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Sabbagh reaffirms Syria’s transparent cooperation with the IAEA

VIENNA, (ST)- Syria’s Permanent Representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Bassam al-Sabbagh has stressed that holding the IAEA’s annual conference provides a platform for discussing the agency’s activities and means of overcoming the challenges facing its work to help it carry out its tasks independently, professionally, neutrally and away from any political agendas that serves certain countries.

In Syria’s statement during the 64th conference of the IAEA in Vienna, Sabbagh said that the item being discussed by the board of governors regarding the implementation of the IAEA Safeguards Agreement in the Syrian Arab Republic proves that some countries are exploiting the agency to serve their own political agendas. For example, instead of condemning Israel’s aggression on Syrian territories in 2007, which is a flagrant violation of international law, some countries used this aggression as a pretext to attack Syria, distort its image and practice political pressure on Damascus, he clarified.

Sabbagh reiterated that the Israeli recognition of committing this aggression after a decade of denial necessitates the agency to immediately send its inspection mission to Israel. However, discussing this item (implementing the safeguards agreement) is useless if Israel doesn’t cooperate with the agency’s mission, he said.

 The Syrian diplomat reaffirmed Syria’s transparent cooperation with the IAEA and the agency’s periodical inspection missions, its keenness to settle all pending issues and its commitment to its obligations.

He said that Syria welcomes Iran’s commitment to its obligations pursuant to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), pointing out that the US unilateral and unjustified withdrawal from this plan constitutes a flagrant violation of the US Security Council No. 2231 for 2015 and it exposes this important diplomatic achievement to danger.

Sabbagh pointed out that the decision made during the 53rd Conference, held under the title “Israel’s nuclear abilities”, sent a clear message expressing great concern over the Israeli nuclear abilities and demanded that Israel  join the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and put its nuclear facilities to international inspection and the agency’s comprehensive safeguards system.

He reiterated that Israel’s aggressive behavior in the region and its insistence on not joining the NPT and the IAEA safeguards agreement poses a serious threat to international and regional peace and security. He called for intensive international efforts to make the Middle East a nuclear weapon-free zone.

Hamda Mustafa