Describing the Iranian nuclear issue as a “very serious concern” to the international community, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today urged Iran’s Government to fully comply with the Security Council and continue to negotiate with the world community.
Last December the 15-member Council imposed sanctions on Tehran, maintaining that Iran’s nuclear programme was aimed at weapons production, a claim the Government consistently denies.
“The Iranian nuclear issue is another very serious concern to the international community. As the Secretary-General of the UN, I also have been trying to be a help in resolving this issue as much as I can,” Mr. Ban told reporters in Germany, before the high-level Quartet meeting on the Middle East.
“Again, taking this opportunity, I would strongly urge the Iranian authorities to comply, first of all fully with the Security Council resolution, and continue to negotiate with the international community.”
Last month, the head of the UN atomic watchdog agency called for a “timeout” on the nuclear issue, with Iran suspending uranium enrichment and the international community suspending sanctions.
A key to resolving the issue is a direct engagement between Iran and the United States similar to that with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei stressed in several interviews in Davos, Switzerland, where he was attending the World Economic Forum.
The crisis began with the discovery in 2003 that Iran had concealed its nuclear activities for 18 years in breach of its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).