Iran urged to allow inspections

Iran was urged by non-nuclear states on Saturday to allow the International Atomic Energy Agency to conduct rigorous monthly inspections of its nuclear programme.

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HIROSHIMA // Iran was urged by non-nuclear states on Saturday to allow the International Atomic Energy Agency to conduct rigorous monthly inspections of its nuclear programme.

Tehran signed an Additional Protocol of the Non-Proliferation Treaty in December 2003 that allows the IAEA to perform monthly inspections. The move came less than a month after the agency criticised Iran for not reporting certain activities.

Hamad Alkaabi, the UAE ambassador to the IAEA, said the Additional Protocol was a strengthened approach to safeguard nuclear activities by the agency.

“It allows verification of both declared and undeclared activities as conventional safeguards cover only declared activities,” he said.

“It also allows for short-notice inspections to be made by the IAEA.”

But more than 10 years later, Iran has still not co-operated on that front and member states of the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative urged it to comply with the agency’s requirements.

“We urge Iran to swiftly and steadily implement measures, such as the ratification and implementation of its Additional Protocol, to remove international concerns regarding its nuclear activities,” they said. “In addition, we urge Iran to fulfil the requirements of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and decisions by the IAEA board of governors.”

The countries said they hoped negotiations with Iran would lead to the final resolution of Iran’s nuclear issue. “While respecting Iran’s right to the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes in conformity with the treaty … we support the IAEA’s efforts to resolve international concerns and all outstanding issues regarding Iranian nuclear activities”, which include possible military use. “We call upon Iran to fully cooperate with the IAEA in this respect.”

They stressed the negative trend of the Middle East, Syria, North Korea and Ukraine. “We strongly condemn North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programmes which undermine the treaty and the global non-proliferation regime as well as pose a great threat to regional and global peace and stability,” they said.

The member states condemned and expressed grave concern at the ballistic missile launches conducted by North Korea last month.

“We urge North Korea to refrain from further provocative actions including ballistic missile launch, nuclear test or the threat of the use of nuclear weapons.”

Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Germany’s foreign minister, said that although the progress was very slow in the past years, member states were working on achieving their goals. “Not everybody around the world is really convinced to support us and our initiative,” he said. “But it’s more than a vision. Global Zero is part of a necessity and part of that necessity is to restore credibility so there’s a lot of work to do and I hope we’re able to start in the next week.”

cmalek@thenational.ae