German Ministry of Foreign Affairs Comments on the International Atomic Energy Agency's Iran Report

November 9, 2011

On 8 November, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) released its most recent report on Iran's nuclear programme. Foreign Minister Westerwelle has spoken of alarming evidence. He said that the international community could "not simply return to business as usual", but must instead put Iran "under pressure politically and diplomatically" even more so than has been the case until now.

The IAEA report to the Board of Governors and UN Security Council presents Iran's nuclear programme in great detail. According to the report, Iran is clearly pushing ahead with its enrichment-related activities, despite all calls from the international community. Iran is also continuing its efforts at uranium conversion and fuel rod production. Above all the IAEA's detailed evidence for a possible military dimension of the nuclear programme has caused considerable concern. On 9 November in Berlin, Foreign Minister Westerwelle stated that "this would be a clear violation of the non-proliferation regime."

The German Foreign Minister said that further measures were being discussed in the European Union and that close consultations with partners and allies were being undertaken.

"If Iran continues to reject serious negotiations on its nuclear programme, then tougher new sanctions will be inevitable," he said.

"Sanctions work"

Westerwelle is convinced that decisive sanctions supported by as many countries as possible were the right way. However, he said there was opposition to any discussion of military options. He had previously said clearly in a newspaper interview that "beyond all the dangerous repercussions for the region, those debates do more to strengthen the Iranian leadership than to weaken it."

Iran must now finally meet its obligations under international law and dispel "any doubts about its nuclear programme", he continued. He said Germany would work towards the international community putting even more political and diplomatic pressure on Iran. For this, first a clear condemnation of Iran at the next meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors on 17 November in Vienna was imperative. Westerwelle emphasized that "it is up to Iran to prevent this and to finally accept the long-standing offer of dialogue made by E3+3."

Germany is working with the United States, Russia, China, France and the United Kingdom to find a diplomatic solution to the nuclear conflict with Iran. These countries - also known as E3+3 - have repeatedly extended offers of negotiations to Iran. The UN Security Council also has repeatedly called for cooperation and transparency on Iran's part. Most recently, on 9 June 2010 in Resolution 1929, the UN Security Council tightened sanctions against Iran. These concern restrictions on trade with Iran in the insurance and financial sector, transport sector, investments in the oil and gas industry as well as new visa bans and the freezing of accounts. The European Union has agreed on an expanded list of sanctions.