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

September 19, 2005

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear

. . .

Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran As requested, you have before you a comprehensive report on the implementation of safeguards in the Islamic Republic of Iran. I do not intend to cover the report in detail, but will limit my comments to the broad picture.

The objective of the Agency´s verification activities in Iran is to clarify all aspects of Iran´s past undeclared nuclear activities - with a view to assuring ourselves that all past activities have now been declared to the Agency, and that all nuclear material and activities in the country are under safeguards. The more thoroughly we are able to clarify all of Iran´s past nuclear activities, the more we will be in a position to understand and confirm the nature of the programme.

Since October 2003, good progress has been made in terms of Iran´s corrections of past breaches and in terms of the Agency´s ability to verify certain aspects of Iran´s nuclear programme. As a result, some aspects of that programme - such as those related to uranium conversion, laser enrichment, fuel fabrication and heavy water - are now being followed up as routine safeguards implementation matters.

Since November of last year, the Agency´s verification activities in Iran have been primarily focused on two questions related to Iran´s centrifuge enrichment activities. With respect to the first question, concerning the origin of low enriched uranium (LEU) and high enriched uranium (HEU) particle contamination found at various locations in Iran, we have made good progress, with the active cooperation of Pakistan. The results of our environmental sample analysis tend, on balance, to support Iran´s statements about the foreign origin of most of the observed HEU contamination.

With respect to the second question, regarding the chronology of Iran´s centrifuge enrichment activities, some progress has been made since last November. However, this progress has been slow, and the Agency has made repeated requests for additional information. This additional information requires, inter alia: clarification of the 1987 and mid-1990s offers from the procurement network; access to the dual use equipment related to the Lavisan-Shian site; additional access to the Parchin site; and access to a number of additional individuals. The Agency´s successful verification of the scope and chronology of Iran´s centrifuge enrichment activities will also be essential to the resolution of the remaining LEU contamination issues.

As the report makes clear, Iran continues to fulfil its obligations under the safeguards agreement and additional protocol by providing timely access to nuclear material, facilities and other locations. This is, however, a special verification case that requires additional transparency measures. Two decades of concealed activities have created a situation that makes it imperative for the Agency´s investigation to go beyond the confines of the safeguards agreement and the additional protocol. This is a prerequisite for the Agency to be able to reconstruct the history and nature of all aspects of Iran´s past nuclear activities, and to compensate for the confidence deficit created. I therefore call on Iran to expand the transparency and confidence building measures it has already provided. By promptly responding to these Agency requests, Iran would well serve both its interests and those of the international community.

Regarding the status of Iran´s voluntary suspension of all enrichment related and reprocessing activities, as the report indicates, Iran has since 8 August been conducting conversion activities at the Isfahan Uranium Conversion Facility, under Agency verification. Other aspects of Iran´s suspension remain intact.

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