Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Syrian Arab Republic

IAEA Board of Governors Meeting

November 29-30, 2012

Agenda Item 4(c)

Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Syrian Arab Republic

U.S. Statement

Robert Wood

Chargé d’affaires

U.S. Mission to the IAEA

Mr. Chairman,

We thank the Director General for his remarks underscoring the serious and unresolved issue of Syria’s safeguards noncompliance.  We deeply regret that the Asad regime has failed to provide the Agency with the cooperation necessary to remedy its noncompliance.  Instead, the regime has focused on a brutal repression of its own people, and has pointed to the ensuing chaos as an excuse for not cooperating with the Agency’s investigation.  As we have said previously, the regime’s own destabilizing actions are no justification for failing to meet its NPT and IAEA safeguards obligations, or to respond to the demands of this Board.

It has been 18 months since the Board of Governors found Syria in noncompliance with its Safeguards Agreement for the clandestine construction of a reactor optimized for plutonium production at Dair Alzour.  The Board called on Syria to urgently remedy this noncompliance and bring into force an Additional Protocol, and requested that the Director General report the matter to the Security Council.  The Asad regime’s refusal to address its noncompliance shows contempt for this Board and disregard for the system of international safeguards.  Equally troubling, Syria’s tactic of sanitizing covert nuclear facilities represents a broader problem of safeguards evasion facing the Board, most recently demonstrated again by Iranian activities at the Parchin site.

It remains essential that the Agency receive the necessary Syrian cooperation to remedy the noncompliance found under Syria’s safeguards agreement.  That cooperation must include access to all relevant locations, materials, and persons, including the three sites suspected of having a functional relationship to Dair Alzour.  We also note again that an Additional Protocol must be in force before the Agency will be in a position to offer credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear activities in Syria.  Until the Agency is able to resolve all outstanding questions about the exclusively peaceful nature of Syria’s nuclear program, Syria’s noncompliance will remain a matter of serious concern for the international community.

The Board must remain seized of this matter, and should be prepared to consider further action if necessary.  We will continue to look forward to further reporting from the Director General on this issue.

Thank you Mr. Chairman.