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On behalf of France, the United Kingdom and Germany, I thank Director General Grossi for his latest report GOV/2023/39, and Deputy Director General Aparo for his technical briefing.
The E3 express their gratitude to the Agency for the professional and impartial work of its inspectors and the objective reporting on Iran’s nuclear programme. We encourage the Director General to keep the Board informed of all activities and developments requiring clarification by Iran.
Regrettably, Iran’s actions remain in clear violation of its JCPoA commitments and stated intentions. Iran has continued escalating its nuclear programme to an alarming level clearly beyond credible civilian justification, and has displayed no will to implement the transparency commitments laid out in the Joint Statement agreed with the IAEA last March.
- The IAEA reports show Iran has continued to accumulate enriched uranium far beyond JCPoA limits, at 5%, 20% and, most alarming, at 60%. This means that the weight of Iran’s enriched uranium stockpile is now over 18 times the amount permitted under the JCPoA. Furthermore, at this point, Iran possesses almost three IAEA significant quantities of high enriched uranium, this is almost three times the amount of high enriched uranium from which the IAEA cannot exclude the possibility of a nuclear device being manufactured.
- Iran continues to carry out uranium enrichment activities in Fordow in violation of its JCPoA commitments. We recall that in January 2023 in Fordow, the Agency detected undeclared centrifuge configuration changes as well as particles of uranium enriched at 83.7%. The recorded instances of enrichment at this level constitute unprecedented and extremely grave steps.
- The JCPoA limits Iran’s enrichment capacity to 5060 IR-1 centrifuges installed at Natanz. Iran has blatantly disregarded JCPoA provisions regarding the quantity, type and location of centrifuges installed, as well as the manufacturing of centrifuges. In the latest reporting period, Iran has installed an additional cascade of advanced centrifuges at the Natanz Fuel Enriched Plant facility. Iran has therefore further expanded its ability to produce enriched uranium, and moved even further away from its JCPoA commitments. At the same time, Iran has continued to prepare the installation of additional advanced centrifuge cascades, including another eight cascades at the Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant.
- Iran has not allowed effective JCPoA verification and monitoring activities in relation to the production and inventory of centrifuges and key components, heavy water and uranium ore concentrate for more than two and a half years. We note that, as a result of Iran’s sustained lack of transparency, the Agency would now face major challenges in establishing a new baseline to rebuild continuity of knowledge.
- Given the seriousness of activities considered to be key steps for the development of a nuclear weapon, we also recall the significant work on uranium metal previously reported, and associated critical irreversible knowledge gains. We continue to urge Iran not to commence any further work related to the production of uranium metal, which also reduces the non-proliferation value of the JCPoA.
It is of utmost importance that Iran immediately implements the Joint Statement entirely; the removal of surveillance and monitoring equipment has had detrimental implications on the Agency’s ability to provide assurance of the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme. We urge Iran to re-install all equipment in all the locations deemed necessary by the IAEA, and to provide access to all data recorded by the cameras, including from February 2021 to June 2022, as requested by the Agency.
Moreover, we are alarmed by Iran’s obstructive attitude towards inspections. The de-designation of experienced inspectors and the denial of visas for IAEA officials signal Iran’s unwillingness to cooperate fully with the Agency and to demonstrate the transparency required for the resumption of trust between Iran and the international community regarding the nature of Iran’s nuclear programme.
We once again recall that, under its Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement, Iran is legally obliged to implement modified Code 3.1 and cannot change its application or withdraw from it unilaterally.
Iran has been in violation of its JCPoA commitments for more than four years now. Furthermore, Iran has expanded its activities to unprecedented levels for a state without a nuclear weapons programme. As E3, we have repeatedly called upon Iran to resume full compliance, including by triggering the Dispute Resolution Mechanism (DRM) in January 2020. Since then, we have strived in good faith to resolve the issues arising from Iran’s non-compliance through this procedure and beyond. We have made significant efforts to negotiate and agree a return to the JCPoA, for which viable deals were tabled in March and in August 2022. In both cases, it is Iran that refused to sign these agreements, making unacceptable demands going beyond the scope of the JCPoA.
We will continue consultations, alongside international partners, on how best to address increasing doubts about the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme. We call upon Iran to de-escalate its programme and we expect swift and meaningful further steps to implement its Joint Statement commitments on IAEA verification and monitoring. We remain committed to taking every diplomatic step to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. We ask the Director General to keep the Board of Governors informed well ahead of the November meeting, and provide earlier updates as necessary, and would ask for this report to be made public.