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Explanation of Vote on Draft Resolution on the Iran Nuclear Issue at the IAEA Governing Board Meeting

New Delhi
September 24, 2005

1. The Indian delegation has studied the draft resolution tabled by the EU-3 yesterday. There are elements in the draft which we have difficulty with. For example, the draft recognizes that "good progress has been made in Iran's correction of the breaches and in the Agency's ability to confirm certain aspects of Iran's current declarations". In view of this, finding Iran non-compliant in the context of Article XII-C of the Agency's Statute is not justified. It would also not be accurate to characterize the current situation as a threat to international peace and security.

2. Having said that, we find that the draft has addressed the two major preoccupations of our delegation. Firstly, we have all along been advocating that more time be given to enable us to explore all possible avenues for reaching a satisfactory resolution of the issues that have arisen. The draft resolution has conceded that by leaving it to the next Board meeting to take a decision concerning how to handle this matter.

3. Secondly, we were opposed to the matter being referred to the UN Security Council at this stage, because we did not believe that this was justified in the circumstances. We welcome the fact that the draft resolution has agreed to keep the matter within the purview of the Agency itself. Our support for the resolution, despite our reservations, is based on the premise that the intervening period will be used by all concerned to expand the diplomatic space to satisfactorily address all outstanding issues. India supports keeping the door open for dialogue and consensus and avoidance of confrontation.

4. The IAEA Board has dealt with this matter so far through a series of consensus resolutions. We would have preferred to maintain that tradition. Our objective has been to enable the IAEA to fulfill its mandate in Iran in the most efficient manner possible and to give the international community the confidence it needs in accordance with the relevant safeguards agreements. We welcome the cooperation that Iran has been extending to the IAEA to enable it to fulfill its mandate. Iran has, at the highest level, declared that it does not aspire to acquire nuclear weapons capability. This is a solemn assurance that the international community should take note of. Iran has the inalienable right to pursue a peaceful nuclear energy programme and we must respect that right. We are confident that in the coming days, we would be able to find a way to reconcile Iran's need for nuclear energy for its development with the international community's concern over proliferation. My delegation would be prepared to work together with the members of the Board to facilitate a satisfactory outcome in this regard.