I would like to say a word about regional issues, particularly the problems related to Iran. As we stated two days ago in New York, we are united in our determination to begin talks on signing an all-encompassing, long-term agreement intended to settle the nuclear issues in Iran as soon as possible.
That said, today’s situation requires particular attention. In their recent letter to the IAEA, Iranian authorities admitted that they are building a new uranium enrichment plant. The fact that Iran has been constructing this enrichment plant over the course of several years without IAEA’s knowledge is a cause of great concern.
The construction of a new uranium enrichment plant contradicts the UN Security Council’s repeated demands for Iran to halt its enrichment activities.
The Russian Side, along with its other partners, feels that the IAEA must immediately examine the situation in the context of the inspections being carried out over Iran’s nuclear program. As part of the obligations that Russia has taken upon itself as an IAEA member, we will assist in this audit through any means we have available. We are calling on Iran to fully cooperate with the Agency as it conducts this investigation.
Russia remains committed to serious dialogue with Iran, with the goal of reaching an agreement on effective measures to alleviate the international community’s concerns regarding Iran’s nuclear program. Indeed, the evidence that has surfaced, which shows that Iran is building a new enrichment plant, only increases our determination to quickly attain concrete, verifiable results.
On October 1, 2009, we are planning a meeting of the so-called Group of Six – of which Russia is a member – together with representatives from Iran. This meeting will give Iran the opportunity to demonstrate that it also intends to seek out a negotiated solution to this problem. This will be possible if Iran arrives at the meeting in Geneva ready to focus on the nuclear issue, take practical steps toward rebuilding trust toward its nuclear program and ensuring its transparency, and demonstrate its willingness to fully cooperate with the IAEA. In light of the newly-revealed evidence that Iran is building a new enrichment plant, we are counting on Iran to present convincing evidence of its intent to develop nuclear energy strictly for peaceful purposes.