Kazakhstan supports Iran's access to peaceful nuclear energy
( IRNA ) - The Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Iran Yerik Utembayev says his country supports Iran's right to acquire peaceful nuclear technology.
" Kazakhstan supports peaceful nuclear research and is opposed to proliferation of nuclear weapons," Utembayev told IRNA in an interview Tuesday.
"Access to peaceful nuclear energy is the legitimate right of every country. We all know that oil and gas resources are not everlasting," Utembayev noted.
"Nonproliferation of nuclear weapons is one of the security objectives in the region," he said, adding that for the same reason Kazakhstan had voluntarily dismantled the nuclear weapons it possessed until a few years ago.
Kazakhstan inherited nuclear-tipped missiles, a nuclear weapon test site, and biological and chemical weapon production facilities when the Soviet Union collapsed.
"We destroyed all our nuclear weapons in return for security guarantees from the developed world," Ambassador Utembayev said. He added that Kazakhstan and Russia now do uranium enrichment jointly.
Asked about ways to put an end to the nuclear standoff between Iran and the West, he said the issue must be resolved through negotiations and within the International Atomic Energy Agency.
"Both sides must be transparent and continue negotiations within the IAEA," he said, adding that negotiations were apparently working in the case of North Korea too. "Diplomatic contacts are very important here."
He said Kazakhstan had proposed to Iran to join the Russian-Kazakh consortium for uranium enrichment and was still waiting for a response from Tehran.