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2013年11月26日 (火)

イラン核協議 外交解決への歴史的一歩だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun November 26, 2013
Breakthrough deal 1st step toward solving Iran nuclear program issue
イラン核協議 外交解決への歴史的一歩だ(11月25日付・読売社説)

A big step forward has been taken toward a diplomatic solution to Iran’s nuclear development program. All parties concerned must make a concerted effort to steadily implement the agreement to ensure the accord leads to an easing of tensions in the Middle East.

Regarding Iran’s suspected nuclear weapons development plans, Iran and six other countries, the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council—the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China—and Germany, reached an agreement on a set of “first-phase” arrangements for resolution of the problem.

The period for implementation of the accords is set over the next six months, during which a final solution is to be explored.

This is the first agreement since the start of negotiations in 2008 on Iran’s suspected nuclear ambitions.

Despite a string of Security Council resolutions imposing economic sanctions on Tehran, Iran has refused to halt its uranium enrichment, a destabilizing factor in the Middle East. Tehran’s decision to accept specific measures to curb its nuclear ambitions is of the highest importance.

In the “first phase” agreement, Iran is to bring to an end production of 20 percent enriched uranium—a level that could eventually be used to manufacture nuclear weapons. Tehran also will stop construction work on a heavy-water reactor capable of yielding plutonium, the fissile material for nuclear weapons.

A team of inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency will monitor Iran’s compliance with these accords.

The United States and European countries, for their part, have committed to scaling back some of the economic sanctions. As a result, Iran will be able to access, among other things, $4.2 billion (about ¥420 billion) in proceeds from oil exports that have been frozen by financial institutions overseas.

Japan must do its bit

Iran must act with sincerity in putting the accord into action with the cooperation of the IAEA. Building confidence with the United States and European nations through the first-phase implementation of the agreement is undoubtedly Iran’s sole road to resuscitating its economy, which has been seriously affected by the sanctions.

The agreement may prove to be a historic milestone for Washington as it could result in an about-turn in its Middle East diplomacy. The United States severed diplomatic ties with Iran 33 years ago, and the two countries have remained hostile to each other since then.

In a statement Saturday, President Barack Obama hailed the breakthrough deal with Iran as “an important first step toward a comprehensive solution [to Iran’s nuclear program].”

Iran has insisted it has a right to maintain a uranium enrichment program for peaceful utilization of nuclear energy, and no conclusion was reached on this points. Israel and U.S. congressional hard-liners fiercely protested the accord in its entirety.

The international community should hereafter make endeavors to overcome these problems one by one so a full-fledged diplomatic solution to Iran’s nuclear program can be realized.

If the Iranian nuclear issue moves toward a resolution, there is a greater possibility international pressure will increase on North Korea to abandon its own nuclear program.

On his trip to Iran earlier this month, Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida met with his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif. They agreed to ensure freedom of navigation in the Hormuz Strait, through which most oil tankers bound for Japan pass.

The Iranian situation directly affects Japan’s energy security. Japan should play a proactive role in helping to achieve a diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear issue.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 25, 2013)
(2013年11月25日01時17分  読売新聞)


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