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5+1 should show its earnest desire for progress in talks

Deputy Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council

Deputy Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council emphasized that P5+1 should show their strong desire for practical steps towards progress in talks.
Ali Bagheri, deputy secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council in the gathering of representatives of NAM member countries in the NPT Review Conference and Preparatory Meeting, on the sidelines of the summit, during a speech emphasized Iran reasonable and constructive approach in the negotiations with P5+1.

The text of Deputy Secretary of the Iranian Supreme National Security Council speech is as follows:

In the name of God

Text of speech by Dr. Ali Bagheri, Deputy Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council of the Islamic Republic of Iran

Delivered at the 24 April 2013 NAM Ambassadorial meeting

(Organized on the sidelines of Prep-Com for NPT Review Conference)

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Islamic Republic of Iran, because of its membership in the NPT and the IAEA, has officially expressed its commitment to internationally recognized mechanisms and subsequently the non-divergence of its peaceful nuclear activities towards military goals. As for its responsibilities, my country has completely carried out its treaty obligations and has provided necessary access to IAEA so that it can continuously and closely monitor our peaceful nuclear activities. By doing so, Iran has addressed any possible concern about such activities and has provided necessary assurances about their peaceful nature to IAEA — which is the only credible relevant international authority. Thus, in return for the fulfillment of such obligations by the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, one would naturally expect the people of Iran to be able to enjoy their basic rights as stipulated in relative treaties and conventions; with no restrictions, conditions or limitations.

In view of this, no authority or body is able to – or should – distort or deny rights that are rooted in the willpower, capability and competence of a nation and rights that have come about as a result of membership in the IAEA and the NPT. As you appreciate, such rights have not been awarded by the above authorities or stakeholders to the Iranian people; and as such they do not have the right to impose conditions or determine the parameters of our rights, their limits, quality and quantity, nature and time of availability or manner of their fulfillment.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Islamic Republic of Iran, with a strong and unwavering determination and within the confines of the Agency’s statutes and the NPT has entered political talks over its nuclear activities to produce results. Having said that, I must point out that my country’s experience of close to 3 years of talks and interaction with 3 European countries – because of disregard by the 3 countries for their obligations — has left much to be desired; nevertheless the experience has not weakened the Islamic Republic of Iran’s determination to defend the nuclear rights of the Iranian nation in face to face negotiations.

With this in mind, I confess that during negotiations with the P5+1, Iranian negotiators have been preoccupied by the possibility of the talks, with the 3 European countries, diverting towards an impasse again.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As you might be aware, some years ago, the Islamic Republic of Iran – in the context of an agreement it had reached with 3 European countries and in an effort to build confidence – voluntarily undertook to implement a series of measures that went beyond its safeguards obligations as well as its obligations to the Agency’s statutes and the those of the NPT. Again, in an effort to provide unilateral confidence, the Islamic Republic of Iran, implemented each and every demand by the European parties for a long period of time. I would briefly like to mention some of them:

Suspension of enrichment activities for 26 months.
Implementation of the Additional Protocol — before its ratification — for 26 months.
Suspension of yellowcake to AUC conversion for 8 months.
Suspension of AUC to UO2 conversion for 8 months.
Suspension of UO2 to UF4 conversion for 8 months.
Suspension of UF4 to UF6 conversion for 8 months.
Suspension of the manufacturing of parts for 3 months.
Granting access and 20 rounds of inspections of enrichment equipment parts manufacturing facilities.
Granting access and 2 rounds of inspections of enrichment R&D centers.
Granting access and inspection of 26 military sites.
However, back in 2005 and despite all such efforts and in complete disregard for all international laws and regulations, the 3 European parties to negotiations with the Islamic Republic of Iran, tabled a written proposal that required Iran to dismantle its nuclear fuel cycle. This demand led to months long stoppage of nuclear talks. Regardless, the Islamic Republic of Iran remained convinced that the “talks-cooperation” strategy is the only logical, constructive and effective mechanism in its engagement with the P5+1. Regretfully, some P5+1 countries continue to emphasize the use of the failed and futile two track “talks-pressure” stratagem and use the talks purely as a means to achieve their predetermined goals. Undoubtedly, one of the main reasons behind the lack of tangible and serious progress in the talks, is this very mindset to make instrumental use of the political talks.

After 3 other countries joined the 3 European countries and the so called P5+1 grouping was formed, the Islamic Republic of Iran once again actively participated in the talks. Subsequently a package of proposals was put together and tabled in “Geneva One” (2008) talks to help increase the possibility of political talks being a success. The package was later updated and tabled in “Geneva Two” (2009). These offers demonstrated that the Islamic Republic of Iran not only thinks the correct and logical choice is dialogue and logical give and take, but is also attentive to its agenda and is ready to make the necessary investment.

“Geneva three” (2010) is considered to be a milestone in Iran and P5+1 talks. In that particular meeting the two parties agreed for the talks to be conducted in the context of “talks for cooperation”. Regretfully some members of the P5+1 did not remain committed to obligations that the above agreement carried. Now more than ever, there is a realization that if those P5+1 members had remained committed, much progress would have been made. On the same lines, if P5+1 had looked at the provision of fuel for Tehran’s Research Reactor through the prism of “cooperation” this need in itself could have turned into prospect that would have helped facilitate the issue’s resolution. However, P5+1’s illogical and uneven proposals that were tabled in the “Istanbul one” (2011) talks once again wasted the opportunity that had presented itself. They had not only failed to propose a binding framework for the sale of fuel for Tehran’s Research Reactor, as well as medical isotopes that were desperately needed by one million Iranian sufferers, but also refused to agree over a formula to exchange fuel and thus provide fuel as needed by the Islamic Republic of Iran.

As from the above, the President of Brazil and Prime Minster of Turkey, after receiving letters from the US President, visited Tehran to put their initiative into motion. Their effort was met with the constructive cooperation and engagement of the Islamic Republic of Iran and culminated in the issuance of the “Tehran Declaration” for the exchange of fuel.

Hardly a few days had passed from the issuance of the Declaration – which again, as attested by Brazil and Turkey, was a response to letters from the US President – when, because of pressure by the United States and as a result of an illogical and unwise decision, resolution 1929 was passed by the UNSC and against the Islamic Republic of Iran. The resolution later became a major obstacle in the way of advancement of cooperation and win-win interaction between the two parties and managed to stymie Iran’s constructive efforts. However in utter disbelief by certain P5+1 members these impediments did not prevent the progress of Iran peaceful nuclear activities and when the Iranian people lost hope that P5+1 would ever provide fuel for Tehran’s Research Reactor, they mobilized Iranian scientists, who had no prior technical experience with the production of fuel plates – as needed by Tehran’s Research Reactor — but were armed with steely determination, to start work. Sometime later, they managed to fabricate fuel plates that were needed by TRR and successfully install them in the heart of the reactor and subsequently produce medical isotopes that were desperately needed by Iranain citizens through Iran’s peaceful nuclear activity.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Although what I have recounted have happened in the past, but unwise and reckless actions can still render existing opportunities as useless an lead to a repast of old experiences. Regretfully, it must be said that miscalculations by some members of the P5+1 did not permit parties to optimally utilize the opportunity that had come about in the form of “fuel exchange” and the “Tehran Declaration” to benefit collective understanding and help lead to a resolution.

In the most recent stage, the Islamic Republic of Iran closely studied the P5+1proposal that was tabled in “Almaty One” talks and with consideration to the plan that was tabled by the Islamic Republic of Iran in the Moscow talks, tabled a logical, constructive and positive response in the “Almaty Two” talks. In this context, I can further elaborate by saying:

The Islamic Republic of Iran is ready to work and engage – within the parameters of the NPT — with the P5+1 to find a resolution for the totality of the nuclear issue.
If the P5+1is presently not prepared to work towards a comprehensive resolution of the issue, the Islamic Republic of Iran is ready to take a preliminary step or steps. This of course is dependent on the other party’s readiness to a simultaneous step or steps that are proportionate and are of the same weight and consistency and recognize the Islamic Republic of Iran’s rights – especially the right to enrichment – as defined by the NPT. In this context, the Islamic Republic of Iran is ready to implement a number of proposals that were tabled by P5+1 in the “Almaty One” meeting.
I also point out that as a result of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s initiative in the “Alamty Two” talks which had incorporated a number of P5+1 proposals as tabled in “Almaty One” the necessary bedrock required to help shape the idea of “talks for cooperation” was established.

Now the 5+1 is faced with three options:

First; to comprehensively and completely resolve the issue in one setting. The Islamic Republic of Iran has announced its readiness to do just that and work towards reaching such a result. In this context my country tabled a comprehensive plan in the Moscow talks.

Second; the step by step resolution of the issue — by taking a number of simultaneous reciprocal steps that will be of the same consistency and weight — by the two parties as initial steps and as tabled and proposed in Almaty Two talks.

Third; no forward movement and setting aside the proposals that were tabled by 5+1 in Almaty One.

Ladies and gentlemen,

As you appreciate, at the end of Almaty Two talks, in her press conference, Lady Ashton clearly announced that members of group will now return to their respective capitals and after consultations with their officials and within a few days will inform Dr. Jalili of their decision. However, some weeks have passed from that announcement and no response is forthcoming. With this in mind if the 5+1 rejects the first and second options, this will mean that they have set aside their proposals that were tabled in Almaty One; and as such must answer to the global public opinion about the logic behind their behavior.

The Islamic Republic of Iran once again stresses that in return for carrying out its obligations that arise from its membership in the IAEA and the NPT is only asking for the totality of its rights – specially enrichment — as defined by the above frameworks and to utilize such rights to meet its needs.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Now the ball is in the 5+1’s court. Therefore, it must firstly demonstrate its serious determination to practically advance the talks by choosing one of Iran’s two proposed options i.e. the “complete resolution” of the issue in “one sitting” or choose a reciprocal “step by step” progression that is based on the Islamic Republic of Iran’s proposal as tabled in Almaty Two. Furthermore it must demonstrate its practical determination to enter into constructive, serious, substantive, effective and result oriented talks with Iran while demonstrating its practical respect for the elements of “talks for cooperation”. Thirdly, by unconditional acceptance of the nuclear rights of the Iranian nation — specially the right to enrichment within the confines of the NPT – rid 5+1 of accusations of disregard for international treaties and selective dealing with international laws and regulations and fourthly, by providing the necessary authority to negotiators, help with the advancement of talks and allay suspicions of buying time, shying away from dialogue or engaging in talks for the sake of talks.

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