IAEA Board of Governors Meeting – Agenda Item 4 – Verification and Monitoring in Iran (JCPOA)
U.S. Statement as Delivered by Deputy Chief of Mission Louis L. Bono
Vienna, Austria, November 16, 2022
The United States extends its appreciation to the Director General for his November 10 report on JCPOA verification and monitoring in Iran. We commend the continued dedication of the Director General, the Deputy Director General for Safeguards, and their staff in carrying out the Agency’s JCPOA-related responsibilities in Iran. The Director General’s thorough, factual, and timely reporting on these matters is essential to the international community’s understanding of Iran’s nuclear program.
As the Director General’s report makes clear, Iran continues to expand its nuclear program far beyond JCPOA limits, including through the deployment of new advanced centrifuges and the continued accumulation of highly enriched uranium. Iran’s production of highly enriched uranium up to 60 percent has no credible peaceful purpose. No other country in the world today utilizes uranium enriched to 60 percent for the purposes Iran claims. Iran should cease this troubling activity and forego such practices that run counter to the behavior of all other states worldwide. Iran argues it is unfairly targeted by others. In reality, it is Iran, through its own alarming actions, that singles itself out.
In September, Iran dashed the collective hope that a return to the JCPOA could be imminent by making demands it knew to be impossible, demands that we politicize the Agency’s mandate with regard to Iran’s safeguards obligations by somehow insisting that those obligations not be implemented as they would be in any other state with a comprehensive safeguards agreement. Nowhere in the world would inspectors turn a blind eye to the indicators of undeclared nuclear material and activities that the IAEA have found in Iran, in particular environmental sampling evidence. The situation has, quite obviously, only become more complicated since September. Iran should cease its nuclear provocations and pursuit of steps posing grave proliferation risks.
The United States commends the Director General and his team for their dedication and professionalism in engaging Tehran on JCPOA issues, as well as on the critical and outstanding safeguards matters to be addressed later in this agenda. Especially in light of outstanding safeguards issues, we note with serious concern the Director General’s conclusion that Iran’s ending of JCPOA verification and monitoring measures has undermined the Agency’s ability to provide assurance of the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program. Iran should take actions that increase international confidence in the peaceful nature of its nuclear program, and refrain from further escalations that move us deeper into uncertainty.
We also take note of the Director General’s assessment that any future verification baseline would take a considerable time to establish and would have a degree of uncertainty that is increasing over time. We again thank the Director General, the Deputy Director General, and their team for their continued, unfaltering commitment to following through on the Agency’s JCPOA mandate.
We have long highlighted the importance of adequate resources for the IAEA’s essential verification and monitoring role in Iran. We welcome the continued contributions of financial support for these important efforts and were pleased to announce earlier U.S. contributions. We fully appreciate the financial demands of these increased responsibilities and will continue to join other Member States to provide the IAEA with the necessary resources for this important mission.
With these comments, the United States takes note of the Director General’s report contained in document GOV/2022/62, as well as the interim reports contained in GOV/INF/2022 documents 22 and 23. We request that these reports be made public, consistent with longstanding practice, so that there may be a clear international understanding of the facts reported by the Director General.
Thank you, Chair.