France, Germany, and the United Kingdom thank Director-General Grossi for his report on the implementation of safeguards in Iran, contained in GOV/2022/26.
We fully support and commend the IAEA for its professional, independent and impartial verification of Iran’s safeguards obligations, and its repeated efforts to engage Iran on clarifying information concerning the correctness and completeness of Iran’s declarations under its NPT Safeguards Agreement. We re-emphasise the importance of the IAEA continuing to evaluate all safeguards-relevant information available, in line with its mandate.
The E3 deeply regrets the findings of the Director-General’s report that despite the implementation of the Statement agreed by Iran and the IAEA in March, Iran has failed to provide technically credible explanations regarding the presence of nuclear material and/or equipment at three locations and has not informed the Agency of the current location or locations of the unaccounted for material. Iran is legally obliged to cooperate with the IAEA and provide the necessary clarifications as to the whereabouts of all nuclear material on its territory. It is therefore deeply regrettable that as a result of Iran’s lack of substantive cooperation the IAEA, the Agency has had to conclude that the safeguards issues continue to remain outstanding.
It has now been two years since the Board of Governors adopted a resolution calling upon Iran to cooperate with the Agency, and nearly three years since the IAEA first sought clarifications from Iran regarding undeclared nuclear material. The message from the Board was clear and has been reiterated by a large majority of governors in the seven meetings since the resolution was passed: Iran must cooperate fully and in a timely manner with the Agency. Nevertheless, and despite the IAEA’s extensive engagement with Iran, Iran has still failed to fulfil its legal obligations and to provide the IAEA with the relevant and technically credible information to clarify and resolve these issues.
Iran’s failure to cooperate presents a challenge to the non-proliferation regime: it is essential that the IAEA is able to fully account for nuclear material as per its mandate. Indeed the whole purpose of nuclear safeguards is to ensure that the IAEA can verify that nuclear material remains in peaceful purposes. The IAEA cannot confirm the correctness and completeness of Iran’s declaration until the location of the nuclear material and/or equipment is known and the necessary safeguards measures undertaken.
It is clear in this context that we believe it is necessary to once again formally convey a clear and unified message to Iran, as the Board of Governors, that it must take urgent action to fulfil its legal obligations. That is why France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States have introduced a new resolution to this Board. The text before the Board is a necessary, timely and measured response to Iran’s failure to comply with its legal obligations under its NPT Safeguards Agreement.
We strongly urge Iran to now fully cooperate with the IAEA to promptly provide all the technically credible information, documentation and answers that the Agency deems necessary without any further delay. We remain fully committed to upholding the Agency’s independence. It is only through Iran’s full and substantive technical co-operation with the IAEA that the Director General would be able to report these issues are no longer outstanding, and that this issue could subsequently be removed from the Board’s Agenda.
We also note the Agency has stated that since their previous report, there have been no developments influencing their assessment regarding the presence of natural uranium in the form of a metal disc at one location and this issue remains no longer outstanding at this stage.
We also underline that the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement, together with the Additional Protocol, present the current verification standard. We remain deeply concerned that Iran stopped applying the Additional Protocol more than a year ago. We urge Iran to reapply and ratify the Additional Protocol as soon as possible. This would be an important confidence-building step. It is also a necessary condition for the IAEA to eventually reach the Broader Conclusion that all nuclear material in Iran remains in peaceful uses.
We, once again, also recall that implementation of Modified Code 3.1 is a legal obligation for Iran under the Subsidiary Arrangement to its Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement which cannot be modified or stopped unilaterally.
We would like to thank the IAEA for their impartial and professional work on this issue. We encourage the Director General to continue reporting to the Board of Governors, as appropriate and welcome making the report contained in GOV/2022/26 public.