File photo shows the venue of the 16th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement in the Iranian capital, Tehran.
The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) bloc of nations at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says Tehran’s right to use peaceful nuclear technology must be respected.
“States' choices and decisions, including those of the Islamic Republic of Iran, in the field of peaceful uses of nuclear technology and its fuel cycle policies must be respected,” NAM said in a statement read out by the representative of Iran as the rotating presidency of the movement, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, in Vienna on Thursday.
“Nothing should be interpreted in a way as inhibiting or restricting the right of states to develop atomic energy for peaceful purposes,” the statement stressed.
NAM called for the settlement of the Western dispute over Iran’s nuclear energy program within the IAEA, saying that any dispute regarding the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) must be resolved by means of diplomacy and within the framework of international laws.
"NAM recognizes the need for a comprehensive multilaterally negotiated instrument prohibiting attacks, or threat of attacks on nuclear facilities devoted to peaceful uses of nuclear energy," Soltanieh, also Iran's ambassador to the IAEA, reiterated.
The group further urged the IAEA to make more efforts to help to create a nuclear weapons-free Middle East.
"NAM considers the establishment of a nuclear-weapons-free-zone in the Middle East as a positive step towards attaining the objective of global nuclear disarmament and reiterates its support for the establishment of such a zone in accordance with relevant [UN] General Assembly and Security Council resolutions.”
The United States, Israel and some of their allies have repeatedly accused Iran of pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program. Washington and Tel Aviv have repeatedly threatened to attack Iran over the charges.
Iran rejects the allegations, arguing that as a committed signatory to the NPT and a member of the IAEA it is entitled to develop and acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
The IAEA has conducted numerous inspections of Iran's nuclear facilities, but has never found any evidence indicating diversion in Tehran's nuclear energy program toward military purposes.
This is while the Israeli regime is widely known to possess between 200 and 400 nuclear warheads. Furthermore, Tel Aviv refuses to allow its nuclear facilities to come under international regulatory inspectors and rejects any international nuclear regulatory agreements.