Joint Statement – Agenda Item 7d – IAEA Board of Governors Meeting – September 2023

September 13, 2023

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear

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Thank you Chair.

I am delivering this statement on behalf of a group of 63 member states from all regional groups including all EU member states.

These 63 states are: Albania, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Norway, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Türkiye, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uruguay, and Yemen.

We express our sincere appreciation for the continued professional and impartial efforts of the Agency to implement Iran’s Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement. We commend the Director General for his extensive efforts to engage Iran regarding the outstanding safeguards issues and implementation of further verification and monitoring activities by the Agency. We note that the Director General has further reiterated that the outstanding safeguards issues stem from Iran’s obligations under its Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement and need to be resolved for the Agency to be in a position to provide credible assurance regarding the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme. We echo the Director General’s request that Iran work with the Agency in earnest and in a sustained way towards the fulfilment of the commitments contained in the March 4 Joint Statement.

Recalling this Board’s resolution contained in GOV/2022/70, which was adopted on 17 November 2022, we collectively highlight the contents of the Director General’s latest report contained in GOV/2023/43. This report concludes once again that the safeguards issues related to possible undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran remain outstanding due to insufficient cooperation by Iran, and moreover that new issues related to Iran’s implementation of its NPTrequired safeguards agreement have arisen. In addition, despite signs in June that Iran was making limited progress towards implementation of the Joint Statement with the IAEA, we share the Director General’s regret that no progress has been made since. Iran’s de-designation of experienced Agency inspectors and denials of visas for Agency officials run counter to the Joint Statement and undermine the Agency’s ability to carry out its safeguards mandate.

We reiterate that the Board has adopted three resolutions on safeguards issues over four years as a result of the Agency’s calls for better co-operation by Iran. We recall that the resolution adopted last November by the Board of Governors decided it was and it is essential and urgent that Iran act to fulfill its legal obligations and, with a view to clarifying all outstanding safeguards issues, take the following actions without delay:

1. Provide technically credible explanations for the presence of uranium particles of anthropogenic origin at three undeclared locations in Iran;

2. Inform the Agency of the current location(s) of the nuclear material and/or of the contaminated equipment;

3. Provide all information, documentation, and answers the Agency requires for that purpose; and

4. Provide access to locations and material the Agency requires for that purpose, as well as for the taking of samples as deemed appropriate by the

We note that over the past ten months Iran still has not provided technically credible explanations for the presence of uranium particles of anthropogenic origin found by the Agency at undeclared locations in Iran. We underline that the Director General has reported once again that “the outstanding safeguards issues[…] need to be resolved for the Agency to be in a position to provide assurance that Iran’s nuclear programme is exclusively peaceful”.

Collectively, we underscore the urgent need for Iran to clarify and resolve these issues in a manner satisfactory to the IAEA. Iran must provide technically credible answers to the IAEA, as required by its Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement, in order to address the Agency’s legitimate questions on the outstanding locations, and to resolve the nuclear material discrepancy relating to its Uranium Conversion Facility. As noted in the Board’s November Resolution, when the Secretariat is in a position to report the safeguards issues as no longer outstanding as a result of Iran’s provision of technically credible information, it would remove the need for the Board’s consideration and action on these issues.

In addition, like all other states with a Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement, and as the Director General’s report notes, Iran’s implementation of modified Code 3.1 is a legal obligation for Iran under the Subsidiary Arrangements to its Safeguards Agreement. Iran therefore is obligated to provide design information as soon as the decision is made to construct, or authorize construction of, a nuclear facility. Iran must provide the required information regarding new nuclear facilities without further delay. This is essential to ensure not only the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme, but also the effectiveness and efficiency of the Agency’s safeguards system on which we all rely for the nonproliferation assurance that is key to international security.

We call upon Iran to act immediately to fulfil its legal obligations to address the following issues identified by the Director General:

1. The outstanding safeguards issues in relation to nuclear material detected at undeclared locations in Iran, including informing the Agency of the current location(s) of nuclear material and/or contaminated equipment;

2. The discrepancy in the amount of nuclear material verified by the Agency at the Esfahan Uranium Conversion Facility (originating from the Jabr Ibn Hayan Laboratories), compared to the amount declared by Iran; and

3. Iran’s implementation of modified Code 3.1 of the Subsidiary Arrangements to its Safeguards Agreement, including the provision of the required early design information.

We would like to thank the IAEA for its impartial and professional work on this issue. We request the Director General to continue to report to the Board of Governors on this issue.