IAEA Board of Governors Meeting – Agenda Item 7 – Iran (JCPOA)
U.S. statement as Delivered by Ambassador Laura S.H. Holgate
Vienna, Austria, September 13, 2022
The United States extends its appreciation to the Director General for his September 7 report on JCPOA verification and monitoring in Iran. We appreciate the extensive efforts and continued dedication of the DG, the Deputy DG for Safeguards, and their staff in carrying out the Agency’s critical JCPOA-related responsibilities in Iran. The DG’s thorough, factual, and timely reporting on these matters is essential to the international community’s understanding of Iran’s nuclear program.
As the DG’s report makes clear, Iran continues to significantly expand its nuclear program beyond JCPOA limits. Despite our sincere efforts toward a mutual return to full implementation of the JCPOA, Iran continues to escalate its nuclear activities, including by expanding its enrichment capacity through the deployment of new advanced centrifuges and the accumulation of greater quantities of highly enriched uranium. Iran’s production of highly enriched uranium up to 60 percent has no credible peaceful purpose. No other country today utilizes uranium enriched to 60 percent for the purpose Iran claims – precisely to avoid such proliferation risks.
Despite Iran’s continued escalations, we have remained steadfast in our efforts to return to the JCPOA, which is a vital instrument for addressing the international community’s longstanding concerns with Iran’s nuclear program. We stand ready to quickly implement a deal on a mutual return to full implementation of the JCPOA. What we lack is a willing partner in Iran. Should Iran choose to join us, a mutual return to JCPOA implementation would be a significant achievement of international diplomacy and mark a new opportunity for building confidence in Iran’s nuclear program going forward. We remain committed to working with our allies and partners to achieve that outcome if Iran is willing to do so.
IAEA verification and monitoring is the foundation on which a return to full JCPOA implementation must be built. The United States again commends the Director General and his team for their continued efforts and professionalism in engaging Tehran on JCPOA verification and monitoring issues, as well as on the urgent and outstanding safeguards issues to be addressed later in the agenda. In this context, we note with concern the DG’s conclusion that Iran’s decision to cease JCPOA verification and monitoring measures has been detrimental to the Agency’s ability to provide assurance of the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program. We also take note of the DG’s assessment that in the event of a mutual return to full implementation of the JCPOA, Iran would need to provide declarations, data, and access identified by the Agency to reestablish a baseline and enable the Agency to fulfill its monitoring and verification mandate under the JCPOA.
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. A mutual return to JCPOA implementation would lead to expanded work for the IAEA in resuming the necessary verification and monitoring of Iran’s nuclear-related commitments under the deal. 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 DG’s report contained in document GOV/2022/39, as well as the DG’s interim reports contained in GOV/INF/2022 documents 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, and 19. We request that these reports be made public, consistent with longstanding practice, so there may be a clear international understanding of the facts reported by the Director General.