Statement by Director General Mohamed ElBaradei to the Board of Governors (Excerpts)

November 22, 2007

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear

. . .

Verification in the Islamic Republic of Iran

The report before you provides an update on the implementation of Agency safeguards in the Islamic Republic of Iran. As you know, the Agency has so far not been able to verify some important aspects of Iran´s nuclear programme: those relevant to the scope and nature of Iran´s centrifuge enrichment activities, as well as those relevant to alleged studies and other activities that could have military applications. Iran´s past undeclared nuclear activities, together with these verification issues, resulted in the Agency´s inability to make progress in providing assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran, and created a confidence deficit about the nature of Iran´s nuclear programme. This prompted the Security Council to adopt a number of resolutions calling on Iran to clarify these outstanding verification issues, and to undertake simultaneously confidence building measures, including the implementation of the additional protocol and the suspension of uranium enrichment activities.

The work plan agreed by the Secretariat and Iran in August, in which Iran has finally committed itself to address the outstanding issues relevant to its nuclear activities, is proceeding according to schedule. The report outlines, inter alia, our progress to date.

As the report makes clear, as regards the first outstanding issue - the scope and nature of Iran´s centrifuge enrichment activities - there has been good progress in connection with the verification of Iran´s past acquisition of P-1 and P-2 centrifuge enrichment technologies. The Agency has concluded that the information provided by Iran in that regard is consistent with the Agency´s own investigation. However, as in all verification cases, the Agency will continue to seek corroboration of this conclusion as we continue to verify the completeness of Iran´s declarations concerning its nuclear material and activities, and as we investigate the remaining outstanding issues - namely, the uranium particle contamination at a technical university, as well as the alleged studies and other activities that could have military applications. In accordance with the work plan, this will take place over the next several weeks. I would note that Iran has provided the Agency with a copy of the 15-page document on uranium metal, which the Agency is currently examining. The Agency is also continuing to work on arrangements to make copies of the alleged studies available to Iran.

Our progress over the past two months has been made possible by an increased level of cooperation on the part of Iran, in accordance with the work plan. However, I would urge Iran to be more proactive in providing information, and in accelerating the pace of this cooperation, in order for the Agency to be able to clarify all major remaining outstanding issues by the end of the year.

With regard to Iran´s current nuclear activities, we have been able to verify the non-diversion of all declared nuclear material. We also have in place a safeguards approach for the Natanz facility that enables us to credibly verify all enrichment activities there.

However, as with all States that do not have an additional protocol in force, we are unable to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities. This is especially crucial in the case of Iran, because of its history of undeclared activities, and the corresponding need to restore confidence in the peaceful nature of Iran´s nuclear programme. As the report indicates, the Agency´s knowledge about specific aspects of Iran´s current programme has diminished since 2006, when Iran ceased to provide the Agency with information under the additional protocol and additional transparency measures. This relates especially to current procurement, R&D and possible manufacturing of centrifuges. I urge Iran, therefore, to resume without delay the implementation of the additional protocol. The Agency needs to have maximum clarity not only about Iran´s past programme but, equally or more important, about the present. I should note, however, that the Agency has no concrete information about possible undeclared nuclear material or weaponization activities in Iran, other than the outstanding issues I have already mentioned.

Naturally, as we go through our own investigation of Iran´s past and present nuclear programme, I continue to urge Iran to take all the confidence building measures called for by the Security Council, including the suspension of enrichment related activities. This will be in the best interests of both Iran and the international community, and should facilitate the return by all parties to dialogue and negotiations. The earlier that negotiations are resumed, the better the prospects of defusing this crisis. It is only through such negotiations that a comprehensive and durable solution can be reached, and that confidence in the future direction of Iran´s nuclear programme can be built.

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