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Iran’s nuclear programme

23 October 2003 Media Statement

Iran’s nuclear programme

Disarmament and Arms Control Minister Marian Hobbs has welcomed the news that Iran has agreed to cooperate fully with the international community over its nuclear programme.

"We look forward to confirmation of Iran's actions over the next few days," Marian Hobbs said.

The Minister was referring to the announcement from Tehran during the visit by the Foreign Ministers of Britain, France and Germany that Iran would fully meet the requirements set by the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). These include disclosing comprehensive information on its past and present nuclear activities by October 31 and committing itself to an Additional Protocol giving the IAEA unrestricted access to its nuclear facilities.

Iran is also reported to have voluntarily undertaken to suspend all uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities.

"New Zealand is very encouraged by these announcements," Marian Hobbs said. "As a member of the IAEA Board of Governors, we are seriously concerned about the questions raised in the Director-General’s last two reports on Iran. We have been actively working in Vienna and elsewhere to help achieve a resolution of the outstanding issues.

"I conveyed our concerns personally to the Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister during his visit to Wellington in August, and our Ambassador in Tehran has been in close touch with the Iranian authorities to reinforce these.

"The latest commitments by Iran are important steps towards building confidence with the international community in its nuclear activities and intention.

"We believe that Iran has a particular responsibility to provide satisfactory assurances because of its advanced nuclear programme. It is essential that Iran now move to full and urgent implementation of these undertakings."


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