No Policy Change on North Korea

No Policy Change on North Korea
No Policy Change on North Korea

Ambassador in Seoul Hassan Taherian rejected a report Friday by South Korea's new agency, Yonhap, on Tehran's compliance with a recent UN Security Council resolution on North Korea.

Yonhap quoted the envoy as saying in an exclusive TV interview that Tehran is "completely" complying with the latest resolution that the UNSC adopted in the wake of North Korea's nuclear and long-range missile tests earlier this year.

"We are completely complying with that resolution and we are making all those restrictions or limitations ... based on that resolution," Taherian was quoted as saying in an interview with Yonhap News TV, the broadcasting unit of Yonhap News Agency.  

Hours after a written version of the report was released, the diplomat rejected the claim and told Fars News Agency on Friday that he has been "misquoted".

  Principled Stance

"Our principled stance on North Korea is exactly the same position which was reiterated during the recent visit to Tehran by the South Korean president," Taherian stressed, referring to remarks by President Hassan Rouhani at a press conference with his Korean counterpart in Tehran in June, where he called for a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula.

The envoy emphasized Iran's strong opposition to nuclear proliferation and its support and insistence on nuclear disarmament at global levels, and said, "We want a world free of weapons of mass destruction, including chemical and nuclear [arms]."

"We also support nuclear disarmament on the Korean Peninsula."

In the written version of the interview, Yonhap quoted the ambassador as saying, "We're preparing the report of our activity and our efforts for the implementation of that resolution and later on we are going to submit that report to the Security Council."

The Korean news agency itself even expressed surprise at the remarks, saying, "It is very rare for Iran to submit any kind of implementation reports in connection with resolutions imposed on North Korea's nuclear and missile provocations."

In March, the Security Council asked UN member countries to draw up their own plans on how to enforce the sanctions on North Korea under its latest resolution adopted in the wake of Pyongyang's fourth nuclear test and a long-range missile launch in January and February.

They were to submit the plans within 90 days of the UNSC adopting the resolution. That fell on June 2, though it is not a mandatory deadline.