Iran’s nuclear programme: the need for an effective international response
| Doc. 12612
| 10 May 2011
- Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy
- Rapporteur :
- Mr Tadeusz IWIŃSKI,
to Committee: Doc. 11908,
Reference 3572 of 29 May 2009. Information report approved by the committee
on 11 April 2011. 2011 - May Standing Committee
Iran has been developing a nuclear programme which raises
serious concerns among the international community as to its real
purpose. Many believe that Iran aims to acquire the capacity to
make nuclear weapons. A nuclear Iran would be a nightmare for the
whole international community.
The Parliamentary Assembly previously adopted two resolutions
dealing with the Iranian nuclear programme: Resolution 1436 (2005) and Resolution 1567 (2007).
The key elements contained in those resolutions are still valid
today. This information report discusses the latest developments
related to the issue, analyses policy options available, and reflects
on what could be done at parliamentary level to engage in a dialogue
on this and other issues based on Resolution 1567 (2007).
So far, the joint efforts of the international community to
oblige Iran, through political and diplomatic means, to comply with
the requirements of the United Nations Security Council resolutions
have not brought about results. The strategy pursued until now,
with priority given to coercive action, may need to be rethought,
giving more emphasis to confidence building. One of the main and
most urgent tasks for the international community is to ensure that
Iran’s co-operation with the International Atomic Energy Agency
is completely restored, and that the Agency is able to fully carry
out its tasks in that country.
1 In May 2009, a motion for a resolution "Iran’s nuclear
program: the need for an effective international response" was tabled
in the Parliamentary Assembly by our former colleague and Chairperson
of the Political Affairs Committee, Mr Göran Lindblad. The motion
suggested, inter alia, that
“The Assembly ought to gather specific data on the recent developments
in Iran and on the nature of the threat that it poses. The Assembly will
take into account the time element and the increased urgency of
the matter. The Assembly should consider adopting additional effective
measures vis-à-vis this threat”.
2 I was appointed rapporteur in June 2009. In October 2009,
the committee authorised me to carry out fact-finding visits to
Vienna (International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Headquarters)
and Moscow, and endorsed my request for fact-finding visits to Iran
and Israel, subject to authorisation by the Bureau. The Bureau,
however, did not authorise these latter visits.
3 Following my contacts in Vienna and Moscow in June 2010, I
informed the committee of the state of play on the Iranian nuclear
file, and asked anew to be allowed to travel to Iran and Israel.
This new request was also turned down by the Bureau. However, I
am planning to visit Tehran in mid-April with a delegation of the
It is worth recalling that the Assembly previously adopted
two resolutions dealing with the Iranian nuclear programme, both
prepared by the former Chairpersons of the Political Affairs Committee:
Mr Ateş in April 2005 (Resolution
Mr Lindblad in June 2007 (Resolution
key proposals contained in those resolutions are still valid today.
5 Both reports contain basic information on the Iranian nuclear
issue, and I feel no need to repeat here the data gathered and the
analysis made by my predecessors. I will therefore provide information
on the latest developments related to the issue (from June 2007
until now), analyse policy options available, and reflect on what
could be done at our level.
6 From the outset, I wish to stress, as my predecessors did,
that in my view, it is not the Assembly’s role to assess whether
or not Iran’s nuclear programme has a military dimension. This task
is, and must remain, with the IAEA, which is in charge of monitoring
the compliance of states parties to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
(NPT) with the requirements of the latter.
7 Moreover, bearing in mind the complexity of the Iranian nuclear
issue, I must admit that the Assembly and the Council of Europe
in general lack the expertise and the necessary competence to deal
with the technical and legal aspects of the problem in a credible
manner, let alone to seek to replace the bodies in charge of this
8 At the same time, as the Iranian nuclear issue continues to
be in the focus of the international community, and a source of
concern for European public opinion, the Assembly, as a pan-European parliamentary
forum, is fully within its remit to follow these events, and to
envisage political action, in particular at the parliamentary level,
aimed at contributing to the solution of Iran’s nuclear problem.
I intentionally keep the issues of democracy and human rights
in Iran out of the scope of my report, even if one cannot overlook
the fact that the sensitivity of the Iranian nuclear issue for the
international community is to a great extent linked to the nature
of Tehran’s regime. I recall in this connection that this aspect
was reflected upon in the previous resolutions of the Assembly,
on the situation in Iran, adopted after the
events following the June 2009 presidential election in that country.
2 Key developments since June 2007
10 In February 2008, Iran started using new, domestically
developed “IR-2” centrifuges, which can produce enriched uranium
at more than double the rate of the older “P-1” machines. Several
months later, it was announced that Iran had considerably increased
the number of centrifuges at the Natanz enrichment plant.
11 In March 2008, the United Nations Security Council adopted
Resolution 1803 which extended previously introduced sanctions to
additional Iranian persons and entities, imposed travel restrictions
on sanctioned persons, and barred exports of nuclear and missile
related dual-use goods to Iran. Iran immediately rejected the resolution
and refused to comply with it, announcing that it would no longer
negotiate with the “big powers”. In September of that year, a new
Resolution 1835 was adopted in order to reaffirm the previous four.
12 In July 2008, a new attempt at talks between Iran and the
“5+1 Group” (five permanent members of the United Nations Security
Council and Germany) took place in Geneva. That was the first time
that the American and Iranian officials had held face-to-face talks
about Iran's nuclear programme. On this occasion, the so-called "freeze-for-freeze"
offer was made to Iranians, under which a freeze of Iran's uranium
enrichment programme would be matched by a pledge not to strengthen
sanctions on Iran. A few days later, the Iranian President refused
to halt the uranium enrichment. As a consequence, the European Union
introduced new additional sanctions on Iran.
13 In February 2009, the IAEA announced that Iran had produced
about 1 000 kilograms of low-enriched uranium (4%-grade uranium),
which would be enough to make one nuclear device if enriched to
over 90% (weapon-enriched uranium). However, the IAEA acknowledged
that, at the Natanz enrichment plant, Iran lacked the technology
to make weapon-enriched uranium.
14 According to information made public at the beginning of September
2009, American intelligence agencies had concluded that Iran had
produced enough nuclear fuel to rapidly develop a nuclear weapon,
but had decided not to take the critical last steps to actually
make a bomb.
15 On 21 September 2009, Iran informed the IAEA that it was constructing
a second enrichment facility at an underground location at Fordo,
near the city of Qom. On 25 September, the United States, the United Kingdom
and France criticised Iran for once again concealing a nuclear facility
from the IAEA. The United States said that the facility, which was
still months from completion, was too small to be useful for a civil programme
but could produce enough highly enriched uranium to make one bomb
per year. American officials said that they had been tracking the
project for years, but that the President decided to make public
the American findings after Iran discovered that the secrecy surrounding
the project had been breached.
16 On 1 October 2009, new talks were held between Iran and the
“5+1 Group”. At the talks, Iran agreed in principle to export most
of its low-enriched uranium for processing abroad, in exchange for
high-enriched uranium (20%-grade) needed for the operation of the
Tehran research reactor. It refused, however, to stop its own enrichment
17 Following these rather contradictory but still promising signals,
in an effort to find a compromise between Iran's stated need for
fuel for its nuclear reactor and international concerns about the
Iranian nuclear programme, the United States, France and Russia
proposed an IAEA-drafted agreement on uranium exchange. Under that
deal, Iran would export to Russia about 1 200 kilograms of low-enriched
uranium (75% of its current stockpile), which would be transformed
into high-enriched uranium and then sent to France for re-processing
into fuel rods for medical use in Iran’s old, American-built research
reactor at the University of Tehran.
18 According to the Iranians, there was a side deal attached
to the main agreement, which included a proposed direct transfer
of American nuclear technology to Iran, including "control, instrument
and safety equipment" for the research reactor at Tehran University.
19 However, shortly after the agreement was announced, Iran began
raising objections and backtracking. On 11 November 2009, the Iranians
called off the proposed deal, arguing that they “could not trust
20 On 2 February 2010, the President of Iran again accepted the
possibility of sending Iranian low-enriched uranium for re-processing
abroad. Almost simultaneously, on 9 February 2010, the Iranians
announced that the Natanz nuclear facility had begun processing
uranium to a purity level of 20% to provide fuel for the Tehran research
reactor to produce medical isotopes.
21 In May 2010, the IAEA issued a report that Iran had declared
production of over 2.5 metric tons of low-enriched uranium, which
would be enough if further enriched to make two nuclear weapons,
and that Iran had refused to answer inspectors’ questions on a variety
of activities, including what the agency called the “possible military
dimensions” of Iran's nuclear programme.
22 On 17 May 2010, Iran, Brazil and Turkey issued a joint declaration
"in which Iran agreed to send low-enriched uranium to Turkey in
return for enriched fuel for a research reactor." Iran reported
the joint declaration to the IAEA on 24 May 2010, asking it to inform
the "Vienna Group" (the United States, Russia, France and the IAEA),
in order to conclude a written agreement and make contingent arrangements
between Iran and the Vienna Group.
23 However, after having carefully studied the proposed deal,
the Vienna Group concluded that the new proposal fell short of addressing
the main concerns, and in particular did not foresee that Iran would
stop its own enrichment activities. Moreover, the Group felt that
the deal was an attempt by the Iranians to avoid new sanctions which
were under consideration at the United Nations Security Council.
24 On 9 June 2010, a new United Nations Security Council Resolution
1929 was adopted, with 12 countries in favour, Turkey and Brazil
against, and Lebanon who abstained. This was the fourth “sanctions”
resolution, which stated once again that Iran had failed to meet
the requirements of the IAEA Board of Governors and the Security
Council Resolutions as regards its nuclear programme. The resolution
further extended sanctions against Iranian entities and physical
persons involved in uranium enrichment and missile technologies.
In addition, export to Iran of seven categories of conventional
weapons is now forbidden.
25 On the other hand, the resolution contains, in Annex IV, proposals
for co-operation with Iran in a number of areas, including nuclear
energy and some other high-technology fields, which would be implemented
if Iran complies with its obligations and the United Nations Security
26 As on previous occasions, Iran flatly rejected the resolution.
However, later on, the Iranian authorities sent mixed signals, indicating
their readiness to continue dialogue under some conditions, but
at the same time worsening conditions of Iranian co-operation with
27 In July 2010, Iran barred two IAEA inspectors from entering
the country. The IAEA rejected Iran's reasons for the ban and said
it fully supported the inspectors, which Tehran had accused of reporting
wrongly that some nuclear equipment was missing.
28 During the summer of 2010, the European Union and the United
States adopted their own, tougher sanctions on Iran. Those sanctions
went beyond those agreed in the United Nations Security Council resolution,
but were only binding on European Union members and the United States.
The American Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, recently
stated that the United States is considering imposing additional
unilateral sanctions against Iran. She also said that, due to sanctions,
the Iranian nuclear programme had suffered considerable delays.
However, some expertsNote
that those delays result from the computer virus STUXNET that was
introduced into the computer systems of the enrichment plant in
Natanz. According to these reports, this virus was created and tested
by the Israelis at their nuclear facility in Dimona, and then implanted
30 According to the latest IAEA report, Iran continues not to
implement the requirements contained in the United Nations Security
Council resolutions. It continues its enrichment activities in Natanz
and probably in Qom. It also continues with the construction of
the heavy water reactor in Arak.
31 Contacts between Iranians and representatives of the international
community resumed in December 2010 in Geneva and in January 2011
in Istanbul, but brought no results.
32 In January 2011, Iran made an attempt to show “openness”,
and invited some foreign diplomats accredited to the IAEA in Vienna
to visit its nuclear facilities, including the Natanz enrichment
facility and the Arak heavy-water reactor under construction. Among
others, the Hungarian Ambassador was invited to represent the European
Union; the Russian and the Chinese Ambassadors were also invited,
but not the United States, the French, the British or the German
33 Iran said it was a gesture of goodwill and transparency. While
welcoming this move, China, Russia and the European Union refused
the invitation, and said that, instead, Iran should co-operate with
the IAEA and allow its inspectors to monitor all its nuclear facilities.
34 There were reports in January 2011 that Iran is now able to
produce its own nuclear fuel plates and rods, which means that it
now has the full nuclear fuel cycle.
35 The Iranians say that they have produced about 40 kilograms
of 20% enriched uranium and hope to inject the first batch of the
domestically produced uranium into the Tehran research reactor "by
the middle of next year" (the Iranian year begins on 22 March).
3 What policy options?
36 It is fair to say that there is a broad international
consensus that Iran should not be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons.
Both for global powers and for regional actors, the prospect of
the emergence of an Iran having nuclear bombs or warheads in its
arsenal is a nightmare.
37 Furthermore, even if there is no such general consensus on
the question whether Iran is actually trying to build nuclear weapons,
most countries agree that Iran is moving towards having the technical
know-how and the ingredients necessary for making nuclear weapons,
and that it should be obliged to suspend enrichment-related activities
until all well-founded concerns about the nature of its nuclear
programme are dissipated.
38 Although there are different positions among international
actors on whether there should be a temporary suspension of uranium
enrichment in Iran or a permanent ban on it; most actors agree that suspension
must be the necessary first step. This requirement is the cornerstone
of the six United Nations Security Council resolutions on the Iranian
nuclear issue. Four of these resolutions introduce international sanctions
39 Moreover, the United States, the European Union and some other
countries have decided to impose even stricter “unilateral” sanctions
40 We must acknowledge that, to date, all the efforts by the
international community aimed at compelling Iran to suspend its
uranium enrichment activities, including legally binding resolutions
of the United Nations Security Council and economic sanctions, have
failed to produce the desired results. Iran is continuing to enrich uranium
and to develop its nuclear technology.
41 In view of Iran's refusal to comply with demands to halt its
nuclear activities, the policy options available to the international
community are rather limited. If one excludes a direct military
threat, the remaining alternative is diplomacy, including both coercive
action (sanctions) and positive engagement (incentives). For obvious
reasons, I do not refer to other options which are beyond the limits
of public policy. Since the previous strategy, which was a mix of
both elements, has been unsuccessful, the choice is between more
sanctions or more incentives.
42 Whether the sanctions against Iran have been effective at
all is difficult to assess. On the one hand, some American officials,
including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, have recently stated
that “Iranians start to feel the pain” and their nuclear programme
had slowed down. They argue that the sanctions are “beginning to bite”,
cutting off Iran’s access to foreign capital, halting investment
in its energy sector and impeding its ability to send its ships
in and out of some foreign ports.
43 On the other hand, according to many experts, sanctions can
be most effective before they actually go into force, when the target
of those measures fears their impact most. In the case of Iran,
some analysts believe that if further sanctions are imposed, that
will only increase the secrecy in Iran and push forward the military orientation
of its nuclear programme. It would seem that, until now, the Iranian
nuclear programme has proven to be relatively insensitive, even
if not totally immune, to sanctions.
44 Moreover, one of the first consequences of the sanctions is
to reduce the capacity of the IAEA to work in Iran and be duly informed
of its nuclear activities. In this sense, sanctions run against
the declared aim of the Agency, namely to verify that the Iranian
nuclear programme has no aspects related to the weaponisation of
45 However, the prevailing political thinking tends to privilege
more sanctions rather than more incentives.
46 On the one hand, this is understandable: with Iran's persistent
refusal to comply with the requirements of the international community,
weakening sanctions would amount to rewarding Iran for its defiance. Moreover,
sanctions are seen as an alternative to a military option, even
if, for proponents of the latter, they are a “necessary obstacle”
to cross before launching an attack.
47 On the other hand, there are growing doubts that a policy
based solely on the toughening of sanctions would bring about results.
While sanctions do have consequences on the overall economic situation
in Iran, and have probably slowed down the nuclear programme, they
will not be sufficient to stop it, and will not oblige the Iranian
leadership to abandon it.
48 According to experts, there is no direct evidence that Iran
has started weaponisation. However, there are indications that the
Iranian leadership intends to develop technologies that would allow
it to acquire military nuclear capacity if it so decides. In these
circumstances, the sharp toughening of sanctions, let alone the
threat of, or the use of force, might provoke Tehran to withdraw
from the NPT, and quickly build a nuclear weapon.
I tend to agree with the view of Dr Mohamed ElBaradei, the
former Director General of the IAEA, that “…the only way to resolve
the Iranian issue is to build trust. … And it's about time now to
understand that the Iranian issue is not going to be resolved except,
until and unless we sit with the Iranians and try to find a fair and
50 Therefore, in the policy mix vis-à-vis Iran combining incentives
and pressure, it is time to consider strengthening the “incentive”
component and put on the negotiating table more credible and far-reaching proposals
of co-operation which would become effective if Iran reviews its
attitude of non-compliance.
51 The accident at the Japanese nuclear power plant Fukushima,
after an earthquake and a tsunami in March 2011, has put the issue
of nuclear industry safety in the spotlight of the international
community, and has shown to what extent nuclear installations may
prove to be vulnerable to natural disasters. All the countries which
develop civil nuclear programmes should co-operate in order to upgrade
the safety of their installations. Iran should be offered the possibility
to fully take part in such co-operation.
52 At the same time, an offer of broader co-operation with the
international community should go hand in hand with the strict enforcement
of the regime of sanctions imposed on Iran by the United Nations
Security Council Resolutions. In recent months, there have been
reports on several attempts by Iran to circumvent sanctions and
to import elements of equipment which fall under international restrictions.
In addition, an Iranian cargo aircraft carrying arms to Syria was
recently intercepted by the Turkish authorities and the cargo confiscated.
These cases show that, rather than introducing new sanctions, the
international community should primarily guarantee full and strict
implementation of those sanctions already in force.
53 In my view, one of the main and most urgent tasks for the
international community, is to ensure that Iranian co-operation
with the International Atomic Energy Agency is completely restored,
and that the Agency is able to fully carry out its tasks in that
country. The Agency, which has a long experience of working with
Iran as well as the necessary technical expertise, is the best tool
of the international community to verify the character of the Iranian
nuclear programme. Bringing all Iranian nuclear-related activities
back under the strict control of the IAEA is a necessary first step
towards restoring confidence.
54 It is also essential to strengthen, not weaken, the cohesion
of the international community on the Iranian nuclear issue. Further
unilateral sanctions would run counter to this goal.
4 Is there any room for specific action by the Council
55 As stated before, the Council of Europe has no competence
to directly deal with the Iranian nuclear issue. However, we could
contribute to creating conditions for a more confident dialogue
with the Iranian authorities.
In their respective reports, my predecessors Mr Ateş and Mr
Lindblad put forward a number of suggestions on the ways in which
the Council of Europe, and especially the Assembly, could help to
restore confidence and to promote a dialogue with various parts
of Iranian society. Most of those remain valid today. I simply refer
colleagues to those proposals (Doc. 10496
and Doc. 11294
In particular, by Resolution
, the Assembly resolved, in paragraph 17.2.,
to “seek to open, at committee level, a dialogue with the Iranian
Parliament on matters relating to the core values of the Council
of Europe, as well as on other issues of mutual concern. …”.
According to my information, the former Chairperson of the
Political Affairs Committee, Mr Lindblad, made at least two attempts
to invite representatives of the Iranian Parliament to attend meetings
of the committee, but without success. I nevertheless think it would
be worthwhile to make a new attempt and to renew an invitation to
the Parliament of Iran to engage in a dialogue with us on a number
of issues, including, but not limited to, the nuclear issue. Resolution 1567 (2007)
the basis for this and no new resolution is therefore needed.
59 More generally, I do not consider it appropriate for the Assembly
to adopt yet another resolution on the Iranian nuclear issue. All
key elements of the two previously adopted resolutions remain valid,
and there is hardly any new action which could be initiated at the
Assembly level. In particular, I cannot imagine any “additional
effective measures vis-à-vis this threat” (as suggested in the motion)
which would be available to the Assembly. Rather than producing
a redundant resolution with uncertain impact, we should fully explore ways
of implementing the existing ones. That is why I have decided to
submit an information report, without proposing a new resolution.
Iran has been developing a nuclear programme which
raises serious concerns among the international community as to
its real purpose. Many believe that Iran, while claiming its programme
to be of a peaceful nature, is actually aiming to acquire the capacity
to make nuclear weapons. A nuclear Iran would be a nightmare for
the whole international community, including for its neighbours.Note
61 Equally dangerous would be attempts to destroy by force the
Iranian nuclear facilities. It would probably delay, but not stop,
its nuclear programme, and it would dramatically destabilise the
situation in the Middle East and globally.
62 So far, the joint efforts of the international community to
oblige Iran, through political and diplomatic means, to comply with
the requirements of the United Nations Security Council resolutions,
have not brought about results. The strategy pursued until now,
where priority is given to coercive action, may need to be rethought,
with more emphasis on confidence building. As I mentioned above,
one of the main and most urgent tasks for the international community
is, in my view, to ensure that co-operation of Iran with the International Atomic
Energy Agency is completely restored, and that the Agency is able
to fully carry out its tasks in that country.
63 While the Council of Europe is not, as such, an actor in the
efforts to solve the Iranian nuclear issue, it could contribute,
especially at the parliamentary level, to creating a climate of
confidence between Europe and Iran.
Appendix 1 – Resolution 1436 (2005)NoteNote
Iran’s nuclear programme: the need for
an international response
1 The Parliamentary Assembly is worried by various
reports claiming that the Iranian authorities have been developing
nuclear technologies that might be used for producing nuclear weapons,
following evidence of the development of missiles with a range which
would include Council of Europe member states.
2 Iran has acknowledged that it has been developing, for almost
twenty years, and without informing the International Atomic Energy
Agency (IAEA), a secret nuclear programme including, inter alia, uranium enrichment.
In so doing, Iran has failed in its commitments under the Treaty
on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and has raised
suspicion that its nuclear programme has a military purpose.
3 If Iran were to become yet another state equipped with nuclear
weapons this would substantially increase the risk of destabilisation
in the Middle East and the Persian Gulf area, and would become a
major threat to the whole international community.
4 Iran must be aware that the international community will not
tolerate its attempts to develop nuclear weapons and is ready to
adopt a common response for which the consequences for Iran would
largely outweigh the supposed benefits of nuclear status.
5 On the other hand, Iran should be assured that its legitimate
security concerns will be addressed, but it must agree to recognise
the security concerns of all states in the region and, in particular,
the existence of the State of Israel and its right to security.
Moreover, Iran should be reassured that its readiness to meet the international
community’s concerns about its nuclear programme would open up new
possibilities for international co-operation for the benefit of
the Iranian people.
6 In this context, the Assembly welcomes ongoing diplomatic
efforts by France, Germany and the United Kingdom (E3/EU) aimed
at ensuring, through negotiations, that Iran proves its full compliance
with its obligations under the NPT and allay the international community’s
concerns that its nuclear programme is aimed at building nuclear
7 The Assembly notes with satisfaction that the United States
has recently announced its readiness to provide support to European
The Assembly calls on the authorities of the Islamic Republic
i to fully co-operate with
ii to strictly abide by the NPT and the Safeguards Agreement
iii to ratify the Additional Protocol to the NPT which provides
a more efficient verification framework and to continue to comply
with its provisions pending ratification;
to take further steps towards meeting the international
community’s concerns over Iran’s nuclear programme and rebuilding
lasting confidence in its peaceful nature and, inter alia,
a provide full and accurate information to IAEA on its past
and current nuclear programmes;
b allow free and unimpeded access to its nuclear sites and
research facilities, as well as to other sites if necessary, whether
or not they fall under the NPT regime;
c take voluntary action going beyond the NPT requirements,
including in particular a sustained suspension and eventually the
end of its enrichment-related and reprocessing activities.
The Assembly calls on Council of Europe member and Observer
i to provide full support
to the E3/EU diplomatic efforts with Iran;
ii through bilateral contacts, to encourage the Iranian authorities
to show good will and restore the confidence of the international
community by opening its nuclear programmes, in particular those
which raise suspicion, to international control;
iii to envisage economic incentives that would compensate
Iran’s readiness to go beyond its commitments under the NPT;
iv to give appropriate consideration to Iran’s security concerns,
and to consider ways of ensuring peace, enhancing stability and
promoting co-operation in the Middle East and Persian Gulf, including
the promotion of a nuclear weapons-free zone in the region, as recommended
by the United Nations General Assembly;
v to engage in a multi-level dialogue with Iran aimed at
promoting pluralist democracy, respect for human rights, the rule
of law and open society;
vi to provide full and efficient support to the IAEA activities
in relation to Iran and to ensure full and timely information sharing;
to take advantage of the forthcoming NPT Review Conference
(May 2005) to strengthen the non-proliferation regime, including, inter alia
a strengthening the IAEA inspection and verification capacities;
b b. strengthening
export control policies and practices on dual-use technologies;
c c. ensuring that
any possible misuse of civilian programmes for military purposes
will be excluded;
d d. giving proper
consideration to the IAEA initiative aimed at limiting the spread
of nuclear enrichment technologies and putting all enrichment activities
under international control while ensuring access to nuclear fuel
for countries without enrichment capabilities;
e e. providing better
security guarantees to non-nuclear states;
viii to encourage co-operation with the IAEA and accession
to the NPT by states not yet parties to the treaty.
The Assembly calls on the European Union to:
i resume negotiations with Iran on
a trade and co-operation agreement with due regard to the progress
of negotiations on nuclear issues and to the implementation of democracy
and human rights;
ii envisage other incentives, including in the field of nuclear
energy and other high technologies, that could be offered to Iran
in the case of a substantial progress in the negotiations conducted
by the E3/EU.
11 The Assembly resolves to remain seized by the issue of the
Iranian nuclear programme and instructs its Political Affairs Committee
to continue to follow this matter closely.
12 The Assembly resolves to envisage measures to be taken in
order to promote democratic values, full respect for human rights
and fundamental freedoms and an open society in Iran through parliamentary dialogue.
Appendix 2 Resolution 1567 (2007)NoteNote
Iran’s nuclear programme: the need for
an international response
The Parliamentary Assembly refers to Resolution 1436 (2005)
Iran’s nuclear programme: the need for an international response,
in which it resolved to remain seized of the question of the Iranian
nuclear programme. It takes note of the main developments relating
to the Iranian nuclear issue since April 2005 and regrets that the
situation has deteriorated considerably.
2 The Assembly is preoccupied by Iran’s continuing failure to
respond to serious and well-founded concerns of the international
community about the nature of its past and present nuclear programme,
and is concerned by the declared intention of the Iranian authorities
to speed up and broaden work carried out in the nuclear field, including
uranium enrichment on an industrial scale.
3 It takes note that on 24 September 2005 the International
Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) adopted a resolution stating that Iran
is not in compliance with its obligations under the Treaty on the
Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) Safeguards Agreement.
4 It particularly deplores that Iran, to date, has not ratified
the Additional Protocol to the Safeguards Agreement, has put an
end to its voluntary implementation of this protocol on a provisional
basis and has significantly lowered its level of co-operation with
5 It further regrets the rejection by Iran of a comprehensive
solution to the nuclear issue presented by Mr Javier Solana on behalf
of the group of six countries (China, France, Germany, Russian Federation,
United Kingdom and United States) in June 2006.
6 It is particularly concerned by Iran’s refusal to comply with
United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1696 (2006), 1737 (2006)
and 1747 (2007), which make it mandatory for Iran to suspend all
uranium enrichment activities. Such an attitude constitutes an open
challenge to the international community and calls for a common
7 In this context, the Assembly underscores the common understanding
among the group of six countries that the possession of nuclear
weapons by Iran would pose an unacceptable threat both to the already
fragile situation in the Middle East and to international peace
and security as a whole. It welcomes the fact that the members of
the UN Security Council showed unity on Iran by unanimously adopting
Resolutions 1737 and 1747, and that this common position is gathering
growing international support.
8 The Assembly believes that Iran has the potential to become
a respected actor in regional and global affairs and assume the
role of a pillar of regional stability to which it aspires. It acknowledges
that Iran’s legitimate rights must be respected and its security
concerns addressed. However, this requires that Iran act in a responsible
manner and in full compliance with its international obligations.
Iran must also fully respect human rights as being universal and
individual. The Assembly also considers it to be of great importance
that Iran establishes democracy and the rule of law.
9 Regrettably, acts by the Iranian leadership, such as provocative
statements regarding Israel, the refusal to recognise Israel and
its right to security, the denial of the Holocaust, as well as its
support for the Hamas and Hezbollah terrorist groups, are in clear
contradiction with generally accepted norms of international relations.
10 Such attitudes further undermine the international community’s
trust in Iran, which has already been compromised by an almost twenty
year-long policy of concealment of its nuclear programme. Moreover,
they lead to an even greater isolation of Iran, which is contrary
to the interests of the Iranian people. Iran’s poor human rights
record is a cause for additional mistrust and concern.
11 The Assembly remains convinced that the solution to the Iranian
nuclear issue must be found through negotiation and diplomacy. It
welcomes the renewed efforts by Mr Solana, on behalf of the group
of six countries, aimed at convincing Iran to comply with the UN
Security Council requirements. It further welcomes the United States’
readiness to engage directly in the negotiations, subject to Iran’s
suspension of uranium enrichment.
12 Mutual confidence is of key importance, both in finding a
solution to the nuclear issue which would take into account Iran’s
rights while responding to other countries’ concerns and in allowing
the Iranians to take the place they deserve among the community
of nations. In order to restore that confidence, the Iranian leadership must
change its position from defiance to co-operation.
13 Broader contacts with various parts of Iranian society, including
individual contacts, would be instrumental in building trust and
confidence, whereas the further isolation of Iran would hinder them.
The Assembly stands ready to contribute to efforts to build
confidence by engaging in a dialogue with the Iranian Parliament
and in contacts with the civil society of the country. Such a dialogue
should not be limited to nuclear issues but should encompass the
Council of Europe’s basic values of democracy, the rule of law and
the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and could
include other matters of mutual concern. In this context, it refers
to its Resolutions 1520
which call on the parliaments of the Middle East,
including that of Iran, to contribute to regional stability and
to engage in a meaningful dialogue for peace.
The Assembly urges Iran to:
put an end to its policy of defiance and to co-operate
with the international community so as to alleviate concerns about
its nuclear programme, and in particular to:
without delay with United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1696,
1737 and 1747, and to suspend all activities in the nuclear field
which are matters of concern as reflected in the said resolutions;
15.1.2 resume full co-operation with the IAEA, to provide it
with exhaustive and accurate information on its past and current
nuclear programme, and to resolve outstanding issues which prompted
the agency to declare it in non-compliance with its obligations
under the NPT Safeguards Agreement;
15.1.3 ratify without delay and to effectively implement the
Additional Protocol to the NPT Safeguards Agreement, and to take
voluntary action going beyond the requirements of the additional
address other issues which cause the international community
to mistrust Iran, and in particular to:
fundamentally its attitude towards the State of Israel, to recognise
its right to security and to abstain from anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic
15.2.2 stop supporting terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah;
15.2.3 refrain from any activities aimed at destabilising Iraq
and to use its influence in order to promote peace, order and reconciliation
in this country;
15.2.4 respect universally recognised human rights and fundamental
The Assembly calls on Council of Europe member and observer
16.1 provide full support
to the efforts of the group of six countries aimed at a negotiated
solution to the Iranian nuclear issue, along the lines of the relevant
UN Security Council resolutions;
16.2 contribute to strengthening international support for
the UN Security Council position on sanctions against Iran, in particular
among states participating in the Non-Aligned Movement, and to fully and
rapidly implement them;
16.3 intensify contacts and multiply channels of dialogue with
Iran at government and parliamentary levels, as a means of confidence
building and conveying to Iran the concerns of the international community;
16.4 develop co-operation with Iran in areas of mutual interest
and shared concerns which do not fall under the UN Security Council
sanctions, such as the fight against drug trafficking;
16.5 facilitate people-to-people contacts, scientific, cultural
and student exchanges with Iran, thus contributing to its opening
to the world.
The Assembly resolves to:
seized of the issue of the Iranian nuclear programme, and asks its
Political Affairs Committee to continue to follow this matter closely;
17.2 seek to open, at committee level, a dialogue with the
Iranian Parliament on matters relating to the core values of the
Council of Europe, as well as on other issues of mutual concern.
It reiterates its call on the parliaments of the Middle East, including
the Iranian Parliament, to contribute to regional stability and
to engage in a meaningful dialogue for peace.