IAEA Board Statement on Iran

IAEA Board of Governors Meeting

June 6-10, 2011

Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and Relevant Provisions of United Nations Security Council Resolutions in the Islamic Republic of Iran

U.S. Statement

June 9, 2011

Ambassador Glyn T. Davies

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

Mr. Chairman,

The United States would like to thank the Director General for his latest report on Iran. As he has in the past, the Director General has presented the Board a report that underlines his grave and growing concerns about Iran’s nuclear program and Iran’s noncompliance with its obligations under IAEA safeguards and under United Nations Security Council mandate.  This latest report clearly demonstrates Iran’s continuing lack of cooperation and refusal to resolve outstanding issues related to its nuclear program.

The facts are now familiar. Once again, the IAEA remains “unable to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran, and therefore to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities.”  This is a powerful statement, and underscores that Iran has not taken the steps necessary to resolve the questions raised by its non-compliance. Iran must cooperate by fully implementing its Safeguards Agreement and other relevant obligations, including the modified Code 3.1 of the Subsidiary Arrangements to its Safeguards Agreement. Iran’s implementation of the Additional Protocol, which is called for by several UN Security Council and IAEA Board resolutions, would greatly assist the Agency’s ability to carry out its mandated investigation through more information and greater transparency into Iran’s nuclear activities.

By not cooperating and refusing to implement the Additional Protocol, Iran only deepens the international suspicions of Iran’s nuclear intent. If Iran has nothing to hide, why do so many outstanding questions remain unanswered while the international community is left with a long and troubling record of Iran’s noncompliance? As an example, Iran must finally accept it cannot unilaterally modify its Safeguards Agreement; Iran must live up to its freely-undertaken obligation to provide early design information on any facilities which it has taken a decision to build under modified Code 3.1.

Mr. Chairman,

The Director General’s report confirms again that Iran is continuing its enrichment program in violation of numerous UN Security Council and IAEA Board of Governors resolutions. Iran has increased the number of its centrifuges enriching uranium, adding both to its stock of 3.5 percent low enriched uranium (LEU) as well as its stock of LEU enriched to near 20 percent.  In the most recent brazen example of its deepening noncompliance, , Iran announced yesterday in the press that it intends to triple production of 20 percent enriched uranium and to move that production to the Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant. Apart from what appears now to be a clear intent to produce more 20 percent enriched uranium than Iran needs to make fuel for its one and only research reactor, it also represents yet another chapter in the changing Iranian narrative regarding why this underground facility was built.

Also illustrative of Iran’s continuing disdain for international concerns and obligations is the Iranian president’s recent statement that no offer by the E3+3 states can persuade Iran to stop enriching uranium. In this same context, he also characterized Iran’s nuclear intentions as “a train that has no brakes.” Unfortunately, that may be an apt description of the recklessness Iran’s leadership is displaying on this issue.
Iran has ignored IAEA requests for further information regarding its announced possession of laser enrichment technology and its development of a third generation centrifuge. Iran also refuses to provide access to centrifuge R&D and manufacturing locations.  Furthermore, we note the Secretariat’s announcement at the June 2 Technical Briefing that Iran has begun installation of advanced centrifuges, machines that could speed the pace at which Iran builds it enriched uranium stockpile. Especially in light of this last fact, we find it deeply troubling that the Director General’s report reiterates that the IAEA’s knowledge about Iran’s enrichment activities continues to decrease.

We also note that Iran continues to construct the Arak heavy water research reactor, produce heavy water, and deny IAEA access to the heavy water it is storing at Esfahan.  Each of these is a further violation of Iran’s United Nations Security Council obligations.

Mr. Chairman,

We are particularly concerned about Iran’s refusal to respond in substance to information the IAEA has acquired from multiple sources indicating possible military dimensions (PMD) to Iran’s nuclear program. Iran’s efforts to develop a nuclear warhead and new information about experiments on neutron generators that, as Deputy Director General Nackaerts stated at last week’s Technical Briefing, have no other application than nuclear weapons development, should demand the undivided attention of the international community. The UN Security Council established many years ago that Iran must demonstrate the “exclusively peaceful purpose” of its nuclear program. The latest report from the IAEA highlights why Iran must be held accountable and why the international community will continue to demand full compliance. Taken together, the seven PMD-related areas of research highlighted in the Director General’s report appear to be well-suited to supporting research on a nuclear weapons capability. As such, we reiterate the urgent need for the Director General to provide to the Board as soon as possible his best assessment of the information related to possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program.

Mr. Chairman,

Iran has been given multiple opportunities over many years to take steps to address these issues and to restore international confidence in its nuclear intentions. That Iran has failed to do so is self-evident from this latest report. Iran’s defiant rejection of the IAEA’s attempt to reestablish a substantive dialogue to address this issue – as demonstrated most recently in AEOI President Abbasi Davani’s letter of 26 May – is deeply unfortunate and only serves to heighten international concerns with Iran’s nuclear program. Iran’s response to that letter indicates that Iran is so far holding tight to its effort to deny, deceive, and divert attention from activities of deep regional and international concern.

Mr. Chairman,

Iran must be held accountable for its actions.  The international community cannot allow Iran to flout its obligations to the IAEA and UN Security Council. We risk the integrity of the nonproliferation regime if we allow a State that is a Party to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) to blatantly disregard its obligations — obligations that it freely entered into.

Despite Iran’s persistent refusal to cooperate, the United States remains willing to engage with Iran to resolve the international community’s concerns in the E3+3 context.  The United States has not wavered in the commitment to resolve these concerns through diplomatic means.  But Iran must change its behavior and engage seriously with the international community to address concerns about Iran’s nuclear program.  Providing the IAEA with the access and necessary cooperation it has long requested would be an important step toward demonstrating the needed change.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.