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StatementByH.E.Dr.AliAkbarSalehiVicePresidentandHeadoftheAtomicEnergyOrganizationofIranAtthe20thEdoardoAmaldiConference

StatementByH.E.Dr.AliAkbarSalehiVicePresidentandHeadoftheAtomicEnergyOrganizationofIranAtthe20thEdoardoAmaldiConference

1
Statement
By
H.E.Dr.AliAkbarSalehi
VicePresidentandHeadoftheAtomicEnergy
OrganizationofIran
Atthe
20thEdoardoAmaldiConference
On
InternationalCooperationforEnhancing
NuclearSafety,Security,SafeguardsandNon-
Proliferation
AccademiaNazionaledeiLincei
Rome,Italy
9-10October2017
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Mr.Chairman,
Excellencies,
LadiesandGentlemen,
Itisa distinctpleasureto join allofyou in this
importantConference.Letme,attheveryoutset,seizethe
opportunity to express my deep appreciation to the
organizers ofthe Conference forthe kind invitation.
Dedicatedtothecommemorationofthescientificwork
andachievementsofthelateProfessorAmaldi,thevery
titleandtheworkprogram oftheConferencepointstoits
relevance to the wide range of serious issues the
internationalcommunityisgrapplingwithinthefieldof
nuclearindustryandrelatedactivities.
Mr.Chairman,
AddressingaConferenceofthiskindandcaliber–
withquiteastrongscientificcontentandyetplacedinthe
contextofon-goingpoliticaldiscussions,putsmeinavery
challengingsituation.Atonelevel,findingmyselfinthe
company of fellow nuclear physicists gives me an
academicfeelingtodelveintotheoreticaldiscussions.Yet
atanotherlevel,undermycurrenthatattheAtomicEnergy
OrganizationofIran,Ihavetofocusonconcreteissues
andsituations,which,interestinglyenough,happentobea
matterofcommonconcerntoallofus.Hence,nothing
thesedaysappearstobemorepressingandcriticalthan
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the fate ofthe Iran nucleardeal– JCPOA.So,that
constitutesthethrustofmyremarksheretoday;whatit
means for us and presumably for the international
community.
Mr.Chairman,
DespitethefactthatIran’soriginalinterestinthe
nuclearindustrydatesbacktothepost-WWII“Atom for
Peace Program”era,its nuclearprogram is yetata
humblestageincomparisonwiththestateoftheindustry
inmoreadvancedcountries.Atthispoint,Iwouldonly
limitmyselftopresentingasketchy,broadbrushofmajor
turningpointsinthedevelopmentofournuclearprogram.
TheconstructionofTehranNuclearResearchReactorin
1967–whichisstilloperative–laidthefoundationforour
nuclearactivitiesin thisarea.Subsequentcommercial
nuclearnegotiationswiththeUnitedStatesinearly1970s
andlatermoreseriouscollaborativeeffortswithFrance
andGermany,eventually,provedinconclusive,especiallyin
the wake of Saddam’s aggression against Iran in
September1980,and thus the program came to a
practicalhalt.SoonaftertheendoftheWarin1988,the
interestinrevivingthepeacefulnationalnuclearprogram
re-emergedasamatterofpriorityinthemindsofour
politicalleadership.
Drawingonthepastexperiences,especiallyinlightof
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thesanctionsimposedonthecountryfollowingthevictory
oftheRevolutionin1979aswellasduringthe8-yearIran-
Iraq War,the need forachieving self-reliance in most
strategicdomainsincludingthenuclearonebecamean
importantcomponentofIran’spolicymaking.Theefforts
towards starting uranium enrichmentto provide the
neededfuelforthereactorscamefrom thoseperceptions
and convictions,which coincidentally led to serious
disagreementwithmajorwesterncountries.Thedrama
that unfolded as of mid-2002 around the alleged
enrichmentactivitiesatoneofournuclearsitescalledthe
NatanzFacilitypushedtheissueofIran’snuclearprogram
on the international scene into a highly-politicized
propaganda campaign. That episode, and its later
developments,inandoutoftheIAEA,arenowhistory,and
fullyknowntoallthoseinthesay.
The2003-2005periodofnegotiationsonthenuclear
program betweenIranand thethreeEuropeancountries,
which also involved close working relations with the
Agency,tried to resolve the outstanding issues and
removethethenexistingmisunderstandingonandaround
ourpeacefulnuclearprogram.The Supreme Leader’s
religiousdecree(fatwa)ontheprohibitionofproduction,
deploymentanduseofnuclearweapons,similartoother
weaponsofmassdestruction,alsoplayeditscriticaland
determiningroleinthisregard.Lookingback,onecannot
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but lament that the two-year negotiations proved
inconclusive,whichaseverybodyknows,cameaboutasa
resultoftheUSnegativeattitudeandexertionofpressure
on European interlocutors,and also on the Agency,
throughraisingawiderangeofcontentiousissuesand
allegations,includingIran’sinvolvementinactivitieswith
possiblemilitarydimensions.Later,however,IAEAreports
disprovedallthoseallegations.
Thefailednegotiationsduringthe2003-2005period
pushedthenucleardossieroutoftheIAEAandintothe
UNSecurityCouncilwithitschainofsanctionsresolutions,
andledtoalong,almost8-yearperiodofsubsequent
futile negotiations.Allthroughoutthis period,the U.S
pursued its negative stance and the policy of“zero
enrichment”–whichwasobviouslysimplyunacceptable
toIranandanon-starterforallpracticalpurposes.Iran’s
actualresponse to the US obstinate and impractical
positionanddemandwastorelyinsteadon“resistance
andstrategicendurance.”
DistinguishedColleagues,
TheUS-imposedimpasseinthenegotiations,withall
itsensuednegativeconsequences,finallyledtoachange
ofoutlookwithintheAmericanbodypoliticsspecifically
during PresidentObama’ssecond term.The obviously
futileimpositionoftheso-called“zeroenrichment”dogma
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gavewaytoamorepragmatic,solution-orientedapproach
inWashington,which,coincidentally,founditscounterpart
in Iran following the June 2013 election ofPresident
Rouhani.ThequiteinterestingandIshouldsay,equally
exciting and challenging negotiations ultimately
culminatedinapromising,win-winnucleardealcalledthe
JCPOA.A dealthatensuredIran’sinalienablestatuary
rightsandprivilegesasstipulatedintheNPT.
Mr.Chairman
That’sjustabriefoverviewofwhattranspiredonand
aroundourpeacefulnuclearprogram.Thenucleardeal
certainlyusheredaneweraofengagementbetweenIran
andtheinternationalcommunityatlarge.Andthewayit
was achieved signify the irreplaceable reliance on
innovativesciencediplomacyandpoliticalnegotiationsas
the preferred option for and means of resolving
internationaldisagreementsanddisputes.Italsoserved
as a conduitforconfidence-building,in verypractical
terms,between the Islamic Republic ofIran and the
western countries, even including the U.S. –
notwithstanding the lack of politicaland diplomatic
relations between the two countries foralmostfour
decades and preponderance ofmutualsuspicion and
mistrust.
Furthermore,thenucleardealhassofarprovidedthe
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opportunityforIrantoexercise,inaccordancewiththe
provisions ofNPT,its fullpeacefulnuclearactivities
unhampered and expanding further its acquired
capabilitiesinotherdomainssuchasagriculture,industry,
and health.Given the traditional,and long-standing
relianceoftheIranianeconomyonfossilfuels,andthe
imperativeofgradualandprogressivereductionofsuch
reliance, including for globally-shared environmental
concerns and considerations,Iran definitely needs to
make its basket of energy sources more diverse.
Productionofclean,safenuclearenergyshouldplayits
dueandexpectedroleinthisregard.BasedonsuchIAEA
models as LEP, MESSAGE, ETSAP and WASP,
considerationof8-12percentnuclearenergyinthemixed
energybasketofIranseemsjustifiable.
Mr.Chairman
Apartfrom theoverallmeritsofJCPOA–whetherfor
Iranorfortheotherparties–itisreasonabletoarguethat
itsfaithfulimplementation,asenvisionedinthetextofthe
agreement,willserveasetofotherpurposes,including
thestrengtheningofNPT.Inthemeantime,ithasaffected
theperceptionofachievingabetterbalanceamongthe
threemainpillarsoftheTreaty;namelynon-proliferation,
peacefulcooperationandcomprehensivedisarmament.
Thepotentialcontributiontothefirsttwopillarshardly
needsanyfurtherelucidation;theyalmostlooklikefait8
accompli,especiallyin so faras contribution to nonproliferationisconcerned.
Theprogressthusfarachieved
betweenIranandothercountrieswithregardstopeaceful
cooperationispromisingandmovingintherightdirection.
Asfarasthethirdpillarisconcerned,theJCPOAwould
be further strengthened if the establishment of a
comprehensivedisarmamentaswellastheNuclearFree
ZoneintheMiddleEastismaterialized.
Excellencies,
ThisoverallassessmentofthemeritsoftheJCPOA
bringsmetotheimportantandpracticalpointofhow to
protectand preserve the dealin the interestofthe
partnersaswellasthelargerinternationalcommunity.
The hard-won agreement,in which Iwas personally
engaged,especiallyatitstechnicallevelissimplytoo
precioustobeallowedtobeunderminedorweakened.In
contrasttotheUSadministration’snegativeperception,
thereisaclearpictureandunderstandingoftheaccord
anditsrelatedcommitmentsinIran.Webelievethatthe
entire internationalcommunity also shares a similar
outlook.
TheunfortunatetrendacrosstheAtlanticsincethe
new Americanadministrationtookofficeearlythisyear
especiallytherecentdelusionarynegativeposturesdonot
augurwellatall.Asstateddubiously,forinstance,theUS
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administration pretends thatthe mostglaring flow of
JCPOA isitssunsetprovision.Whilewebelievethata
similarnegotiationwithoutasunsetortimelineisnota
negotiationanymore;ratheritisanuttersubmission.
Toconclude,Iwouldliketomakesolidclearthatwedo
notwanttoseethedealunravel.However,muchmoreis
atstakefortheentireinternationalcommunitythanthe
nationalinterestsofIran-wheretheUSwishestoharm-if
thedealisdissolved.
Needlesstosay,thattheUSwithdrawalfrom thedeal
wouldseriouslyaffectIran’sstateofpoliticsinthisregard.
Moreover,it’sworthmentioningthatthefailureofthe
nucleardeal,undoubtedly,willundermine the political
credibilityandtheinternationalstatureoftheUSinthis
tumultuousinternationalpoliticalenvironment.Shouldthe
JCPOAsurviveoutofthecurrentoddsandturmoiltheway
willbepavedfortheresolutionofothermajorsimilar
internationalissuesinthefuture.Let’shopethatunder
thesecircumstances,commonsenseanddiscretionshall
prevail.
Ithankallofyouforyourkindindulgence.


15:56 - 12/10/2017    /    Numero : 479296    /    Contatore : 826



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