Statement to the IAEA Board of Governors on Syria

IAEA Board of Governors Meeting
March 4-8, 2013

Agenda Item 5(e)
Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Syrian Arab Republic

U.S. Statement

Ambassador Joseph Macmanus
Permanent U.S. Representative to the IAEA

Mr. Chairman,

We thank the Director General for his remarks underscoring the serious and unresolved issue of Syria’s safeguards noncompliance.  The United States deeply regrets that the Asad regime continues in its refusal to engage the Agency substantively, or to provide any of the cooperation necessary to remedy Syria’s noncompliance.  Instead, the regime continues to focus on a brutal repression of the Syrian people.  As we have said previously, we categorically reject any suggestion that the instability caused by the regime’s own violent and reprehensible actions could somehow serve as justification for its failure to meet Syria’s NPT and IAEA safeguards obligations.

It has been nearly two years since the Board of Governors found Syria in noncompliance with its Safeguards Agreement for the clandestine construction of a nuclear reactor at Dair Alzour.  In June 2011, the Board called on Syria urgently to remedy its noncompliance and to bring into force an Additional Protocol.  The Board also requested that the Director General report the matter to the UN Security Council.  Since that time, the Asad regime has shown no interest whatsoever in addressing Syria’s noncompliance.  It has instead fully disregarded Syria’s international obligations, and has displayed nothing but contempt for this Board.

It remains essential that Syria cooperate with the Agency to remedy its noncompliance.  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.  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 to the international community.

The Board must remain seized of the 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.