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Statement by H.E. Dr. Ali Akbar Salehi, Vice-President and Head of AEO of Iran at the International Conference on Nuclear Security Vienna

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Mr. President,

Excellencies, 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is indeed a distinct pleasure to attend the International Conference on Nuclear Security: under the title Commitments and actions. At the very outset, I would like to express our deep gratitude to the Director General and the Agency for organizing this important international event. Likewise I take this opportunity to congratulate Excellency Mr. Yun Byung-se, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Republic of Korea for assuming the presidency of this important Conference. Also a special thank is owed to all delegations as well as the Co-chairs for the hard work and dedication in preparing the Ministerial Declaration of the Conference.

Distinguished Delegates,    

The second International Conference on Nuclear Security reflects the growing significance of nuclear security as an area of shared global concern. The first conference three years ago focused on enhancing global efforts. Its Ministerial Declaration underlined the wide range of important issues of international concern and responsibilities of all Members States, as well as the very significant and central role of the IAEA in this field. Now we have gathered here to take stock of the achievements thus far, and to address – and decide on - the current issues and challenges.  The fact that the outcome of this gathering will serve as an important input for the preparation of the Agency’s next Nuclear Security Plan for the period of 2018-2021 adds to the significance of our collective efforts this week.

The provisions of the 2013 Ministerial Declaration, and also the General Conference resolution on nuclear security [GC(60)RES/10], provide us with a full plate to take major steps in addressing current challenges and concerns which continue to be as valid and pressing today as before through further work and an all out cooperation. 

In the backdrop of the 2013 platform, the risk that nuclear or other radioactive material could be used in criminal or terrorist acts remains a matter of concern and continues to be regarded as a threat to international security. Ironically, advances in information and communication technologies and the intertwining of industrial infrastructure and cyberspace have caused another security concern.  It is clear that cyber-attacks against nuclear facilities and activities– as happened in the case of the deployment of the Stuxnet virus against Iran will amplify the scale and expand the domains of insecurity with trans-boundary consequences. In this context, while recognizing the real threat of cyber-attacks it is incumbent upon all of us to condemn such attacks and to take every necessary measures to confront them in a comprehensive manner.

Mr. President, 

The Islamic Republic of Iran looks at the question of nuclear security within the broader framework of disarmament and non-proliferation. While more than 80% of existing nuclear materials are those used for military purposes, the lack of transparency in this area is regrettable. Having always been an ardent proponent of a world free from nuclear weapons, we likewise attach great importance to the realization of a Middle East Nuclear Weapons Free Zone. While universality of the NPT constitutes to be a valuable goal, more genuine and robust efforts are needed for an expeditious elimination of all nuclear weapons. Israel’s unjustifiable refusal to join the NPT and its stockpile of HEU and Plutonium as well as its clandestine military nuclear programme constitutes a major concern and bodes ill for the security of our region and the global community. 

 

Distinguished Delegates,

Allow me at this point, to share with you in the following some of our major activities at national and international level Since 2013 International Conference on Nuclear Security:

1. “The Regulatory Commission on Nuclear and Radiation Facilities and Activities in Iran” has been strengthend in order to substantiate our legislative and regulatory framework for the 3S (Safety, Safeguards and Security) as well as to manage effectively the regulatory authorization and control, in areas such as physical protection.

2. We have introduced the IAEA’s Fundamental and Recommendation of Nuclear Security Series into our national security and physical protection regulations taking into consideration the International Physical Protection Advisory Service (IPPAS) recommendations. Moreover, relevant recommendations reflected in INFICIR/225/Rev.5 have been envisaged in our recent contract with Russian Federation for the two new nuclear power plants.

3. Furthermore, at the international level the prospect of P5+1 agreement with Iran on the implementation of nuclear security guidelines as provided in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) will further help the enhancement of our nuclear security.

In the light of the above, we believe that the implementation of the outcome of this Conference will be facilitated through considering the following measures:

  • The Agency has to provide equal opportunity for all Member States to acquire the relevant expertise in the area of nuclear  security;
  • Nuclear security measures should not hamper, impede or restrict international cooperation in the field of peaceful uses of nuclear energy;
  • The vulnerability of sensitive nuclear security information remains a concern to all Member States, because its unauthorized use could compromise nuclear security. Therefore, the importance of security and the confidentiality of information relevant to nuclear security should be stressed and be observed;
  • And the last but not least, funding of the Agency’s nuclear security activities should be covered by both the extra-budgetary contributions and the Nuclear Security Fund (NSF).

Distinguished delegates,

At this juncture, let me make a brief reference to the historic agreement we reached last year with P5+1countries (JCPOA). This agreement could be represented as an illustration for resolving acute international issues through negotiations and diplomatic means. The integrity and the sustainability of the agreement certainly depend on reciprocal and full adherence of all the involved parties to their commitments. Unfortunately, recently we have been witnessing some irrational and provocative moves and behaviors in the US that entail the danger of violating the deal. As stated by our Eminent Supreme Leader, Iran remains committed to its obligations and will not be the starter in breaching the deal. However, any significant non-performance by the other side will definitely lead to our firm and strong reaction. 

Mr. President, 

To conclude, let me wish you and all the distinguished participants every success in the course of the days ahead and a solid and substantial outcome for the Conference.

Thank you very much for your kind attention.

 Source: Atomic Energy Organization of Iran

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