27 November 2013
South Africa has welcomed the agreement on a temporary curtailment of Iran’s nuclear programme that was reached with world leaders in Geneva, Switzerland on the weekend.
According to the six-month agreement with the US, China, Russia, the UK, France and Germany, Iran will curb some of its nuclear activities and in return will receive US$7-billion in sanctions relief. Iran has agreed to halt its nuclear activities by 20% and gave UN inspectors access to its facilities.
It is the most significant agreement between Tehran and international negotiators in more than three decades of estrangement.
“South Africa believes that this agreement demonstrates the scope of creative solutions that are possible when the choice is made to follow a constructive and pragmatic approach based on negotiations and dialogue,” the Department of International relations and Cooperation said on Tuesday.
Spokesperson Clayson Moneyla said this was a period of confidence-building, which was a prelude to the ultimate goal of a mutually agreed, long-term comprehensive agreement on Iran’s nuclear programme.
He said this would enable Iran to fully enjoy its inalienable right to nuclear energy for peaceful purposes in line with the provisions of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
“We note with appreciation that the framework for cooperation is aimed at improving cooperation between the two parties concerned and that the government of Iran has committed to resolving all past and present outstanding issues.”
In South Africa’s view, Monyela said, the International Atomic Energy Agency remained the only internationally recognised competent authority responsible for verifying and assuring compliance with the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.
“The objective of the international community should therefore remain to ensure that the agency is able to undertake its verification activities in Iran.”
South Africa was confident that the successful implementation of both the joint plan of action and the framework for cooperation would contribute the necessary confidence between the respective parties to pave the way towards sustainable solutions in line with the provisions of the non-proliferation treaty, Monyela said.
This would allow Iran to take its rightful place in the international fold and play its historic role in ensuring stability in its region.