AFP: Japan called on Iran Tuesday to make a “wise judgement” in response to a resolution by the UN nuclear watchdog seeking a freeze on Tehran’s uranium enrichment activities. AFP
TOKYO – Japan called on Iran Tuesday to make a “wise judgement” in response to a resolution by the UN nuclear watchdog seeking a freeze on Tehran’s uranium enrichment activities.
Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura made the appeal in a telephone conversation with his Iranian counterpart, Manoushehr Mottaki, Japan’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
On September 24, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) opened the door to reporting Iran to the UN Security Council for violating international nuclear safeguards, in a divisive vote that signalled an escalation of the West’s face-off with Tehran.
Japan counts on Iran for 16 percent of its oil and has maintained warm relations with the Islamic republic despite an embargo by the United States, Tokyo’s main ally.
The resolution said Iran is in “non-compliance” with international safeguards of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), mainly for hiding sensitive atomic activities for almost two decades.
Machimura told Mottaki that Japan, as the only nation to have been hit with atomic bombs, voted for the resolution because it was a “basic issue” for Tokyo to “strengthen and generalize the NPT regime,” according to the statement.
“The resolution was a clear message representing the international community,” Machimura was quoted as saying.
“We hope that Iran will make a wise judgement” toward an IAEA board meeting in November which could decide whether to take the case to the UN Security Council,” he added.
Mottaki was quoted as replying that Iran had been seeking to make peaceful use of its atomic energy and would not accept “apartheid” in nuclear development among different nations.
He also said Iran had been calmly dealing with nuclear issues and accepting IAEA inspections, according to the statement. “We are ready to continue cooperating with the IAEA,” Mottaki reportedly added.