The 67th IAEA General Conference started in Vienna International Center on 25 September 2023.
Statement by His Excellency Mr. Mohammad Eslami Vice-President of the Islamic Republic of Iran and President of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran In the Sixty-Seventh General Conference of the IAEA
(September 25, 2023- Vienna)
In the name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful
Mr. Director General
Ladies and Gentlemen
At the outset, I would like to congratulate you on your election as the President of this General Conference and assure you of my delegation’s support and cooperation. Also, I take the opportunity to congratulate H.E. Mr. Grossi for his re-election as the Director General for the second time and wish him success.
As you all know, global climate change requires a serious determination to move quickly towards low-carbon energies, including nuclear energy, in order to reduce greenhouse gases. Since peaceful nuclear energy plays an important role in reducing the use of high-carbon energy sources, the International Atomic Energy Agency, as the main international body to accelerate and enlarge the contribution of atomic energy for the improvement of health and prosperity throughout the world has statutory obligations to facilitate access of all Member States to peaceful nuclear power, without any discrimination.
The Islamic Republic of Iran, in line with its principal policy and as a major national strategy, is determined to increase the share of nuclear power in its diversified energy basket up to 20 thousand megawatts of electricity by the end of 2040. The study of the aforementioned plans has undergone several reviews in the past 50 years; for some of them basic studies and engineering, design and planning activities have started, and in some of them are under construction, and the Agency has been and will be informed accordingly. The Bushehr nuclear power plant has been operated safely and securely and has produced 60 billion kilowatt/hour of electricity so far, which has led to the saving of 90 million barrels of crude oil and the prevention of the release of about 58 million tons of environmental pollutants. Such figures suggest that there should be no hesitation to generate power from nuclear energy and even accelerate its production.
The Islamic Republic of Iran attaches great importance to nuclear safety and security which constitute key elements of our nuclear program. While the primary responsibility of nuclear safety and security rests entirely with the Member State, we believe that the IAEA plays a crucial role in the improvement of nuclear safety and security upon the request of the Member States. Iran also believes that recommendations offered by the IAEA for the improvement of nuclear safety and security shall not hinder the peaceful nuclear cooperation. In this respect, Iran Nuclear Regulatory Authority (INRA), with valuable experiences, is ready to cooperate with the other Member States in particular in our region.
It is expected that the Agency to provide technical and scientific assistance to Member States, without discrimination, to help empower human resources and supply relevant equipment.
The Islamic Republic of Iran, despite the imposition of unilateral oppressive sanction, with the aim of improving the social welfare and the quality of life of its people in nuclear science and technology spent its efforts with the development of the capability of designing, engineering and constructing research reactors, accelerators and irradiation facilities as well as producing and using radioisotopes in health and medical treatment, agriculture, environment protection and industry development. These achievements are the result of valuable efforts of the Iranian well-educated women and men, who do their utmost for development of the country. I am pleased to say that some of the abovementioned achievements will be introduced in side events of the GC67. We would like to express the readiness of the Islamic Republic of Iran to cooperate with other countries in all the aforementioned areas of mutual interest. I would also like to inform you that we are going to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran in 2024. I would also like to highlight that convening the 30th National Nuclear Conference in Iran will be in concurrent with convening the first International Nuclear Conference in May 2024, in the beautiful and historical city of Isfahan, Iran. The Director General has already been informed of this international event.
Ladies and gentlemen
Nuclear disarmament is of utmost importance for international community. The qualitative and quantitative development of nuclear weapons and arsenals is worrying and contradicts against the unequivocal undertaking by nuclear-weapon states. It is a matter of regret that after five decades article VI of the NPT still suffers from lack of implementation. The expansion of nuclear arsenals has posed a lot of danger to global peace. This increases the need for the implementation of commitments under Article VI of the NPT for the disarmament of nuclear weapon states.
Ladies and gentlemen
The Islamic Republic of Iran, as a state that took the initiative of a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in the Middle East, once again expresses its serious concern about the clandestine military nuclear program of the Israeli regime. Unfortunately, this regime continues to refuse to join the NPT and place its nuclear activities and installations under the safeguards, creating a permanent threat to international peace and security, has also endangered not only the stability and security of the region, but also the integrity and credibility of the NPT and the safeguards. The Israeli regime is keeping up its terrorist threats against Iran’s scientists and peaceful nuclear. Such threats are in stark contrast with the IAEA Statute as well as the Charter of the United Nations and it is incumbent upon the Director General and the IAEA Secretariat to react strongly against such threats.
This regime, for years, enjoying generous support of some known States, has been fabricating information to misrepresent Iran’s peaceful nuclear program and divert global public opinion from the danger of Israeli nuclear arsenal. Most recently, the prime minister of Israel in his statement at the United Nations General Assembly in New York clearly declared that: “...Iran must face a credible nuclear threat”. Undoubtedly, the silence of international community against the repeated threats posed by this regime has caused its recent audacity. It is clear that the Islamic Republic of Iran reserves its right to appropriately respond to this Israeli regime rudeness.
I would like to take this opportunity to inform you that the most robust and uninterrupted verification and monitoring activities of the IAEA are carried out in Iran’s nuclear facilities. On this basis, it is expected that such continuous and deep cooperation in good faith by the Islamic Republic of Iran with the IAEA is not overlooked and the IAEA should take effective and concrete measures to protect the confidentiality of the information and we reiterate the necessity of professionalism, impartiality and objectivity as well as avoidance of providing unnecessary details in the Agency’s reports.
It should be reminded that the Islamic Republic of Iran as one of the main victims of sabotage in its peaceful nuclear industry by the Israeli regime and expects that the IAEA condemn such acts and threats of sabotage.
Now, five years after the unlawful withdrawal of the US from the JCPOA, and despite repeated confessions by the US authorities of failure and ineffectiveness of sanctions in impeding the expansion of Iran’s peaceful nuclear program, the US government has not yet stopped the imposition of illegal sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran.
There should be clear distinction between legal obligation of Member States under their respective safeguards agreements and their voluntary undertakings. The verification and monitoring activities related to the JCPOA have been voluntary and in no way are linked to the CSA. Therefore, it is totally baseless and unacceptable to try to repeatedly link them to alleged issues. The Islamic Republic of Iran once again asserts that the present extensive cooperation with the IAEA should not be taken as granted and should not be negatively affected by following short sighted political agendas. On this basis, all of us including the IAEA and member states are duty-bound to act wisely when it comes to treating such issues so that the reality of cooperation between Iran and the IAEA is not distorted or mis-represented and turned upside down.
Now is the time to reverse the course of action and avoid any further political and psychological pressure on Iran’s peaceful nuclear program which proved to be fruitless. It is incumbent upon those who have created such conditions to stop unproductive acts, remove illegal sanctions and drop unfounded allegations against Iran’s peaceful nuclear program.
In conclusion, as already demonstrated by the Islamic Republic of Iran, we continue to fulfill our commitments as per the CSA (INFCIRC/214) and make our best efforts to enable the Agency to conduct smoothly its verification activities in Iran. All Iran’s nuclear material and activities have been completely declared and verified by the IAEA, therefore, the IAEA is highly expected to provide its reports on verification activities in Iran on the basis of principles of impartiality, professionalism and objectivity. The Islamic Republic of Iran, with the highest number of safeguards inspections of its peaceful nuclear program, has an exemplary record of cooperation with the IAEA. Therefore, it is expected that the case of "outstanding issues" to be closed at the earliest.
I wish success for you Madam President and the other colleagues in this conference.
I thank you for your attention.