Iran’s ambassador to IAEA Reza Najafi has addressed the IAEA Board of Governors, saying it is Iran’s undeniable right to take appropriate action in response to persistent, numerous unlawful acts by the US.
The following is the full text of Iran’s ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Reza Najafi’s speech before the Board of Governors in Vienna, Austria:
In the Name of God
The Compassionate and the Merciful
Mr. Chairman, Director General, Distinguished Colleagues,
I would like to express my delegation’s gratitude to the Agency’s Secretariat for their hard work on the verification measures related to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The conclusion of the JCPOA on 14 July 2015 ended an unnecessary crisis that had lasted for more than a decade. It is an inspiration of hope, especially in the volatile region of West Asia, signaling that diplomacy and dialogue can still work. The JCPOA does not exclusively belong to those who concluded it, thus enabling one party to scrap it whimsically. The JCPOA is a multi-party agreement based on reciprocity. Its scope, provisions and timeframes are based on a delicate, negotiated and multilaterally-accepted balance that cannot be widened, altered or renegotiated. As my delegation has stated repeatedly during the negotiations on the JCPOA and then its implementation, reciprocal and full implementation of the commitments by all parties is the essential basis of the JCPOA and is the crucial element of the agreement for its sustainability.
On 8 May 2018, the United States announced its unilateral and unlawful decision to withdraw from the JCPOA, in material breach of Security Council Resolution 2231 (2015) to which the JCPOA is annexed. Simultaneously, US President instructed its relevant authorities “to cease the participation of the US in the JCPOA” and “to re-impose all US sanctions lifted or waived in connection with the JCPOA”, thus committing multiple cases of “significant non-performance” with the JCPOA, and in clear non-compliance with UNSC Resolution. Such acts constitute complete disregard for international law and the UN Charter, undermine the principle of peaceful settlement of disputes, endanger multilateralism and its institutions, indicate a revert to the failed and disastrous era of unilateralism, and encourage intransigence and illegality. Being isolated in its unlawful decision, US was supported only by Zionist regime and a few that have at least three things in common, receiving hundreds of billions of dollars of American beautiful arms, aggression to their neighbors and killing innocent civilians under the pretext of fighting terrorist and their desperate efforts to prevent the conclusion of the JCPOA.
The US has flagrantly violated Resolution 2231, which was sponsored inter alia by the United States itself and adopted unanimously by the Council. Ironically the US for a long time has been urging all other members of the UN to comply with the resolutions of the UN Security Council since it is responsible for international peace and security and now has become a blatant noncompliant itself thus can no more ask others to abide by any UNSC resolution now or in future. Indeed, the US withdrawal from the JCPOA was the culmination of a long period of attempts by the US to violate and sabotage it and Resolution 2231 that endorses the deal and “calls upon all Member States to … support its implementation.” This unwarranted and wrongful US withdrawal from the JCPOA and especially the bullying tactics that it employs to have the rest of the world follow suit, blatantly disrespect the principle of Pacta Sunt Servanda, disparage the rule of law at the international level, undermine the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and challenge international institutions. The unlawful US act of unwarranted withdrawal from the JCPOA renders it responsible for the most blatant material breach of its obligations under the agreement. The United States must, therefore, be held accountable for the consequences of its reckless and wrongful act that flies in the face of the UN Charter and international law.
Contrary to the US behavior, the Islamic Republic of Iran has been in full compliance with its commitments under the JCPOA. This fact has been repeatedly verified by the IAEA, as reflected in its Director-General’s reports to the IAEA Board of Governors and the UN Security Council since “implementation day” in January of 2016.
In line with Iran’s commitment to legality and the peaceful resolution of international disputes, the Islamic Republic of Iran has decided to resort to the JCPOA mechanism in good faith to find solutions and to determine whether and how the remaining JCPOA Participants and other economic partners can ensure the full benefits that the Iranian people are entitled to derive from this global diplomatic achievement. If, after the exhaustion of available remedies, our people’s rights and benefits are not fully compensated, it is Iran’s undeniable right to take appropriate action in response to persistent, numerous unlawful acts by the US; particularly its withdrawal and re-imposition of all sanctions.
While we appreciate the strong support expressed by overwhelming majority of Member States to the deal, I should stress that if JCPOA is to survive, the remaining JCPOA Participants and other economic partners need to ensure that Iran is compensated unconditionally through appropriate national, regional and global measures. As our high authorities stated Iranian Nation would not accept to continue implementing its commitments under the JCPOA while restrictive measures and sanctions contrary to the deal are being in force.
The withdrawing party should not be allowed to benefit from its unlawful withdrawal from the JCPOA, nor can it threaten or compel other States into violating a Security Council resolution, which, “underscoring that Member States are obligated under Article 25 of the Charter of the United Nations to accept and carry out the Security Council’s decisions”, “calls upon all Members States, regional organizations and international organizations to take such actions as may be appropriate to support the implementation of the JCPOA, including by taking actions commensurate with the implementation plan set out in the JCPOA and this resolution and by refraining from actions that undermine implementation of commitments under the JCPOA.”
The Board of Governors should also take its responsibility in this regard seriously and must not allow that one member decides for all other Member States.
Although the recent updated report (GOV/2018/24), as I indicated earlier, once more demonstrates that Iran’s nuclear program continues within the framework of the JCPOA, I would like to reaffirm that our position and reservations on “the JCPOA text on heavy water”, definition of “stockpile” and its difference with the term “inventory” and on some arbitrary interpretations contrary to the clear text of different sections of Annex I of the JCPOA and the history of negotiations remain unchanged. I refer you to my previous statements in this regard.
I would also need to refer to few delegations that requested again for release of the raw and detailed confidential safeguards information contrary to the BOG approved mandate. Such request suggests that the Agency should not be trusted and the Agency itself should be verified again independently by some paid NGOs. My delegation once more would like to recall that in addition to the provisions of Article 5 of the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement and Article 15 of the Additional Protocol for protection of confidential information, the JCPOA clearly requests the Agency “to take every precaution to protect commercial, technological and industrial secrets as well as other confidential information coming to its knowledge”. We strongly oppose the disclosure of confidential safeguard information in the any upcoming report under the pretext of more transparency. Regarding encouragement for proactive cooperation, i.e. using Article 8 of AP, in our view while Iran is not benefiting from the deal such request is out of question. My delegation would also like to recall the unanimous decision of 15 December 2015 of the Board by which it noted “Final” report of the Director General and closed unambiguously the past baseless issues and warn that any attempt to reopen an already closed issue, because of a circus show of fake documents, is the violation of that decision and is out of the Agency’s mandate.
For the last speaker before me, as usual you heard an unrelated statement. Let us see again, where Zionist regime of Israel sits. It sits on tens of inhumane nuclear warheads, it sits on un-safeguarded clandestine nuclear facilities where it develops nuclear weapons and it sits on underground WMD facilities where it works on biological and chemical weapons. For these reasons it has never acceded to CWC, BWC and the NPT.
This regime with a history full of aggression and occupation has flagrantly violated all resolutions adopted by the UN Security Council in response to its repeated acts of aggression and illegal occupation, as well as its well-documented atrocities, apartheid policies and war crimes against the Palestinian people. The killings of defenseless Palestinian people including women and children, and the occupation of Palestinian territories, have turned into the Zionists’ main strategy during the past 70 years. The brutal massacre of innocent Palestinian people in recent weeks was just one of war crimes of this regime.
This regime cannot create a smokescreen for its atrocities and its illegitimate nuclear weapon program, which is a real threat to regional and international peace and security.
Thank you Mr. Chairman