Iran’s IAEA envoy slams nuke-armed states for blocking peaceful use of atomic energy

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This file photo shows Iranian Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Reza Najafi.

Iranian Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Reza Najafi says nuclear-armed countries are in no position to deprive other nations of reaping the benefits of peaceful nuclear technology.

“Countries that have themselves built nuclear weapons are not allowed to prevent [other] countries’ use of peaceful nuclear technology under the pretext of [promoting] non-proliferation,” Najafi said.

He made the remarks on Wednesday in an address to the second session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2020 Review Conference of the Parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which is underway at the UN office in Geneva.

“The right to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes and full participation in the exchange of equipment, materials and nuclear know-how for peaceful use of nuclear energy is one of the fundamental objectives of the NPT,” he noted.

To ensure that this right is enforced, the Iranian envoy said, Article IV of the NPT has obliged the parties to facilitate such exchanges, therefore, all NPT member states possessing advanced nuclear technology need to fully comply with their obligations under Article IV of the treaty.

Najafi criticized some countries for using the IAEA and the agency’s Safeguards Agreements to achieve their goals, and emphasized that, as stated in Article IV of the treaty, none of the provisions of the treaty should be interpreted in such a way that deprives member states of their inalienable right to develop peaceful nuclear technology.

The Iranian envoy also expressed deep concern about efforts by some member countries to impose politically-motivated arbitrary restrictions on other members.

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