Our agenda for this meeting covers issues related to a broad variety of Agency activities. I will discuss a few issues related to each area.
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Implementation of Safeguards in the Islamic Republic of Iran
The Board has before it a report regarding the implementation of safeguards in the Islamic Republic of Iran. As you can see from this report, Iran continues to provide the Agency access to its nuclear material and facilities, including the enrichment facility at Natanz, in accordance with its safeguards agreement. The Agency has been able to verify that no declared nuclear material in Iran has been diverted.
However, as the report also makes clear, Iran has not taken the steps called for by the Board nor responded to the demands of the Security Council. The facts on the ground indicate that Iran continues steadily to perfect its knowledge relevant to enrichment, and to expand the capacity of its enrichment facility. Iran has also continued with the construction of its heavy water reactor at Arak. On the other hand, this is taking place without the Agency being able to make any progress in its efforts to resolve outstanding issues relevant to the nature and scope of IranÂ´s nuclear programme, or being able to implement the additional protocol that would enable the verification of the absence of undeclared nuclear activities. This dichotomy continues to be our key proliferation concern. Iran also continues to put additional restrictions and limitations on the Agency's verification activities - including on our right to re-verify design information at Arak. The lack of progress on our verification mission, coupled with the additional limitations on our verification authority, has resulted in a deterioration of the Agency's level of knowledge regarding certain aspects of IranÂ´s nuclear programme. This is disconcerting and regrettable.
Against the background of many years of undeclared activities, and taking into account the sensitivity of nuclear enrichment technology, it is incumbent on Iran to work urgently with the Agency, under a policy of full transparency and active cooperation, in order for the Agency to be able to provide assurance regarding the exclusively peaceful nature of all of Iran's nuclear activities. These assurances are the ultimate purpose of the verification process. They would certainly help to dispel the concerns of the international community regarding Iran's nuclear programme. Transparency and cooperation by Iran would, therefore, be in the interest of not only the international community but also of Iran.
At this stage, I am increasingly disturbed by the current stalemate and the brewing confrontation - a stalemate that urgently needs to be broken, and a confrontation that must be defused. I continue to believe that dialogue and diplomacy are ultimately the only way to achieve the negotiated solution foreseen in the relevant Security Council resolutions. The earlier that conditions are created to move in this direction, the better.
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Next month, on 29 July, it will be fifty years since the concept of "Atoms for Peace" took shape as the International Atomic Energy Agency. The mission with which we were entrusted at that time remains crucial to security and development. The Secretariat and myself are proud to be a part of this mission. I trust you all share that pride, and that the Agency can continue to count on your support.