Introductory Statement by Director General Mohamed ElBaradei to the IAEA Board of Governors (excerpts)

June 2, 2008

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear

. . .

Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran

You have before you my report on the implementation of safeguards in the Islamic Republic of Iran. As you can see from the report, the Agency has been able to continue to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material in Iran.

However, it is regrettable that we have not made the progress we had hoped for with respect to the one remaining major issue, namely clarification of the cluster of allegations and Secretariat questions relevant to possible military dimensions to Iran´s nuclear programme. The so-called alleged studies remain a matter of serious concern. This issue is among those which the Security Council directed the Agency to clarify. Following an initial period during which Iran was reluctant to fully discuss this issue, Iran finally agreed to address it. Iran maintains that it has never had a nuclear weapons programme and that the documents related to these alleged studies are "forged" or "fabricated". In this context, I should note that the Agency received much of the information concerning the alleged studies only in electronic form and it was unfortunately not authorized to provide copies to Iran. Release of documents that are not sensitive from the proliferation perspective, including those purportedly showing interconnections between the three categories of alleged studies, would clearly help the Agency in its investigations.

The Secretariat is continuing to assess the information and explanations provided by Iran, including additional information received on 23 May. However, Iran has not yet agreed to implement all the transparency measures required to clarify this cluster of allegations and questions. Iran has not provided the Agency with all the access to documents and to individuals requested by the Secretariat, nor has Iran provided the substantive explanations required to support its statements. Such clarifications are critical to an assessment of the nature of Iran´s past and present nuclear programme. The Agency understands that Iran may have additional information, in particular on high explosives testing and missile related activities, which could shed more light on the nature of the alleged activities. Meanwhile, the Agency will continue to try to clarify the authenticity of the documentation related to the alleged studies and the related substantive issues.

It has now been more than five years since the Agency began this intensive phase of verification of Iran´s nuclear programme. While substantial progress has been made in clarifying many of its aspects, particularly with regard to Iran´s enrichment programme, it is essential that the Agency be able to reach a conclusion regarding the nature of Iran´s programme at the earliest possible date. This depends primarily on Iran demonstrating the necessary transparency and providing full disclosure. I again urge Iran to be fully forthcoming in this regard.

To put things into perspective, let me emphasize that the Agency currently has no information - apart from the uranium metal document - on the actual design or manufacture by Iran of nuclear material components, or of other key components, of a nuclear weapon. Likewise, the Agency has not seen indications of the actual use of nuclear material in connection with the alleged studies.

Aside from clarifying all the questions and allegations mentioned in the report, Iran needs to implement the Additional Protocol to enable the Agency to confirm the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities. Assurances by the Agency about Iran´s past and current nuclear activities are key to restoring confidence in the nature of Iran´s nuclear programme. I should clarify, however, that while the Agency can verify and provide assurances about Iran´s past and present nuclear activities, concerns about Iran´s future intentions go well beyond verification and require agreement on confidence and security-building measures. To that end, I hope that the necessary environment can be created, without further delay, for a substantive and comprehensive dialogue between Iran and the relevant parties.

. . .