I requested that this meeting of the Board of Governors be convened to consider my report entitled Final Assessment on Past and Present Outstanding Issues regarding Iran’s Nuclear Programme.
As you will recall, I detailed 12 areas of concern about possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear programme in the Annex to my report to the Board of November 2011.
I stated that information available to the Agency indicated that Iran had carried out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device. The Agency assessed the information as, overall, credible.
In response to my report, the Board adopted a resolution urging Iran and the Agency to intensify their dialogue in order to clarify the outstanding issues. Following extended negotiations with Iran, we eventually agreed on a Road-map to clarify those issues.
This report is the result of the Agency’s best efforts, undertaken in accordance with our established verification practices, to clarify the issues with possible military dimensions.
While it was not possible for the Agency to reconstruct all the details of activities conducted by Iran in the past, we were able to clarify enough elements to provide an assessment of the whole picture.
My final assessment gives clear answers to two very important questions: did Iran engage in activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device? And, if it did, is it still doing so?
The main elements of my report are as follows.
The Agency assesses that a range of activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device were conducted in Iran prior to the end of 2003 as a coordinated effort, and some activities took place after 2003.
The Agency also assesses that these activities did not advance beyond feasibility and scientific studies, and the acquisition of certain relevant technical competences and capabilities.
The Agency has no credible indications of activities in Iran relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device after 2009.
Nor has the Agency found any credible indications of the diversion of nuclear material in connection with the possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear programme.
As is the case with all my reports, this assessment is factual, technically sound and balanced. The methodology and information on which my assessments are based have been set out.
I hope that my report will enable the Board to decide on the future course of action.
Two important issues must be addressed in the immediate future.
First, Iran needs to complete the necessary preparatory steps to start implementing its nuclear-related commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action agreed with the E3/EU+3 countries.
JCPOA Implementation Day will occur when the Agency has verified that Iran has implemented measures specified in that agreement. I will inform the Board promptly when the Agency has verified that the preparatory steps have been completed.
Second, the question of how the Agency’s additional activities in Iran under the JCPOA will be funded must be addressed.
Implementation of the Additional Protocol, and verification and monitoring of Iran’s nuclear-related commitments under the JCPOA, involve activities for which predictable funding is needed.
In line with established budget procedures, I will provide estimates of the additional costs for 2017 as part of my Draft Budget Update in January 2016.
In recent years, these initial estimates have not included any increases other than for the price adjustment in the second year of the biennium. But, on this occasion, I will need to request the additional funding to fulfil our responsibilities under the JCPOA.
In preparing the initial estimates for 2017, and deciding whether to propose integration of the full costs into the regular budget in one year, or phased over several years, I am carefully considering the capacity of Member States to contribute, as I have done in the past.
Significant progress has been made on the Iran nuclear issue, but now is not the time to relax. This issue has a long and complex history, and the legacy of mistrust between Iran and the international community must be overcome.
Much work lies ahead of us. All parties must fully implement their commitments under the JCPOA. Considerable effort was required in order to reach this agreement. A similar and sustained effort will be required to implement it.
The Agency will continue to address the Iran nuclear issue with the same professionalism it demonstrated in the past. I will continue to report to the Board.
I thank the many Agency colleagues, past and present, especially in the Department of Safeguards, who have worked very hard on this issue for more than a decade.
I am also grateful for the continued support of the Board.
Thank you, Mr Chairman.