Topnews, Statements

06. March 2024

STATEMENT DELIVERED BY AMBASSADOR RAPULANE MOLEKANE, RESIDENT REPRESENTATIVE/GOVERNOR OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA, AT THE IAEA BOARD OF GOVERNORS, 6 MARCH 2024, VIENNA, AUSTRIA

VERIFICATION AND MONITORING IN THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN IN LIGHT OF UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION 2231 (2015)

AGENDA ITEM 5

Chairperson,

My delegation thanks the Director General and the Secretariat for the report before us and the detailed technical briefing provided to Members States on 1 March 2024.

South Africa hailed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) as an additional key international non-proliferation instrument to maintain peace and security in the volatile region of the Middle East. It is now almost over 5 years that the United States unilaterally pulled out of the JCPOA and unilaterally imposed punishing and unfair sanctions on Iran. Similarly, the same time period has passed since the current US Administration promised to return to the JCPOA, but have regrettably not done so.

The deteriorating security situation in the Middle East region, has made the need for the restoration of the JCPOA even more pressing. We therefore urge all parties to the JCPOA to resist the temptation to focus on narrow political interests as well as geopolitical posturing and exert all efforts towards the restoration of the Plan of Action, as there is no viable alternative to secure regional and international peace and security.

Chairperson,

The DG’s report states that the Iranian nuclear programme reflects a worrisome trend of enrichment activities, which are inconsistent with its declared long – term research and development objectives, far beyond the scope of the JCPOA and that are that these are devoid of any justifiable peaceful use. While noting that there has been no increase in the number of operational centrifuges in the reporting period, the expansion of infrastructure for additional enrichment capability while the IAEA’s capacity to monitor Iran’s nuclear program has been significantly reduced, remains a course for deep concern.

We reiterate our call on all parties to the JCPOA to work towards restoring the agreement. In this regard, we call on Iran to return to its implementation of its JCPOA commitments. We also call on all JCPOA partners to take commensurate action by implementing their obligations to the JCPOA, including the lifting of unilateral sanctions inconsistent with relevant Security Council resolutions.  We urge JCPOA Parties to restore confidence in the agreement and actively engage in dialogue towards its restoration, in whatever format they deem necessary, to adapt it to new realities.

With these few words I thank you Chairperson.

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