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10. September 2015

STATEMENT DELIVERED BY AMBASSADOR TEBOGO SEOKOLO, GOVERNOR/RESIDENT REPRESENTATIVE OF SOUTH AFRICA TO THE IAEA, BOARD OF GOVERNORS, 7-11 SEPTEMBER 2015, VIENNA, AUSTRIA

AGENDA ITEM 7B: IMPLEMENTATION OF NPT SAFEGUARDS AGREEMENT AND RELEVANT PROVISIONS OF SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTIONS IN THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN

Madame Chairperson

South Africa thanks the Director-General for his report as contained in document GOV/2015/50 regarding the Implementation of NPT Safeguards agreement and relevant provisions of the United Nations Security Council resolutions  in the Islamic Republic of Iran, and the briefing conducted by DDG Tero Varjoranta on 2 September 2015.

My delegation aligns itself with the statement delivered on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, by Ambassador Reza Najafi of Iran and wishes to present the following remarks in our national capacity.

As indicated during the special Board of Governors on 25 August 2015, South Africa has welcomed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) signed by Iran and the E3/EU+3 on 14 July 2015. This agreement has vindicated a view consistently expressed in this Board and elsewhere by many that the only way to a durable and sustainable peace to   the world’s challenges is through dialogue. In this regard it is my country’s view that this agreement promises to open a new chapter in the Agency’s relations with Iran.

Accordingly, South Africa recognises that this agreement is contingent on Iran and other partners undertaking some actions. Key to all these is the implementation of the Road - Map as agreed by the Agency and Iran on 14 July 2015. In this context we note from the report that on 15 August 2015 Iran has provided the Agency with its explanations in writing, as well as related documents, on past and present outstanding issues.  The DG has informed the Board that the Agency is accessing the information that has been received from Iran and will submit his report on 15 December 2015.

In the meantime during its special session held on 25 August, the Board of Governors authorised the DG to implement the necessary verification and monitoring of Iran’s nuclear-related commitments as set out in the JCPOA. This is a responsibility that the Agency should execute with extreme sensitivity. My delegation trusts that the Agency personnel, especially those that will be involved in executing this Mission, is alive to the historic Mission that has been entrusted upon them. Similarly, we urge the DG to continue to utilise the high level access as provided by the leadership of Iran to enhance the necessary trust and build confidence as the Agency implements the relevant nuclear related provisions of the JCPOA.

Madame Chairperson

As I conclude my delegation would like to highlight few issues with regards to this JCPOA in the context of the IAEA:

Firstly, South Africa wishes to welcome an undertaking made that the JCPOA is an agreement with Iran and should remain in such;

Secondly, there is a need to align the previous UN Security Council resolutions and IAEA Board of Governors decisions with the JCPOA in order to create conducive conditions for its effective implementation;

Thirdly, while my delegation recognises that there is a need for additional financial resources as indicated by the DG during the special Board of Governors on 25 August, it should be appreciated that there are limited financial resources and this should not affect other priorities as identified by Member States.

Finally my delegation pledges its full support to both the Agency and Iran as they traverse the new terrain. No doubt challenges will emerge along the way. But with the commitment shown, it should be possible to avert the undesired outcome.

With these comments my delegation notes the DG’s report on this agenda item.

I thank you.

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