Iran "determined" to resume nuclear activities
Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said on Tuesday that Iran is "determined" to pursue all legal areas of nuclear technology, including enrichment, exclusively for peaceful purposes.
Addressing a UN conference to review the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Kharrazi said his country has been eager to offer assurances and guarantees that those technologies "remain permanently peaceful."
"But, no one should be under the illusion that objective guarantees can theoretically or practically amount to cessation or even long term suspension of legal activity which have been and will be carried out under the fullest and most intrusive IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) supervision," he stressed.
The IAEA full-scope safeguard system provides the main foundation and basis for preventing the diversion of peaceful nuclear technology to nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, he noted.
The United States has suspected that Iran's nuclear program was aimed at developing weapons, a fear that has been bluntly dismissed by Iran. Iran is currently in talks with the European Union on its nuclear program and has offered "objective guarantees" that it will not make atomic bombs.
Kharrazi said the promotion of the use of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes has been "one of the main pillars of the NPT and the main statutory objective of the IAEA."
"It is unacceptable that some tend to limit the access to peaceful nuclear technology to an exclusive club of technologically advanced states under the pretext of non-proliferation," he emphasized.
Kharrazi criticized the international community for allowing some countries, which are not parties to the NPT, to "have unrestricted access" to nuclear material, equipment and technology.
He said Israel had developed "one of the largest stockpiles of nuclear weapons" and continuously rejected the calls by the international community to accede to the NPT and place its nuclear facilities under the IAEA full scope safeguards.
Kharrazi also called on the conference to consider a legally-biding instrument to prohibit the use of nuclear weapons.
The conference, sponsored by the United Nations, brought together representatives from 187 state parties of the NPT. The meeting, starting on Monday, runs through May 27.
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