US, GCC call on Iran to suspend all enrichment activities

Posted in Iran , Broader Middle East | 29-Sep-08 | Source: Gulf in the Media

Iranian technicians work at the Isfahan Uranium Conversion Facilities, 420 kms south of Tehran in 2007.

Foreign Ministers of the United States, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Egypt, Jordan and Iraq called upon Iran on Thursday to suspend all enrichment related activities and cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

"The Ministers called on Iran to honor its promise of cooperating with the IAEA, its commitment to develop peaceful nuclear power, and its assurance that it is not seeking production of nuclear weapons," said a joint statement made available today.

"The Ministers urged Iran to cooperate fully with UN Security Council resolutions mandating Iran to suspend all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities," they added while expressing support "for the full exercise of navigational rights in the Strait of Hormuz, an international waterway vital to global commerce." The group of ministers met in New York yesterday, after two meetings this year in Abu Dhabi last July and Manama last April, reaffirmed "commitment to the peaceful resolution of regional conflicts" and condemned all acts of terrorism in all its forms, extremism, sectarian violence, and sectarian agendas.

The ministers hoped that the Annapolis peace process "will come to fruition to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and to establish an independent, viable, and democratic Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with Israel" and pressed for the implementation of the Arab Peace Initiative.

"The Ministers expressed their concern about the continuing building of settlements in the occupied territories and the negative impact this has on the peace negotiations. They urged Israel to establish a moratorium on settlement activities and to dismantle settlement outposts," added the statement. The ministers reaffirmed their support "for the national unity, independence, and territorial integrity of Iraq, and the important role a sovereign, stable, and prosperous Iraq plays in the wider region." "They recognized the need to support Iraqs constitutional political process and national reconciliation, while underlining the importance of the rule of law, institution building, and the holding of regularly scheduled elections," added the statement.

On Lebanon, the ministers welcomed political progress since the Doha agreement last May with the start of the national dialogue and called for the normalization of relationship between Lebanon and Syria. The ministers decided to continue consultations on a regular basis every six months on a rotation basis; next meeting expected in early 2009 in Baghdad.