IAEA Board of Governors, Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Resolution in the Syrian Arab Republic, Statement Robert Wood, Chargé d’Affaires

IAEA Board of Governors

June 4-8, 2012

Agenda Item 7(e)

Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Resolution in the Syrian Arab Republic


Robert Wood

Chargé d’Affaires

U.S. Mission to International Organizations in Vienna

June 6, 2012

Mr. Chairman,

We thank the Director General for his remarks regarding the serious and unresolved issue of Syria’s safeguards noncompliance.  We deeply regret that fully one year after the Board of Governors called on Syria to remedy its noncompliance, the Syrian government has still not granted the Agency any of the cooperation necessary to address that noncompliance.  Although Syria has said that events on the ground in Syria, events that I would note involve the Syrian government’s deliberate use of lethal force against civilians, prevent Syria from cooperating with the IAEA.  This is a cynical rationale for continuing to stonewall the Agency.  The Syrian government’s own destabilizing actions are no justification for Syria’s refusal to abide by its commitments under the NPT, and to its Safeguards Agreement and this Board.

One year ago, the Board found Syria in noncompliance with its Safeguards Agreement for constructing a clandestine nuclear reactor at Dair Alzour and reported the matter to the Security Council.  Syria’s attempt at constructing a covert plutonium-production reactor remains a serious safeguards violation.  Syria’s rejection of the international community’s calls to remedy this noncompliance shows contempt for this Board and disregard for the system of international safeguards.  Today, it is more than clear that Syria has no intention to cooperate with this Agency regarding its undeclared nuclear activities.  We once again call on Syria to take the steps called for by the Board last June, by cooperating fully with the IAEA and by bringing into force an Additional Protocol.

As the international community has made plain for over a year, Syria must allow access to all relevant locations, materials, and persons, including in particular the three sites the Agency has noted are possibly related to Dair Alzour.  Until Syria does so, the Agency will not be in a position to fulfill its responsibility to verify the correctness and completeness of Syria’s declarations.  And until the Agency is able to resolve questions about the exclusively peaceful nature of Syria’s nuclear program, Syria’s noncompliance will remain a matter of serious concern.  The responsibility remains with Syria to remedy its noncompliance, and to demonstrate a constructive approach in its relations to this Agency, the Syrian people, and the international community.  Only Syria can take the necessary steps to remedy its noncompliance, and to return to productive engagement with the international community.  Until then, the Board must remain seized of this matter, and should be prepared to consider further action if necessary, and we continue to look forward to further detailed reporting from the Director General regarding Syria’s compliance with its obligations.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.