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Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 10th July 2013.

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Photo of David Davies David Davies Chair, Welsh Affairs Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his policy is on the right of Iran to enrich uranium under the terms of the non-proliferation treaty.

Photo of Alistair Burt Alistair Burt The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

The non-proliferation treaty (NPT) does not refer specifically to a right to enrich. Article IV.1 of the NPT says

"Nothing in this Treaty shall be interpreted as affecting the inalienable right of all the Parties to the Treaty to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination and in conformity with Articles I and II of the Treaty.”

However, the international community has lost confidence that Iran's nuclear programme is wholly for peaceful purposes. Iran has a long history of non-compliance with its safeguards obligations and continues to not fully co-operate with ¦the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), including on questions it has about activities Iran has carried out relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device. Furthermore, the size and shape of Iran's nuclear programme has no credible civilian explanation.

For this reason the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has required Iran to suspend

“all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities” and

“work on all heavy water-related projects” in successive legally binding resolutions. We continue to call on Iran to meet its international obligations under these UNSC resolutions.

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