U.S. Statement on Iran

IAEA Board of Governors Meeting
December 2-3, 2010

Agenda Item 6(b)

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

U.S. Statement

Ambassador Glyn T. Davies

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

Mr. Chairman,

The United States would like to express its appreciation to the Director General for his latest report on the implementation of the IAEA’s Safeguards Agreement with Iran and relevant UN Security Council resolutions.  The Agency’s work is vital to ensuring peace and security in the international community.

Unfortunately, the Director General’s report reaffirms Iran’s continued failure to cooperate with the Agency pursuant to its international nonproliferation obligations, including those freely entered into with its signature and ratification of its IAEA Safeguards Agreement.

Mr. Chairman,

The Director General’s latest report on Iran marks the 31st time that the IAEA has reported on Iran’s failure to comply with its Safeguards Agreement, and the 21st time since 2006 that the Director General has reported on Iran’s failure to suspend its enrichment and heavy water-related activities, as required by the United Nations Security Council.  The report highlights Iran’s continued lack of cooperation and failure to comply with its international nuclear obligations, and describes the possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program and Iran’s troubling ongoing uranium enrichment and heavy water activities.  The Director General’s latest report raises numerous issues, which in and of themselves represent serious breaches of Iran’s safeguards obligations.  When taken together, these actions reflect a clear decision by Iran to contravene the terms of its obligations while continuing to claim entitlement to rights under the same agreements that Iran has so obviously chosen to violate.
The report states that:
• Iran has not provided the necessary cooperation to permit the Agency to confirm that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities;

• That the Agency remains concerned about the possible existence in Iran of past or current undisclosed nuclear related activities involving military related organizations, including activities related to the development of a nuclear payload for a missile, and in stark terms reports that the 2007 work plan is not complete because Iran has refused to provide a substantive reply to the alleged studies;

• That Iran has not suspended its enrichment and heavy water related activities as required by relevant resolutions of this Board and the Security Council, including the continued production of UF6 enriched to up to 20% U-235 and construction of the IR-40 reactor.  In fact, quite to the contrary of the UN Security Council mandated suspension requirement, the Director General reports that Iran now plans to expand its research and development on advanced centrifuges, including by using the new enrichment facility at Fordow for this purpose.  I note that when Iran belatedly unveiled the Fordow plant it said it would function as a back-up for the Natanz plant, but in the intervening year since then, Iran took no step to use it for that purpose and now will use it for another purpose.  We cannot help but wonder if Iran’s original explanation for the facility was accurate;

• The report states that Iran also has not provided the Agency with access to relevant design documents and to companies involved in the design and construction of the Fordow enrichment facility near Qom;

• That Iran remains the only State with significant nuclear activities which has a Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement in force that is not implementing the provisions of the modified Code 3.1; and,

• The report states that Iran continues to refuse the Agency’s requests for Iran to take steps to fully implement Iran’s Safeguards Agreement and its other obligations, including implementation of the Additional Protocol.

Mr. Chairman,
Iran’s failure to comply with its obligations represents a fundamental challenge to the integrity of the international nonproliferation regime and the credibility of the IAEA.  The United States has made unprecedented attempts to engage the Iranians in order to resolve through diplomatic means our collective concerns over Iran’s proliferation-sensitive nuclear activities.  We hope that, in coming days, we will again have an opportunity to engage in frank, constructive, and meaningful talks with Iran and our E3+3 partners.  Our intention in entering into those talks is transparent and it is simple:  we would like to arrive at an early negotiated resolution of international concerns with Iran’s nuclear program.  We have conveyed to Iran on multiple occasions and in collaboration with the many members of the international community the content of our concerns and offers to address them through diplomacy.

And we have also sought to demonstrate that – notwithstanding our sincere preference for a negotiated solution – this is a problem that will not go away absent meaningful and concrete steps by Iran to restore confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of its nuclear program.  This Board took such a step in finding Iran in noncompliance with its Safeguards Agreement in 2005 and in reporting that noncompliance to the UN Security Council in 2006.  It is unfortunate that the international community has been forced to enact sanctions on Iran as a result of its persistent refusal to take seriously and respond directly to the concerns regarding its international obligations.  Our actions will continue to be based on the choices made by Iran.  Iran needs only to cooperate fully with the IAEA in its investigation and comply with its full range of international obligations.  We once more urge Iran to do so without further delay.

Thank you Mr. Chairman.