U.S. Statement – As Prepared for Ambassador Laura S.H. Holgate – Agenda Item 6 – Verification and Monitoring in Iran (JCPOA)
Vienna, Austria, September 12, 2023
The United States extends its appreciation to the Director General for his September 4 report on this agenda item. We thank the Secretariat for its continued dedication and professionalism in undertaking the Agency’s JCPOA-related responsibilities in Iran.
As the Director General’s report makes clear, Iran continues to expand its nuclear program far beyond JCPOA limits. Iran continues to install advanced centrifuges and to accumulate highly enriched uranium for which it has no credible peaceful purpose. Although we note that Iran’s reduction in its production rate of uranium enriched to 60 percent, we once again call on Iran to halt all such production, which runs counter to the behavior of all other non-nuclear weapons states party to the NPT. Iran argues it is treated unfairly. In reality, Iran continues to single itself out through its own actions.
We again note with serious concern the Director General’s conclusion that Iran’s actions have undermined the Agency’s ability to provide assurance of the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program. Iran should take actions that build international confidence and deescalate tensions, not continue to undermine essential assurances.
Iran’s de-designation of experienced Agency inspectors, and denials of visas for Agency officials dealing with Iran, run counter to the spirit of the March 4 Joint Statement. These actions follow Iran’s undeclared modification of advanced centrifuge cascades at Fordow earlier this year, in clear violation of Iran’s safeguards obligations, and the Agency’s subsequent detection there of uranium particles enriched over 80 percent. Iran’s actions have continued to intensify tensions and push unprecedented boundaries. As we have made clear, such incidents should never happen again.
Since the Director General’s previous report, Iran has failed to clarify the discrepancy in the amount of nuclear material it declared in its dissolution of uranium metal early last year. Iran’s technically unsound explanations remain entirely unacceptable. In addition, Iran is still not implementing modified Code 3.1 of the Subsidiary Arrangements to its Safeguards Agreement and has now failed to provide design information as legally required under this safeguards obligation. We will address these serious matters and the other outstanding safeguards issues under the safeguards agenda item. For now, I will underscore that Iran’s level of cooperation remains significantly lacking overall, and far short of the expectations outlined by the Board last November and the Director General in the March 4 Joint Statement.
Since early 2021, Iran has manufactured advanced centrifuge components, and produced uranium ore concentrate and heavy water, without providing monitoring data or relevant records to the Agency. As reported by the Director General, establishing a new verification baseline for these activities would pose major challenges. We urge Iran to cooperate fully with the Agency in the implementation of the Joint Statement, including an approach that provides the Agency with all relevant data recordings. We look forward to further reporting from the Director General on these issues.
With these comments, the United States requests that the Director General’s report in document GOV/2023/39 be derestricted, consistent with longstanding practice.