Statement to the IAEA Board of Governors on Syria

IAEA Board of Governors Meeting
June 3-7, 2013

Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Syrian Arab Republic

U.S. Statement

Ambassador Joseph E. Macmanus

Permanent U.S. Representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency

Mr. Chairman,

We thank the Director General for his remarks concerning the serious and long outstanding issue of Syria’s safeguards noncompliance.  The United States deeply regrets that, in the course of two full years, the Asad regime has refused to engage substantively with the Agency on the nature of the Dair Alzour site or the three other locations cited in the Director General’s reports.  Substantive engagement is necessary to remedy Syria’s noncompliance.  Instead, the regime has focused on a brutal suppression of the Syrian people.  As we have made clear, the regime’s own violent and reprehensible actions, and the instability it has wrought, are no justification for its failure to meet Syria’s NPT and IAEA safeguards obligations.

Two years ago, the Board of Governors found Syria in noncompliance with its Safeguards Agreement for the clandestine construction of a nuclear reactor at Dair Alzour.  At that time, the Board called on Syria to urgently remedy its noncompliance, and to bring into force an Additional Protocol.  Shortly thereafter, and at the Board’s request, the Director General reported the matter to the UN Security Council.  In two years since that time, the Asad regime has demonstrated no serious intent whatsoever of addressing Syria’s noncompliance.  It has instead ignored Syria’s international obligations, and has disregarded the decisions of this Board.

It remains essential that Syria fully 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 the reactor at 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.

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, including in the form of a written report.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.