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NZ supports decision on Iran nuclear programme

Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Disarmament and Arms Control


1 February 2006
Media statement

NZ supports decision on Iran nuclear programme

Disarmament and Arms Control Minister Phil Goff expressed New Zealand's support for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) extraordinary meeting in Vienna on February 2 and 3 to report Iran’s nuclear programme to the United Nations Security Council.

"The unanimity of the concerns expressed by Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China and the United States should send a strong and clear message to Iran," Mr Goff said.

"Earlier this month, New Zealand expressed its strong concern at Iran’s decision to remove IAEA seals on uranium enrichment equipment and material at Natanz and other facilities and to undertake research and development related to uranium enrichment."

In a meeting with the Iranian Foreign Minister Mottaki in London yesterday, Mr Goff urged Iran to re-establish its suspension of nuclear-related enrichment activities to comply with earlier IAEA Board of Governors’ resolutions.

"Iran has the right under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes in conformity with Article 2 of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. However it is essential that Iran meets concerns in the international community about aspects of its nuclear programme – what IAEA Director General has called 'a confidence deficit'," Mr Goff said.

"New Zealand supports the course of action proposed by the six countries to report this issue to the UNSC. This is not a formal referral. We hope Iran will now respond positively to the concern of the broader international community and act to restore international confidence in its nuclear activities.

"One proposal which offers promise of a potential solution is that put forward by Russia for Iran’s enrichment activities to occur on Russian soil.

"We also urge Iran to resume negotiations with the EU3 in order to find a solution that meets our and the international community’s concerns that the process of developing nuclear energy in Iran does not lead to the development of nuclear weapons capacity," Mr Goff said.

ENDS

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