IAEA Board of Governors Meeting – Agenda Item 8(c) – NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran
U.S. Statement as Delivered by Ambassador Laura S.H. Holgate
Vienna, Austria, September 14, 2022
Thank you, Chair.
The United States expresses our sincere appreciation for the continued professional and impartial efforts of the Agency to implement Iran’s Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement. We commend the Director General for his extensive efforts to engage Iran on the need to clarify and resolve the Agency’s longstanding concerns related to the presence of uranium particles of anthropogenic origin at three undeclared locations in Iran – Turquzabad, Varamin, and Marivan.
In June 2022, the Board overwhelmingly supported the adoption of a resolution expressing profound concern that these safeguards issues remain outstanding due to insufficient observation and cooperation by Iran. As demonstrated in the Joint Statement delivered several minutes ago by my German colleague, in which more than 50 Member States voiced their concern with Iran’s lack of cooperation, the international community continues to call on Iran to act on an urgent basis to fulfil its legal obligations and cooperate with the IAEA to clarify and resolve all outstanding safeguards issues without delay. Regrettably, despite the Agency’s stated readiness to engage Iran, no such engagement has taken place and the Director General’s report concludes that the safeguards issues remain outstanding.
The path towards clarifying and resolving these issues is neither complicated nor never-ending. As the Director General’s report made clear, Iran must simply provide technically credible explanations for the presence of the particles detected at the three undeclared locations and inform the Agency about the current location of the detected nuclear material and/or contaminated equipment. If the information and access Iran provides is sufficient for the Director General to report that the issues are clarified and resolved, and therefore no longer outstanding, we would not see a need for these safeguards issues to remain on the Board’s agenda.
We remain deeply concerned that, because of Iran’s failure to cooperate, the Agency has once again reported that it cannot confirm the correctness or completeness of Iran’s declarations and is not able to provide assurance that Iran’s nuclear program is exclusively peaceful. I want to take note of the public statements from Iranian officials that connect the current safeguards issues under investigation with the Possible Military Dimensions before this Board several years ago. Contrary to Iran’s claims, the questions the IAEA is asking Iran are related to the detection of nuclear material and/or contaminated equipment at undeclared sites in Iran. Iran must provide technically credible answers related to the above sample findings, plain and simple. This is the only way to resolve these issues. The Director General and Secretariat would not be doing their job if they demanded any more – or any less.
Before I conclude my remarks, let me say this: attempts to paint the Agency’s implementation of Iran’s NPT Safeguards Agreement as politically motivated are wrong and will not succeed. The outstanding issues relate to the IAEA’s detection of nuclear material and/or contaminated equipment. The imperative for the Agency to safeguard all nuclear material in Iran is an issue for today and any day going forward – it is not a question of the past, as some have suggested. The power to resolve these issues is in Iran’s hands. Again, re-engage with the Agency, provide technically credible explanations, and clarify these matters. If, on that basis, the Director General can report that these matters are no longer outstanding, we would see no need for further Board consideration and action. We would very much welcome such a development.
We greatly appreciate the Agency’s continued readiness to re-engage with Iran and request the Director General continue reporting on these important matters. With these comments, the United States takes note of the Director General’s report on implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement with Iran contained in document GOV/2022/42 and requests that it be made public, consistent with longstanding practice.
Thank you, Chair.