Iran / Nuclear
Pittsburgh – Friday, September 25 2009
In New York, the UN Security Council met at summit level and adopted a strong resolution on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament. We are here to announce that yesterday in Vienna, we also presented detailed evidence to the IAEA demonstrating that the Islamic Republic of Iran has been building a covert uranium enrichment facility near Qum over several years.
Yesterday, the Iranian government presented a letter to the IAEA that made reference to a new enrichment facility, years after they had started its construction. The existence of this facility constitutes a violation of Iran’s obligations under UN Security Council resolutions and IAEA requirements. We expect the IAEA to immediately investigate this violation – including the use of special inspections if needed – and to report to the IAEA Board of Governors.
Iran’s decision to build yet another nuclear facility without notifying the IAEA represents a breach of the global nonproliferation regime. These rules are clear – all nations have the right to peaceful nuclear energy; those nations with nuclear weapons must move toward disarmament; those nations without nuclear weapons must forsake them. That compact has largely held for decades, keeping the world far safer and more secure. And that compact depends upon all nations living up to their responsibilities.
This site deepens a growing concern that Iran is refusing to live up to those international responsibilities, including specifically revealing all nuclear related activities. Iran has a right to peaceful nuclear power that meets the energy needs of its people. But the size and configuration of this facility – as well as the fact that it was developed covertly – is obviously inconsistent with a peaceful nuclear program. Iran is breaking rules that all nations must follow – endangering the global non-proliferation regime, denying its own people access to the opportunity they deserve, and threatening the stability and security of the region and the world.
It is time for Iran to act immediately to restore the confidence of the international community by fulfilling its international obligations. We remain committed to serious, meaningful engagement with Iran to address the nuclear issue through the P5 plus 1 negotiations. Through this dialogue, we are committed to demonstrating that international law is not an empty promise; that obligations must be kept; and that treaties will be enforced.
That is why there is a sense urgency about the upcoming meeting on October 1st between Iran, the Permanent Members of the UN Security Council and Germany. At that meeting, the world will expect Iran to be prepared to cooperate fully and comprehensively with the IAEA; to take concrete steps to create confidence and transparency in its nuclear program; and to demonstrate that it is committed to establishing its peaceful intentions through meaningful dialogue and concrete action. To put it simply: Iran must comply with UN Security Council resolutions and make clear that it is willing to meet its responsibilities as a member of the community of nations.
We have offered Iran a clear path toward greater international integration if it lives up to its obligations, and that offer stands. But our patience is limited. The Iranian government. must demonstrate through deeds its peaceful intentions, or be held accountable to international standards and international law.