Nuclear Technology Program
My country’s peaceful nuclear program cannot be addressed in isolation, especially without due attention to the approach of the Islamic Republic of Iran with respect to the issue of national security in its broad concept which I have attempted to briefly highlight and contextualize here.
Iran lives in a dangerous region. The outbreak of three wars in our region in the span of a quarter century clearly demonstrates the volatility of the situation in our region. Yet, in spite of this reality, our national defense strategy remains a defensive one and WMD, including nuclear weapons, have no place in this strategy. This principled approach is based on strategic and ideological reasons. Nuclear weapons or a nuclear weapons option do not diminish Iran’s vulnerability or enhance its influence, and will in fact do the exact opposite.
As a member state to all non-proliferation and disarmament instruments and mindful of its obligations and rights driven from these instruments, Iran attaches utmost importance to the rights of states parties to develop technology for peaceful use of nuclear energy. Given the clear rights foreseen in the NPT for peaceful application of nuclear energy and in view of the high rate of economic growth, coupled with increasing rate in domestic energy consumption, Iran is determined to guarantee its energy security through diversifying the sources of energy for current and next generation.
Indeed, Iran’s peaceful nuclear program is a step in this direction. It represents a national project geared toward strengthening the scientific and technological infrastructures of the country. Blessed with the entire nation’s support, all governments in my country, over the past recent decades, have pursued this task in conformity with Iran’s international obligations. Indeed, our nation views this program and its development as a symbol of national dignity, making it imperative for any government to comply with this legitimate national demand. Iran’s need to peaceful use of nuclear energy was even recognized in the 1978 by the United States when the States Department underlined that Iran needs to diversify its sources of energy, including in the nuclear field.
To address any concern of the international community in regard to the nature of our nuclear program and to enhance confidence, Iran has been in full and transparent cooperation with the IAEA. Iran has signed the Additional Protocol and fully implementing it even before its ratification by our parliament. In this context, my country has undertaken commitments well beyond its contractual obligations, including voluntary suspension of uranium enrichment. After over 800 person-days of intrusive inspection of Iran’s nuclear sites carried out by the IAEA, this agency has found no evidence that Iran is pursuing a nuclear military program. The IAEA has confirmed in its latest report on Iran’s nuclear program presented to September meeting of the Board of Governors that cooperation of Iran has helped resolve most of the outstanding issues. The few remaining issues can be addressed in the same spirit of cooperation as admitted by the Director General of the IAEA in his report to the said meeting.
We continue to comply with our obligations under the NPT and its safeguard system. However, my country cannot accept any pressure and coercive measures directed at compromising our legitimate rights for the peaceful use of nuclear energy. We have made every effort to preclude the effects of the persistence of abnormality in relationship between the United States and my country on our constructive engagement with the IAEA. The United States has thus far failed to put this engagement in to proper context. We strongly believe that any attempt aimed at derailing our constructive engagement with IAEA into a political issue would turn out to be counter productive. It destroys not only the requisite atmosphere conducive to dialogue and cooperation but it also undercuts the very credibility of the non-proliferation instruments.
To conclude, I can not but stress that what our region needs is a new security paradigm taking into account the vested national interests of countries in the region; a paradigm that cultivates inclusion and integration, utilizing the regional capabilities in the interest of peace and stability at national, regional and global levels. The old security paradigm advocated by certain powers in our region tends to sow discord and conflict rather than nurturing tranquility and stability. Our national interests compel us to explore all possible ways to peacefully resolve any crisis and conflict in our region. My discussion here shows that Iran values this approach, conceptually and practically. We continue to act judiciously and stand ready to shoulder our responsibility in this respect.