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NZ Concerned About Iran's nuclear programme

Rt Hon Winston Peters Minister of Foreign Affairs

12 January 2006

New Zealand reiterates strong concern about Iran's nuclear programme

Foreign Minister Winston Peters reiterated his strong concern today at the news that Iran had started to remove International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) seals on uranium enrichment equipment and material at Natanz and other facilities and had said it intended to undertake research and development related to uranium enrichment.

"This move goes against IAEA Board resolutions urging Iran to re-establish its voluntary suspension of uranium enrichment related activities. Re-establishment of Iran's voluntary suspension of all enrichment related and reprocessing activities, which Iran agreed to in 2003, would assist in addressing the strong concerns of the international community about Iran's nuclear programme", said Mr Peters.

"As noted in the IAEA Director-General's statement yesterday, although the Agency had been investigating Iran's nuclear programme for three years, a number of important issues relevant to the scope and nature of Iran's programme remain outstanding due to the less than full and prompt transparency on the part of Iran", said Mr Peters.

"New Zealand fully supports the work of the Director General and his Agency and calls on Iran to cooperate with the IAEA in a full and transparent manner."

"New Zealand is a strong advocate of international disarmament and non-proliferation. Although we recognise Iran's right, under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes in conformity with Article II of the Treaty, there are strong concerns in the international community about aspects of Iran's nuclear programme.

We strongly urge Iran to re-establish full suspension of its enrichment related activities without delay and hope this will allow the resumption of negotiations to find a solution that meets the international community's concerns," said Mr Peters.

ENDS

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