Topnews, Statements

16. September 2020

STATEMENT DELIVERED BY AMBASSADOR RAPULANE MOLEKANE, RESIDENT REPRESENTATIVE/GOVERNOR OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA, AT THE IAEA BOARD OF GOVERNORS, 16 SEPTEMBER 2020, VIENNA, AUSTRIA

Agenda Item 9 (c):  NPT Safeguards Agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran

Madame Chairperson

South Africa welcomes the Director General’s report on the NPT Safeguards Agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran.  We equally welcome the Joint Statement of 26 August 2020 issued by the DG of the IAEA and the Vice-President of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, following DG Grossi’s visit to Tehran.

My Delegation appreciates that significant progress has been made on this issue since the Board last met in June. Continued engagement between Iran and the Agency has yielded positive results in finding agreement on resolving the identified safeguards implementation issues. We take note that following the issuance of the Joint Statement, the Agency was able to conduct a complementary access, under the Additional Protocol, at one of the locations specified by the Agency and that another complementary access will be granted shortly. 

We also welcome the IAEA’s commitment to take Iran’s security concerns into account, especially with safeguards sensitive information.

It is in this context that South Africa expresses its gratitude to the diplomatic efforts and commend the DG and Iran for this success. Dialogue is essential to diplomacy, especially when important and sensitive matters related to interantional peace and security are at stake.  

Madame Chairperson

South Africa has always called for the avoidance of punitive measures at the time when diplomacy offers us the best possible solution towards resolving matters. Constructive interaction and mutually re-enforcing engagement will ensure that the safeguards regime is not threatened.

My delegation has reiterated before that the implementation of safeguards is sacrosanct. A strong and resilient safeguards regime, wherein the Agency works very closely with Member States, is what we should be striving for and protecting.

In conclusion, Madame Chairperson, my Delegation looks forward to receiving further reports under this agenda item. We  further reiterate our firm view that it is important to separate this matter from developments in the JCPOA, as this is the best way to address them.

With these remarks we take note of the report contained in document GOV/2020/36.

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