During the Vienna conference reviewing the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) on Friday, August 4, representatives from a range of countries, including the European Union, Germany, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Canada, Belgium, Italy, Japan, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and Mexico, emphasized the urgency of preventing the clerical regime in Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. They collectively called for an immediate cessation of the regime’s nuclear program and its violations of the NPT.
The representative of the European Union, who addressed the meeting on behalf of member states, and countries including North Macedonia, Montenegro, Albania, Ukraine, Moldova, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, and San Marino, emphasized the Union’s determination that Tehran should never produce or acquire nuclear weapons. She reminded the regime in Iran of its commitments under the NPT while expressing the EU’s deep concern over the alarming reports by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) regarding Iran’s nuclear program, which significantly deviates from the commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), particularly concerning the expansion of uranium enrichment capabilities and the production of highly enriched uranium. The EU representative demanded that the regime reversed its nuclear path without further delay, return to its political commitments on nuclear non-proliferation, and fulfill all monitoring and verification measures related to the JCPOA, including the Additional Protocol.
According to the EU representative, as a key security priority, the EU will continue investing in diplomatic and political efforts to ensure Iran does not acquire nuclear weapons. She also reminded that the UN Security Council Resolution 2231 (2015) calls on Iran to refrain from any activity related to ballistic missiles designed for delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology.
Robert Siegfried, the representative of the Federal Republic of Germany stated, “Closely monitoring and verifying the very advanced nuclear program of the Islamic Republic of Iran remains crucial to ensure that Iran must never develop a nuclear weapon Germany commends the IAEA for its professional work under particularly difficult conditions due to Iran’s reduced transparency. Iran continues to enrich and accumulate uranium up to 60 %. This is unprecedented for a non-nuclear weapons state. We recall that the IAEA also reported the discovery of particles enriched up to 83.7 % at the beginning of this year, an especially grave incident. Iran has no plausible civilian justification for the production of Highly Enriched Uranium. Germany urges Iran to leave this dangerous trajectory and to abide by its legal obligations under the NPT and its Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement. We further call upon Iran to fully cooperate with the IAEA and to fulfill the Joint IAEA/AEOI Statement of March 4, 2023, completely. Iran should re-apply and ratify the Additional Protocol. It should also ratify the CTBT without further delay.”
“Iran’s longstanding lack of cooperation with the IAEA on its legally-binding safeguards obligations undermines the safeguards system and authority of the IAEA. Iran’s growing nuclear program is now more advanced than ever and poses a clear threat to regional and global security,” said H.E. Mr. Aidan Liddle, Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament the representative of the United Kingdom, adding, “We are also deeply concerned that Russia has violated UNSCR 2231 by procuring UAVs from Iran, and sought to obtain arms from the DPRK through the Wagner group in contravention of multiple UNSCRs.”
At #NPT2023, that is taking place in Vienna from July 31 to August 11, representatives from various countries addressed pressing concerns regarding the #Iranian regime’s nuclear activities and denounced the violations of its commitments.https://t.co/AqGotHPvuF
— NCRI-FAC (@iran_policy) August 2, 2023
Ms. Ann-Sofie Nilsson, the Swedish representative said, “The alarming acceleration of Iran’s nuclear program raises questions about Iran’s intentions – in particular IAEA reports that the Agency is no longer able to confirm the correctness and completeness of Iran’s safeguards declarations. We call on Iran to provide the Agency with all the information it requires, including with regard to outstanding safeguards issues stemming from its safeguards obligations.”
“Canada is deeply concerned by Iran’s nuclear escalations, including deployment of advanced centrifuges and uranium enrichment to 60% U-235, which have no credible peaceful rationale,” said the representative from Canada. “Iran’s limited cooperation with the IAEA to resolve safeguards issues related to previously undeclared nuclear locations remains deeply concerning. We urge Iran to immediately cooperate with the Agency to resolve all outstanding questions. This is critical to providing assurances of the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear activities and to maintaining the integrity of IAEA safeguards and the broader NPT regime.”
The Belgian representative stated, “We are deeply concerned by Iran’s ever-increasing departure from its commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) and by the spotty implementation of its safeguards agreement. These activities erode the trust one can have in the exclusively peaceful nature of its nuclear program. We call on Iran to return, without delay, to full implementation of the JCPoA and all transparency measures, including the application of the Additional Protocol. We consider unconditional, timely, and full cooperation with the IAEA essential in rebuilding trust. We also call on Iran, an Annex II State, to finally ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, not only as a confidence-building measure but also as proof of its stated commitment to nuclear disarmament.”
“Iran’s expansion of its nuclear activities remains deeply concerning,” said Ambassador Leonardo Bencini, Head of the Italian Delegation. “We urge Iran (i) to recede from its activities related to uranium enrichment, stockpiling of nuclear material, together with the further development, at a faster pace, of technical capabilities; (ii) to uphold and fully implement its political commitments in the field of nuclear non-proliferation without further delay; and (iii) to resume all JCPoA-related monitoring and verification measures in order to effectively clarify and resolve all the outstanding safeguards issues without further delay. In this respect, we strongly appreciate all diplomatic efforts meant to prevent a nuclear crisis and to ease tensions in the region, and we commend and continue to fully support the IAEA’s crucial mandates and efforts in Iran.”
Ambassador Hikihara Takeshi, the Japanese representative stated, “Japan expresses its strong concern over Iran’s continued actions inconsistent with its commitments, including the unprecedented stockpiles of highly enriched uranium. Japan is also deeply concerned about the outstanding safeguards issues related to undeclared locations in Iran. Japan once again urges Iran to cooperate with the IAEA fully and unconditionally.”
— NCRI-FAC (@iran_policy) August 6, 2023
The representative from Ireland also said, “Ireland remains deeply concerned by Iran’s nuclear activities in non-compliance with the JCPoA. This continues to raise very serious proliferation risks, with detrimental implications for the IAEA`s ability to provide assurance of the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program. The full implementation of the agreement by all is critical to promoting peace and stability in the region. Ireland is also profoundly concerned that safeguards issues remain outstanding due to insufficient substantive cooperation by Iran, despite Iran`s obligations and agreements with the IAEA. We repeat our call on Iran to urgently act to fulfill its legal obligations and to clarify & resolve all outstanding safeguards issues.”
Representing the Netherlands, H.E. Robert in den Bosch, Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament and Ambassador at large for Disarmament Affairs said, “The Netherlands reiterates its clear determination that Iran must never develop or acquire a nuclear weapon and recalls Iran’s commitments and international obligations. We strongly urge Iran to reverse its alarming nuclear trajectory, return to its political commitments in the field of nuclear non-proliferation without further delay, and resume all JCPoA-related monitoring and verification measures, including its Additional Protocol. The Netherlands expects Iran to engage with the IAEA, in a sustained and uninterrupted manner.”
The representative from New Zealand said, “New Zealand remains highly concerned about the proliferation risks involved with Iran’s current nuclear activities and the curtailment of IAEA monitoring and verification activities there. We regret the continued erosion of the JCPOA nuclear deal and hope a deal can yet be reached to restore the JCPOA to full functionality. But, irrespective of the JCPOA, it is imperative that Iran addresses the IAEA’s outstanding safeguards issues so that the IAEA can provide the requisite assurance to NPT Parties that Iran’s nuclear program is exclusively peaceful.”
The Mexican representative urged all parties in the ongoing negotiations not to spare any effort to ensure that the Iranian nuclear program remains solely for civilian purposes, thereby contributing to the stability of the Middle East. If Iran wishes to build trust, it must cooperate unequivocally with the IAEA, he concluded.