SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association)- The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) has reaffirmed the “undeniable right” of all countries to nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
“The NAM stresses the basic and undeniable right of all countries to developing, doing research on, producing and using nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without any form of discrimination and in accordance with their legal commitments,” said Iran’s Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Reza Najafi, representing the 120-member NAM at a meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors on Thursday.
“Choices and decisions by countries, including… Iran, about the peaceful uses of nuclear technology and fuel cycle policies must be respected,” Najafi said.
“NAM strongly believes that all safeguards and verification issues, including those pertaining to Iran, should be resolved within the IAEA framework and on the basis of technical and legal foundations,” Najafi said.
Iran, one of the first states to join the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), signed the Safeguards Agreement with the IAEA in 1973. The accord came into force in 1974.
NAM, whose rotating presidency is held by Iran, stressed that a comprehensive solution to the standoff over Iran’s nuclear energy program must be found through diplomacy and without any preconditions.
Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China – plus Germany are currently involved in what is considered a final stage of nuclear talks in Vienna, Austria, to work out a final deal aimed at ending the standoff over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear energy program before a November 24 deadline.
Sources close to the Iranian negotiating team say the main stumbling block in the way of resolving the dispute over Iran’s nuclear energy program remains to be the removal of all the bans imposed on the country, and not the number of centrifuges or the level of uranium enrichment.
Tehran wants the sanctions entirely lifted while Washington, under pressure from the pro-Israeli lobby, insists that at least the UN-imposed sanctions should remain in place.