures
being implemented and the continued co-operation between the Islamic Republic
of Iran and the Agency as well as initiatives under current discussion to facilitate
the long-term solution of the Islamic Republic of Iran's peaceful nuclear programme,
provide us with a narrow window of opportunity, to be grasped by all concerned,
to make a concerted effort to find a peaceful and sustainable long-term solution.
South Africa has on many occasions reiterated the importance for states
with access to advanced technologies that can also be used for the development
of nuclear weapons to build confidence with the international community.
should all recognise the responsibility that rests on our shoulders to avoid actions
which may be counter productive and concentrate on the central challenge that
faces us. At this important juncture we urge the parties concerned to focus on
the critical importance to pause and reflect on all the issues involved and, at
all costs, avoid a confrontation that could escalate into a spiralling conflict
that could generate its own momentum with consequences none can foretell and which
will benefit none and threaten international peace and security.
Africa urges the concerned parties to engage constructively in a dialogue that
would enable negotiations to again be undertaken in good faith. This golden opportunity,
which is within our grasp, should not be lost and it may not occur again.
Africa will therefore continue to co-operate on this matter to enable that a lasting
and peaceful solution is found that would benefit us all.
I thank you.
Department of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag X152