U.S. Statement to the IAEA Board of Governors on Syria

IAEA Board of Governors Meeting

September 9-13, 2013


Agenda Item 6(e): 

Implementation of the NPT safeguards agreement in the Syrian Arab Republic


U.S. statement as delivered by Ambassador Macmanus

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


We thank the Director General for his latest report concerning the serious and long-standing issue of Syria’s safeguards noncompliance.  The United States regrets deeply that this issue remains unresolved, and that as the Director General reports, the Asad regime has not engaged substantively with the Agency on the nature of the Dair Alzour site, or the three other locations cited in the Director General’s reports, since 2008.  Such cooperation remains essential to remedying Syria’s noncompliance.  Instead, the regime has intensified its brutal suppression of the Syrian people, resorting to indiscriminate and unconscionable tactics, including the use of chemical weapons.  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.


Over two years ago, the Board of Governors found Syria in noncompliance with its Safeguards Agreement for the clandestine construction of an undeclared 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 over 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 this matter, and should be prepared to consider further action if necessary.  We again thank the Director General for his continued efforts to resolve Syria’s safeguards noncompliance, and look forward to further reporting from the Director General on this issue.


Thank you, Mr. Chairman.