[Statements] [Home]


ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN

 STATEMENT TO THE IAEA MINISTRAL CONFERENCE ON NUCLEAR SAFETY

 By

H. E. Dr. Fereydoun Abbasi

Vice President of the Islamic Republic of Iran and President of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran

 20 June 2011

Vienna, Austria

 

In the Name of God

The most Companionate, the Most Merciful

Your Excellency Mr. President Antonio Guerreiro,

Distinguished Ministers and Representatives,

At the outset, I may congratulate the election of Ambassador Guerreiro as the president of the conference, to His Excellency and the distinguished representatives. I may be confident, that with the chance of your presidency, this conference shall render illuminating rewards, as to the progression and concrete effectuation of nuclear safety, for the human society. For sure, the delegation of the Islamic Republic of Iran shall have its full cooperation with your Excellency, in this regard.

Mr. President,

Population growth and the ever culminating demand for health and nutrition, and the right of the human person to live with dignity, have caused the ongoing move toward more appropriation of nuclear energy, and safer use of radioactive resources for peaceful purposes. The operation of more than 440 nuclear power plants in about thirty countries, to provide a noticeable portion of the electrical energy used within the last fifty years, is an undeniable fact. Henceforth, the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, following the ordinance of the Islamic Consultative Assembly (Majlis), is obligated to produce 20,000 Megawatts of nuclear electricity.

Although the only three incidents of Three-Mile Island in the United States of America, Chernobyl in the ex-Soviet Union, and Fukushima Daiichi in Japan, during the operation of nuclear power plants in the last half a century, are not considered many in comparison with the numerous natural disasters, imposed military conflicts and other incidents, yet, this may not release the Agency and the Member States from their obligation to seriously perform all their harmonized efforts for meeting the necessity of continuing to promote a high level of nuclear safety worldwide to prevent accidents with radiological consequences as such.

Being one very crucial challenge, to achieve and maintain a high level of nuclear safety in global scale, is a matter to be considered as a major priority by both the States embarking nuclear power programs, as well as States expanding their existing programs. In the present conference, the time is very opportune to support the efforts of the international community to assist the Agency to abide by one of its most significant statutory obligations in establishing a work plan, in accordance with scientific and technical bases and the reports provided pursuant to careful analysis of the recent incident of Fukushima Daiichi.

Mr. President, Ladies, and Gentlemen,

I would like to express my sympathy and solidarity with the Japanese people, and government, on the poignant and unprecedented tsunami of March 11, 2011, and pray the Lord God for the patience and health of the suffering people. The radiological accidents caused extensive damage to the environment impossible to compensate. Due to the considerable extent of this accident, the human society anticipates the urgent submission of information with full accuracy and transparency by the Japanese government to the Member States via the Agency. Also, the objective expectation from the Agency is to provide a precise, transparent and complete assessment of the situation in the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plants, and in parallel with its acquired knowledge, share its scientific suggestions with the Member States, aiming at the minimization of danger for the future analogous accidents.

In addition, the Director General is demanded to establish an expert group, consisted of the most experienced nuclear safety specialists elected with no discrimination from those of the Member States, specially the developing countries, to perform a thorough investigation of any probable incident in nuclear power plants and report the learnt results to the general conference.

Mr. President,

The nuclear incidents in the past have resulted in the expansion of science and technology in controlling the nuclear power plants and assertion of certain safety standards and regulations. Thus, the fair distribution of this information and presentation of them, to all other States, especially those who shall inevitably get use of nuclear energy in future, guarantees the tranquility and safety of all human society.

The recent incident in Fukushima, happening as a result of the tsunami, was initially out of the control of Japan. We expect that the serious investigations of an independent international fact finding mission, shall demonstrate the possibility of any negligence, leading to the incidents following the tsunami. Shall the distinguished Director General of the Agency put all his efforts in this regard, and bring this subject to the attention of the international community within the upcoming meeting of the Agency, rather than focusing on marginal and baseless issues, such a clarification may pioneer the nuclear industry for all States safe and useable.

The Islamic Republic of Iran considering the impacts of the Fukushima incident emphasizes upon the necessity and demands for cooperation between the Agency and the Member States with ongoing nuclear power plant programs, to enhance and upgrade the level of up-to-date and appropriate education, training and retraining of the operators and regulators, specially those of the developing countries with no limitation or discrimination of any kind. Principally, the incidents, or the probability of incidents similar to Fukushima, by no means set an obstacle on the accelerating pace of States to accomplish their inalienable right to get use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes; Conversely it reminds the stipulation for the designation of more robust nuclear safety standards, and the unbiased accessibility of their utility know-how.

The Islamic Republic of Iran, alarming the current conditions, is severely concerned that the information and knowledge on nuclear safety, due to the alibi of dissemination of sensitive information, is kept as exclusive by a few States; the explicit text of the Agency's with article 3 of the Statute relating to the exchange of safety information is ignored; and as a result the aforementioned inalienable rights of the developing countries are violated.

Nuclear safety is a technical matter with international dimensions and direct interaction with the health and vitality of human generations, and that is why it may never be treated with politicized motivations. As the Fukushima incident demonstrated, any scarcity in terms of nuclear safety shall lead to widespread casualties for the international community with no proper compensation. As a result, there should be no restrictions of any kind for the exchange of nuclear safety information, and having access to the procurement systems, equipments, and emergency response programs. The Agency, in fulfilling one of its main obligations in accordance with the Statute has to "establish or adopt standards of safety for protection of health and minimizing of danger of life and property". Evidently, the standardization of nuclear safety, with the unawareness of the Member States as the appliers of such standards, shall not be feasible and effective.

Mr. President,

The reliance of the Agency's Secretariat on the unlawful resolutions of the United Nations Security Council, targeting the violation of the rights of the Islamic Republic of Iran experts to participate in the Agency's committees and meetings on nuclear safety is misplaced. The Islamic Republic of Iran has clarified in many occasions that according to undisputable rules of international law such as the Statute of the IAEA and the Safeguard Agreement, the resolutions of the Security Council are rendered illegal and unjust. Hence, any reference to such resolutions by the Agency is against the law and unacceptable. Ironically, it is to mention that, even in these unlawful resolutions, such as the explicit phraseology of paragraph 16 of resolution 1737, the case of nuclear safety, for its very specific nature, is as a principle excluded from the imposed so-called restrictions of the Security Council against the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Undoubtedly, as the officials of the Agency has always been incapable to appoint, there is nothing in the illegal resolutions of the Security Council to negate the right of the Iranian experts to attend in the Agency's specialized committees and meetings on nuclear safety. Regrettably, the Agency has constantly forbade the attendance of the experts of some Member States, such as those of the Islamic Republic of Iran, in the committees and meetings on nuclear safety, just to demolish the magnitude of nuclear safety standardization, right in harsh opposition to its mandate and statutory obligations.

I may adjoin that nuclear safety is essential for the protection of human beings even from subtle injures. Respect for the right of human to live is of the highest importance, whereas as all the decrees of God and the teachings of all prophets in the course of history has always been alluring as such. That makes it obvious that the protection of the lives of scientists in all fields of study is of elevated significance. We have lost some of our splendid scientists in the field of nuclear safety such as Dr. Shahriari and Dr. Ali-Mohammadi, in a cowardly manner. I draw the attention of the international community to the importance of insuring for the protection of experts endeavoring in the development of nuclear safety. In this regard, I urge you the distinguished representatives and specially the Director General to explicitly express your positions.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Proudly and with my entire honor, I declare that despite all the illegal sanctions and hostile impediments imposed against the Islamic Republic of Iran, during the last three decades, with the exemplary persistence and endeavors of the Iranians and the cooperation of the contracting state, Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant, has entered its operational phase and gone critical in full conformity with the Agency's standards, and in near future it will be connected to the electricity network. The main reason for the delay in bringing the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant into operational phase, was the insistence and emphasis of the government and authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran on the careful observation of all nuclear safety aspects, so that all the global community, specially the people residing adjacent to the plant and in the Persian Gulf countries, shall live a tranquil and safe life.

Our priority has always been and shall always be to provide Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant with full safety before and after its operation. The Agency in accordance with mutual technical cooperation for nuclear safety, after investigating of all the measures applied by the Islamic Republic of Iran in compliance with current standards, has approved the safety of Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant in numerous reports such as IRRS. Last year, following the request of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Agency assigned a team consisted of senior regulators of nuclear safety regulations elected from seven Member States, to perform a technical visit from Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant, site one. This team after performing the visit from February 20th to March 2nd, 2010 declared in the Iranian National Regulatory Authority that "we realized that Iran safety system responsible for inspecting Iranian Nuclear facilities and installation acts very well and is strong."  Today I have the honor to express that Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant enjoys the highest up-to-date safety standards, just analogous to other nuclear facilities worldwide.

It is to recall that all these measures, having been in parallel with thorough monitoring of the environmental issues, have been carried out in the situation of sanctions and restrictions for the Islamic Republic of Iran to have access to the equipment normally supposed to be commercially available for all. This fact objectively demonstrates our determination to abide by the safety regulations and protecting the environment at the same time.

Mr. President, Distinguished Representatives,

Once again I emphasis that the Islamic Republic of Iran enjoys nuclear science and technology and is determined to comply with safety regulation, expecting to favor all its rights, so that it can fulfill its obligations.

Mr. President, Distinguished delegates

In conclusion, I declare that the Islamic Republic of Iran has commenced the legal procedures for the accession to the Convention on Nuclear Safety.

Thanks for your attention.

 

 

 

 Home