IAEA BoG – U.S. on the Iran Safeguards Resolution

IAEA flag at the Vienna International Center, Vienna, Austria.

IAEA Board of Governors Meeting: Explanation of Vote Statement – Iran Safeguards Resolution

U.S. statement as delivered by Ambassador Jackie Wolcott
Vienna, Austria, June 19, 2020

Thank you, Madam Chair.

The United States welcomes the adoption of this resolution, which reaffirms the fundamental importance of Iran fully implementing its safeguards obligations without further delay. We thank the resolution’s sponsors, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, for their efforts in this regard, which resulted in a balanced text that attracted broad support.

In the resolution adopted today, the Board makes clear why this was a necessary step at this time, echoing the Director General’s serious concern regarding Iran’s denial of access and refusal to substantively engage to address the Agency’s questions about possible undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran today. This resolution demonstrates the seriousness with which the Board views Iran’s dubious distinction as the first state ever to prompt a report to this Board that it is denying complementary access under the Additional Protocol.

This resolution has also made clear the Board’s expectation about next steps, calling on Iran to fully cooperate with the Agency and satisfy the Agency’s requests without any further delay, including by providing prompt access to the locations specified by the Agency. While it was clear in March what the Board called on Iran to do, today we have made clear that the time for that required action is now. The DG’s June 5 report left no doubt that Iran’s persistent delay tactics are impeding the IAEA’s verification work, and today’s resolution makes clear that this cannot go on.

Iran should take a clear warning from this resolution: it must immediately uphold its safeguards obligations; this is no longer business as usual. This matter has entered a new phase and the Board has made clear Iran must comply. Facilitating access to the two locations specified by the Agency is necessary, but not sufficient to resolve this matter. Iran must also respond to the Agency’s questions about all three locations, and provide inspectors any necessary information and access to enable them to conclusively verify the origins of chemically-processed uranium particles that were found last year at a fourth location, and verify that the original material is declared and subject to IAEA safeguards monitoring as required.

We note the Director General’s intent to continue to report to the Board as appropriate. The next report we see on this topic should tell us that Iran has provided necessary access and cooperated fully. That report should come not in three more months but much sooner – without further delay. If, on the other hand, Iran’s delays and denials continue, it will be the Board’s responsibility to take further action in support of the Director General, the IAEA’s authorities in Iran, and the global safeguards regime.

Thank you, Madam Chair.