U.S. Statement to the IAEA Board of Governors on the Application of Safeguards in the Islamic Republic of Iran

IAEA Board of Governors Meeting

September 10-14, 2012

Agenda Item 7(c)

Implementation of the NPT safeguards agreement and relevant provisions of United Nations Security Council resolutions in the Islamic Republic of Iran

U.S. Statement

Robert Wood

Chargé d’Affaires

U.S. Mission to the IAEA

Mr. Chairman,


The United States would like to extend its appreciation and gratitude to the Director General and his staff for the latest report on the implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and relevant provisions of the Security Council resolutions on Iran.  We especially appreciate the technical facts and tables at the very end of the latest report, which are very useful in painting the full picture of the current situation with Iran in an easy-to-understand format.  We also would like to thank Assistant Director General Rafael Grossi and Deputy Director General Nackaerts for their extensive technical briefing last week.


As the Director General reported, Iran continues to violate numerous Security Council and Board of Governors resolutions by continuing to expand its enrichment activities and advance its heavy water-related activities, while refusing to implement the Additional Protocol and modified Code 3.1. The Director General’s conclusions are clear:  especially in light of developments on the ground in Iran, the Agency is still unable to provide a credible assurance of the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran and therefore cannot conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is dedicated to peaceful activities.


The findings in the Director General’s report are vivid:   Iran is not implementing its binding obligations or exhibiting the cooperation necessary with the IAEA in order to establish international confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of its nuclear program. Iran has had several years to address the Agency’s and international community’s concerns regarding its nuclear program, yet Iran has not taken the opportunity to do so.  Iran wishes to be treated like a regular member of the IAEA and enjoy the benefits of peaceful uses of nuclear energy, yet unlike the vast majority of its members, it utterly refuses to act like a responsible member by not complying with the agreements and obligations which it freely accepted and which condition its “nuclear rights.”


Mr. Chairman,


The United States is disappointed that, despite the valiant efforts by the Secretariat to intensify its dialogue with Iran and reach an agreement on a structured approach to resolve the longstanding concerns regarding the possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear program, Iran has failed to reciprocate the IAEA’s effort.  This is despite an acknowledgement by Dr. Jalili of Iran’s Supreme Council for National Security that the disagreements between Iran and the Agency would not prevent an agreement from being reached.  It is clear by Iran’s dismissal of the Agency’s concerns that, despite Iran’s repeated pledges of cooperation and the reiteration in the November 2011 Board of Governors resolution of Iran’s obligation to do so, Iran has no intention of responding in good faith. It is also telling that, as DDG Nackaerts noted during the Technical Briefing, Iran continues to press the IAEA to agree to elements in the structured approach that are contrary to standard IAEA verification practices.


The United States would also like to make very clear that, while a structured approach may be a useful tool for the IAEA to further its investigation into the possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program, we should not confuse means with ends here.  The lack of a structured approach should not serve as an excuse for Iran to continue its refusal to cooperate.  The underlying requirement for Iran to cooperate with the IAEA is laid out in Iran’s safeguards agreement and reaffirmed in several Board of Governors and Security Council resolutions.


This brings me to my next point – Iran’s actions at Parchin.  It is even more troubling that Iran is blatantly hampering the Agency’s ability to carry out its mandate by systematically demolishing the facility that has been identified by the IAEA as meriting inspection at the Parchin site.  As we saw in DDG Nackaerts’ technical briefing last week, since the Agency asked to visit that precise location in January, Iran has been taking measures that appear consistent with an effort to remove evidence of its past activities at Parchin in a deliberate attempt to prevent the Agency from conducting effective verification activities that should not be countenanced by this Board. Iran’s claim that its activities observed in commercial satellite imagery of the location at Parchin have “nothing to do with specified location by the Agency” only deepens our concerns and demonstrates the need for Agency access.   The United States reiterates its call for Iran to grant the Agency immediate access to the location within the Parchin site and once again asks:  If Iran has nothing to hide there, why did it begin altering the site as soon as the IAEA asked to visit?


Mr. Chairman,


The United States remains deeply concerned about Iran’s continued expansion of its UN Security Council-prohibited enrichment and heavy water activities, especially its accelerated expansion of centrifuge installation at the Fordow facility near Qom and continued production of near-20-percent-enriched uranium. Between the release of the Director General’s May report and his August report, Iran effectively doubled the enrichment capacity of the Fordow facility, moving from six installed centrifuge cascades to twelve installed cascades.  This is a very provocative development and will only serve to heighten regional tensions for no understandable peaceful rationale.  Iran has now accumulated 189.4 kilograms of uranium enriched to near 20 percent and continues to produce even more, despite no logical peaceful need to amass such a stockpile of this material.  Iran now has an amount of near-20-percent-enriched uranium equivalent to what Argentina provided to Iran, sufficient for fueling the Tehran Research Reactor for over a decade.  There is no peaceful need for Iran to continue enriching to near 20 percent.  We also note that the Agency still requires additional information from Iran to explain the ever-changing purpose of this facility, which Iran originally built in secrecy and only disclosed to the Agency after realizing the secret was out.


Our concerns with the Fordow facility are amplified by Iran’s ongoing refusal to cooperate with the Agency regarding its concerns about the possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program.  The Director General’s report again references information the IAEA has collected and considers credible, based on its own independent analysis, that indicates Iran carried out activities that are relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device, that, prior to 2003 the activities took place under a structured program, and that some activities continued after 2003 and may be ongoing today.  The Security Council and Board of Governors have repeatedly reaffirmed Iran’s obligation to cooperate fully with the Agency to address the international community’s concerns with its nuclear program, specifically its possible military dimensions. Moreover, the United States reminds Iran that its obligations to the IAEA are separate from its current engagement with the E3+3.  The E3+3 process does not, and cannot, replace Iran’s obligation to cooperate fully with the IAEA nor should it provide any “compensation” in return for Iran finally cooperating with the Agency.


Mr. Chairman,


As reiterated by the Board of Governors, the Agency considers it essential for Iran to engage with the Agency without further delay on the substance of the Agency’s concerns.  While agreeing to a structured approach to resolve these concerns would be a good first step, progress will only be measured by Iran actually taking substantive actions to resolve these concerns. It would not be enough for Iran to simply sign a document and claim that the problem is solved.  We again call on Iran to cooperate immediately with the Agency and address these serious concerns without further delay.


The Board of Governors has a responsibility to act to preserve the integrity of the Agency and hold Iran accountable to its obligations.  This Board must not allow Iran to continue its pattern of deception, deceit, and flagrant flouting of its international nuclear obligations while continuing its delaying tactics by repeatedly stalling negotiations with the Agency.  It is essential and urgent that Iran cooperate fully and immediately with the IAEA on all outstanding issues. To that end, the United States supports the adoption of a Board of Governors resolution as presented for Board consideration by 17 co-sponsors. We strongly urge all Members to support this resolution and send a clear message to Iran, a message sent in support of a diplomatic solution, that Iran’s continued behavior is dangerous and unacceptable.


Thank you, Mr. Chairman.