Explanation of Vote by H.E. Ambassador Ertuğrul Apakan, Permanent Representative of Turkey at the 6335th Meeting of the Security Council (Non-Proliferation / Iran)

Ertuğrul Apakan 09.06.2010
Mr. President,

Turkey is fully committed to its responsibilities in the field of non-proliferation and as such is a party to all major international non-proliferation instruments and regimes. We do not want any country in our region to possess nuclear weapons. Such a development would make it even more difficult the attainment of the goal of establishment of a zone free of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East, which Turkey attaches great importance.

Turkey would like to see the restoration of confidence within the international community on the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear program. To this end, we see no viable alternative to a diplomatic and peaceful solution. It is with this understanding that we have signed, together with Brazil, the Tehran Declaration which aims to implement the swap formula elaborated by the IAEA in October last year with a view to providing nuclear fuel to Tehran Research Reactor.

Mr. President,

Tehran Declaration has created a new reality with respect to Iran's nuclear program. The Declaration, which was designed as a confidence-building measure, would - if implemented - contribute to the resolution of the substantive issues relating to Iran's nuclear program in a positive and constructive atmosphere. The Declaration in essence provides a first step in a broader roadmap that could lead to a comprehensive settlement of the problem.

In other words, the Tehran Declaration provides a new and important window of opportunity for diplomacy. Sufficient time and space should be allowed for its implementation. We are deeply concerned that adoption of sanctions would negatively affect the momentum created by the Declaration and the overall diplomatic process.

On the other hand, it is rather unhelpful that the responses of the Vienna Group were received only a few hours ago. The fact that the response has a negative nature and that it has been sent on the day of the adoption of the sanctions resolution had a determining effect on our position. Our position demonstrates our commitment to the Tehran Declaration and to the diplomatic efforts.

Having said that, our vote against the resolution today should not be construed as an indifference to the problems emanating from Iran's nuclear program. There are serious question marks within the international community regarding the purpose and nature of Iran's nuclear program and these need to be clarified. Taking this opportunity, we call upon Iran to show absolute transparency about its nuclear program and demonstrate full cooperation with the IAEA in order to restore confidence.

Mr. President,

Turkey attaches great importance to the resolution of this problem through peaceful means and negotiations. The sanctions resolution has been adopted today despite our active and unrelenting efforts in this direction. However, the adoption of the resolution should not be seen as an end to diplomatic efforts. We are of the firm opinion that, after the adoption of this resolution, efforts towards finding a peaceful solution to this problem has to be continued even more resolutely.

On the other hand, we take note of the concerns of the international community regarding the uranium enrichment by Iran at 20 percent. We expect swift steps by the Iranian authorities to dispel the concerns of the international community which have led to certain question marks regarding the peaceful nature of its nuclear program.

Now our expectation from Iran is to continue working towards the implementation of the Tehran Declaration. The Declaration must stay on the table. Iran should come to the negotiation table with the P5+1 to take up its nuclear program, including the suspension of enrichment. We will continue to contribute to this process.

With these considerations, the Republic of Turkey shall vote against the resolution today.