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14. September 2022

STATEMENT DELIVERED BY AMBASSADOR RAPULANE MOLEKANE, GOVERNOR/RESIDENT REPRESENTATIVE OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA, AT THE IAEA BOARD OF GOVERNORS, 14 SEPTEMBER 2022, VIENNA, AUSTRIA

AGENDA ITEM 8C: NPT SAFEGUARDS AGREEMENT WITH THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN

Chairperson,

South Africa expresses appreciation to the Director General and the Secretariat for the report before us and the technical briefing provided to Member States on 8 September 2022

At the outset, South Africa reaffirms the importance of safeguards as a fundamental component of nuclear non-proliferation and that complying with safeguards agreements, contribute to strengthening collective security. While safeguards agreements are voluntarily entered into, once signed, they become a legal obligation that must be upheld by States concerned and cannot be unilaterally amended.

My delegation notes with appreciation the efforts of the Secretariat and readiness thereto to engage with Members State to address challenges associated with compliance to safeguards agreements. We have further noted that similar efforts have been extended to the Islamic Republic of Iran in a quest to address questions relating to three sites in which the IAEA detected nuclear particles of anthropogenic nature.

South Africa calls on Iran to engage with the IAEA expeditiously to resolve these outstanding questions.

We reaffirm our firm view that there is no alternative solution to addressing these questions except the provision of credible answers to the IAEA. The resolution of safeguards questions should not be linked or be assumed to be linked to any other processes. Member States and the international community deserve clear answers to put us all at ease that the Iran nuclear programme is for no other purpose but peaceful uses. Furthermore, we call on Iran to return to its implementation of Modified Code 3.1. We also encourage Iran to ascend to the Additional Protocol, which will allow the Agency greater possibilities of verifying the Iranian nuclear programme.

We remain hopeful for the speedy resolution of the matters.

I thank you.

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