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Goff Conveys Concerns To Iran's Ambassador

Goff to Iranian Ambassador – "Cooperate with International Community to Resolve Nuclear Tension"

Disarmament Minister Phil Goff today met with Iran's ambassador to New Zealand, His Excellency Mr Kambiz Sheikh-Hassani and conveyed to him New Zealand's concerns on Iran's nuclear program.

"I have made New Zealand's position to the Ambassador absolutely clear.

"Iran needs to suspend its programme for enriching and reprocessing uranium, and research and development related to it.

"Iran needs to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency to verify the nature of their programme, giving it the access and information it needs.

"Iran needs to rebuild international confidence in its programme, lost following revelations that it has for years breached its non-proliferation treaty obligations to report fully and transparently what it has been doing.

"I urged Iran to take the opportunity offered by a grouping of 3 European Union countries, supported by the US, Russia and China, to negotiate a solution to the stand-off over Iran's nuclear programme.

"Iran is entitled to develop nuclear energy for civil purposes but enrichment also creates the opportunity to develop nuclear weapons.

"Having another state in the volatile Middle East area develop nuclear weapons would make the world less secure.

"New Zealand supports the report of the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency board and the United Nations Security Council resolution 1696 which call for Iran to suspend its enrichment and reprocessing programme.

"The ambassador briefed me on Iran's response to the EU3+3 proposal. He also assured me that Iran was not seeking to develop nuclear weapons.

"I welcomed those assurances but said that the best way Iran could win confidence in its intentions was by cooperating with the requirements of the international community", Mr Goff said.


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