Statement by The Elders on Iran

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Friday, 18 July, 2008

The Elders urge good faith negotiations with Iran on its nuclear programme and call on Iran to cooperate fully with the International Atomic Energy Agency.

We welcome the news that US Under Secretary of State William Burns will be joining the EU, China, France, Germany, Russia and the UK in talks on July 18 with Iran regarding Iran’s nuclear programme. The current impasse needs to be resolved through negotiations that recognise both the rights and the obligations of signatories of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the cornerstone of the global nuclear non-proliferation regime.

At the same time, media reports suggesting that Iranian nuclear facilities could be attacked are deeply troubling, for the unilateral use of force would exacerbate an already tense situation in the region and have unpredictable and far-reaching consequences. Such action would be contrary to the United Nations Charter and international law.

Instead we urge good faith negotiations aimed at addressing the security concerns of all parties. And we call upon Iran to cooperate fully with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in clarifying all outstanding questions related to its nuclear program.

Over the longer term, we must work for sustainable security in the region, end the isolation of Iran, halt nuclear weapons proliferation and advance peaceful relations among people and nations – both regionally and globally.

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