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UN, EU, IAEA call for keeping Iran nuclear deal

Image of a nuclear power plant [Tennessee Valley Authority/Wikipedia]
Nuclear power plant [Tennessee Valley Authority/Wikipedia]

The UN, EU and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Monday called for preservation of the Iranian nuclear deal before the 12 May deadline set by US President Donald Trump to toughen the deal.

“The threat of the use — intentional or otherwise — of nuclear weapons is growing.This threat, which concerns all humanity, will remain for as long as nuclear weapons continue to exist in national arsenals,” Izumi Nakamitsu, the UN under-secretary-general of disarmament affairs, told the Preparatory Committee for the 2020 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), meeting in its second session through 4 May at the UN Office in Geneva.

“The UN secretary-general remains convinced that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action continues to be the best way to ensure the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program and to realize the promised tangible economic benefits for the Iranian people. We hope that all of its participants remain fully committed to its implementation and long-term preservation,” she said.

Calling for the preservation of the Iranian nuclear deal, she said: “We hope that all of its participants remain fully committed to its implementation and long-term preservation.”

The NPT entered into force in 1970 and was extended indefinitely in 1995.

Read: Iran warns of ‘unpleasant’ response if US drops nuclear deal

The treaty is regarded as the cornerstone of the global nuclear non-proliferation regime and an essential foundation for the pursuit of nuclear disarmament.

It was designed to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, to further the goals of nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament, and to promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

Cornel Seruta, chief coordinator of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said Iran has “significantly” improved their access to locations and information.

“IAEA inspectors have taken hundreds of environmental samples and placed around 2,000 tamper-proof seals on nuclear material and equipment. Hundreds of thousands of images are captured daily by our sophisticated surveillance cameras. We collect and analyze several million pieces of open-source information each month,” Seruta said.

“Iran is now subject to the world’s most robust nuclear verification regime. Iran is implementing its nuclear-related commitments,” she added. “It is essential that Iran continues to fully implement those commitments.”

Read: EU discusses new Iran sanctions in move to buttress nuclear deal

Christopher Ford, US assistant secretary for international security and nonproliferation, told the committee: “The nonproliferation regime faces a very different, but still very real, longer-term challenge from Iran.”

The EU, for its part, called on states to join the treaty as non-nuclear weapon states.

“We encourage the US and the Russian Federation to extend the New START Treaty and seek further reductions to their arsenals, including strategic and non-strategic, deployed, and non-deployed nuclear weapons,” said Jacek Bylica, the EU’s special envoy for Disarmament and Non-proliferation European External Action Service.

This February, the US and Russia met the central limits of the New START strategic arms control treaty.

As a result, the nuclear arsenals of the two nuclear superpowers have been limited at levels not seen since the 1950s, and the US stockpile is approximately 12 per cent of its Cold War peak.

“It is in our common interest to preserve a deal that strengthens the global non-proliferation regime, contributes positively to regional and international peace and security, and provides the international community with necessary assurances on the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program,” Bylica said.

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