I have the honour to speak on behalf of France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
We would like to thank the Director General for his report on safeguards in Iran contained in GOV/2022/26. This report describes the Agency’s efforts and interactions with Iran to clarify information relating to the correctness and completeness of Iran’s declarations under its NPT Safeguards Agreement.
We would also like to recall the Director General’s previous reports presented to the Board of Governors since 2019, as well as the Resolution that the Board adopted almost two years ago contained in GOV/2020/34. The Board’s message at the time was unified and clear. Unfortunately, however, despite the positive expectations created by the March 5, 2022 IAEA-Iran Joint Statement and the subsequent IAEA-Iranian engagement pursuant to that statement, the Director General’s latest report makes clear that Iran has not provided the substantive cooperation necessary to finally put the outstanding safeguards concerns to rest.
After careful consideration of the report, and given the seriousness of the matter, we have concluded once more that the authority of the Agency and integrity of the NPT safeguards regime are at stake. The international safeguards system is an essential pillar of the nonproliferation regime and of the international security architecture from which all states benefit. The challenge posed by Iran’s insufficient cooperation on substance is serious and ongoing. The issue is not “historical” but rather concerns securing the necessary verification assurances that Iran’s declarations are correct and complete today and in the future – and the integrity of the safeguards regime, that is to say a key pillar of our common security, today and in the future.
In this context, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States of America jointly propose to the Board today a resolution. The aim of the text is to support the Director General and the Secretariat and to underline the importance of upholding our responsibility as members of the IAEA Board to ensure that IAEA safeguards and the non-proliferation regime are implemented in a fair and objective manner worldwide, including in Iran.
With this approach, the text submitted to your approval contains the following main points:
First, by adopting this resolution, the Board would express strong support to the Agency’s professional and impartial efforts in carrying out its mandate and implementing Iran’s NPT Safeguards Agreement. We fully trust the Director General and the Secretariat in this regard.
Second, the resolution reiterates the call upon Iran to provide all the technically credible information, documents and evidence the IAEA requires to make its assessments, consistent with its obligations under its NPT safeguards agreement with the IAEA. Iran must cooperate fully and on an urgent basis with the Agency, with a view to clarifying and resolving the long outstanding safeguards issues. Such cooperation by Iran must be substantive and judged credible by the Secretariat.
This is an essential prerequisite for the Agency to be in a position to report that the unresolved safeguards issues are no longer outstanding, and to contribute towards providing the required assurances that Iran’s nuclear programme remains exclusively peaceful. We would welcome the Director General being able, as a result of substantive Iranian cooperation, to write such a report. On that basis, we would see no need for further Board consideration and action on these issues.
This resolution speaks clearly and directly to the need for Iran to fulfill its Safeguards obligations. We believe this approach is the most appropriate to provide the basis for strong unity within the Board in support of the Director General, Secretariat, and the NPT nonproliferation regime. It is the product of broad consultations and careful drafting.
Chair, Iran has argued that any Board action under this item might have adverse consequences on Iran’s contribution to our efforts to restore the JCPoA as soon as possible. In that regard, we would like to underline again, as we did under agenda item 7, that a viable deal has been on the table for three months, which would return the US to the deal and Iran into compliance with its JCPoA commitments. We regret that Iran has not yet seized the diplomatic opportunity to conclude the deal. In this context, let me reemphasize that we still stand ready to conclude the deal on a return to the JCPoA.
Chair, Our delegations have spared no effort to explain our position and to listen to other Members. Thank you to the overwhelming majority that has indicated support for this resolution. We would welcome the text of this resolution be made public, should it be adopted.