(IRNA) - A South African official in Cape Town said on Wednesday that no evidence had been found proving any diversion in Iran's peaceful nuclear activities.
South African Deputy Foreign Minister Aziz Pahad, whose country takes over the rotating presidency of the UN Security Council from Slovakia on Thursday (today), was speaking to reporters at a press conference.
Pointing to the latest report of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei on Iran's nuclear activities, Pahad pointed out that it did not also declare Iran's nuclear enrichment activities to be in violation of its NPT commitments.
He noted that the IAEA called for clarification by Iran of certain issues relating to its previous nuclear activities, and said South Africa expects the Iranian government to settle those issues.
Referring to talks held between South African President Thabo Mbeki and Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Larijani this week, Pahad said that Iran had declared readiness to continue its cooperation with the IAEA if its nuclear dossier was returned to the agency.
South Africa calls for a diplomatic solution to end the dispute over Iran's peaceful nuclear program, he said, and added tht Pretoria would continue its efforts to find a mechanism that would create mutual confidence.
Asked what impact South Africa's presidency of the Security Council would have on Iran's nuclear case, he said that nothing could be said about the Council's decisions in the future because its five permanent members -- China, Russia, Britain, France and the US -- plus Germany (Group 5+1) were still continuing talks behind closed doors.
He criticized the world's atomic powers for failing to disarm and said South Africa would continue its campaign against countries which possess atomic weapons or intend to produce them.
Pahad noted that the US Congress' Baker-Hamilton report had explicitly stated that it would be impossible to resolve Middle East issues unless the Palestinian problem was solved.
He stressed the key role played by Iran and Syria in resolving crises in the Middle East and said his country would continue its consultations with the two states in order to obtain a clearer view issues affecting the region.