U.S. Statement – As Prepared for Ambassador Laura S.H. Holgate – Agenda Item 7d – NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran
Vienna, Austria, September 13, 2023
Thank you, Chair.
The United States appreciates the continued professional and impartial efforts of the Agency to implement Iran’s Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement. We wish to again commend the Director General for his extensive efforts to engage Iran on the need to clarify and resolve all outstanding safeguards issues. We associate with the statements on these critical issues delivered by Denmark on behalf of 63 IAEA member states and by France on behalf of France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Clearly, the international community remains seized of these matters, which strike at the core of Iran’s safeguards obligations and the broader nonproliferation regime.
We would like to use this opportunity to briefly amplify our concerns related to the most recent issues reported by the Director General.
We are deeply concerned by Iran’s de-designation of experienced Agency inspectors and its denials of visas for Agency officials responsible for implementing Iran’s safeguards agreement. These actions appear to be part of a deliberate effort by Iran to undermine the Agency’s ability to carry out its safeguards mandate effectively, and possibly even in retaliation against specific individuals for doing so. Such actions are absolutely unacceptable. We request that the Director General continue to keep the Board apprised of developments on this front, including whether Iran de-designates additional inspectors and the impact of such actions on the Agency’s ability to carry out its mandate.
On modified Code 3.1, the Director General has made clear that Iran’s implementation is a legal obligation that cannot be suspended or unilaterally modified. That Iran remains the only state with significant nuclear activities under a Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement that refuses to implement modified Code 3.1 is deeply troubling. Iran’s failure to provide required early design information as legally obligated is especially egregious for a country with a long history of building undeclared nuclear facilities.
As we have seen again this morning, Member States continue to underscore the fundamental importance of Iran resolving all outstanding safeguards concerns. The Board outlined a clear path to resolving these issues in its November 2022 resolution. As soon as the Agency reports the safeguards issues are no longer outstanding following Iran’s provision of technically credible information, it would remove the need for the Board’s consideration and action on these issues. We would welcome such a development.
To this end, we echo the Director General’s request that Iran work with the Agency in earnest and in a sustained way to fulfil its legal obligations under its Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement and the commitments contained in the March 4 Joint Statement. This includes implementing an agreed set of safeguards-related confidence building measures that would increase the Agency’s knowledge of Iran’s nuclear activities in key areas.
We request that the Director General continue reporting on these important matters. With these comments, the United States requests that the Director General’s report contained in document GOV/2023/43 be derestricted, consistent with longstanding practice.
Thank you, Chair.