23 November 2013 Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today welcomed an interim agreement reached regarding Iran's nuclear programme and urged the Governments concerned to do everything possible to continue negotiations.
In a statement released late tonight by his spokesperson, Mr. Ban congratulated the negotiators in Geneva for progress made on “what could turn out to be the beginnings of a historic agreement for the peoples and nations of the Middle East region and beyond”.
He urged the Governments of Iran and the six other Member States involved to “build on this encouraging start” and to create mutual confidence.
Mr. Ban “calls on all members of the international community to support this process which, if allowed to succeed, is likely to be to the long-term benefit of all parties,” his spokesperson said.
The top UN official also reaffirmed his unswerving commitment to strengthening nuclear disarmament and the non-proliferation regime, the spokesperson added.
Iran's nuclear programme – which its officials have stated is for peaceful purposes, but some other countries contend is driven by military ambitions – has been a matter of international concern since the discovery in 2003 that the country had concealed its nuclear activities for 18 years in breach of its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
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