IAEA BoG – U.S. on Any Other Business

IAEA Board of Governors Meeting, Agenda Item 4: Any Other Business

U.S. statement as delivered by Chargé d’Affaires Louis L. Bono
Vienna, Austria, September 27, 2021

Good morning, Mister Chair,

First, on behalf of the North America Group, please allow me to extend a warm welcome to you and new our Vice Chairs, Ambassador Krois and Ambassador Ruíz Blanco.  We are confident that under your leadership the Board will continue to make important contributions to the Agency’s work.

Now, if you will allow me, I would like to speak in my national capacity as the United States.

I would like to acknowledge the extraordinary contributions of departing Board Chair, and fellow North American, Ambassador Heidi Hulan.  Over the last year, she and her Vice Chairs, Ambassador Dán and Ambassador Molekane, skillfully managed the Board’s robust agenda and advanced priority issues, despite the significant challenges presented by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Mister Chair,

The United States would like to call to the Board’s attention the report of the Director General, issued just yesterday, 26 September, on the IAEA’s verification and monitoring activities under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

The United States is prepared to quickly reach and implement an understanding on a mutual return to full JCPOA compliance. Iran, however, has stated that it shares the same goal, but we are deeply troubled by Iran’s refusal to provide the IAEA with the needed access to service its monitoring equipment, as was agreed in the September 12 Joint Statement between the IAEA and Iran. Such access is necessary in order for the IAEA to preserve continuity of knowledge over JCPOA nuclear-related activities, which is important in order to be able to quickly implement any understanding on a mutual return to JCPOA compliance.

In addition to denying needed access, Iran has also yet to invite the Director General to Tehran, including for discussions related to the Agency’s unresolved questions on its Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement, as Iran also agreed in the September 12 Joint Statement. We would like to remind the Board that these questions relate to Iran’s legal obligations under its NPT-required safeguards agreement, and that over one year ago, the Board called on Iran to fully cooperate with the IAEA without further delay.

As we stated two weeks ago during the meeting of the Board of Governors, Iran should provide the IAEA with required cooperation on an urgent basis. Along with many other Board Members, we also stressed that Iran should follow through on its commitments in the September 12 Joint Statement. As the Director General’s report makes clear, Iran’s actions run contrary to the agreed terms of that Statement. We call on Iran to provide the IAEA with needed access without further delay. If Iran fails to do so, we will be closely consulting with other Board Members in the coming days on an appropriate response.

Thank you, Mister Chair.