IAEA Director General's Introductory Statement to the Board of Governors (Excerpts)

September 13, 2021

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear

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Madam Chairperson,

I shall return to the issue of Agency assistance to Member States later in these remarks, but first I would like to update you on our safeguards work, particularly the situation in Iran and the DPRK. My report on Verification and monitoring in the Islamic Republic of Iran in light of United Nations Security Council resolution 2231 covers relevant activities of the Agency in the past few months.

Up to 23 February 2021, the Agency verified and monitored the implementation by Iran of its nuclear-related commitments under the JCPOA. However, since that date, these activities have been seriously undermined as a result of Iran’s decision to stop the implementation of its nuclear-related commitments under the JCPOA, including the Additional Protocol.

In the report, I reiterated that Iran’s failure to respond to the Agency’s requests for access to its monitoring equipment was seriously compromising the Agency’s technical capability to maintain continuity of knowledge, which is necessary for the Agency to resume its verification and monitoring of Iran’s nuclear-related commitments in the future. The Agency’s confidence that it could maintain continuity of knowledge had been declining over time and had recently significantly further declined. This confidence could continue to decline unless the situation were immediately rectified by Iran.

You have also received my report entitled NPT Safeguards Agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran, which describes the Agency’s efforts to clarify questions relating to the correctness and completeness of Iran’s declarations under its Safeguards Agreement and Additional Protocol since my last report.

The presence of multiple uranium particles of anthropogenic origin at three locations in Iran not declared to the Agency, as well as the presence of isotopically altered particles at one of these locations, is a clear indication that nuclear material and/or equipment contaminated by nuclear material has been present at these locations.

Iran has still not provided the necessary explanations for the presence of the nuclear material particles at any of three locations where the Agency has conducted complementary accesses. Nor has Iran answered the Agency’s questions with regard to another undeclared location or clarified the current location of natural uranium in the form of a metal disc.

I remain deeply concerned that nuclear material has been present at undeclared locations in Iran and that the current locations of this nuclear material are not known to the Agency. And I am increasingly concerned that, even after some two years, the safeguards issues outlined above in relation to the four locations in Iran not declared to the Agency, remain unresolved.

I reiterate the requirement for Iran to clarify and resolve these issues without further delay by providing information, documentation and answers to the Agency’s questions. The lack of progress in clarifying the Agency’s questions concerning the correctness and completeness of Iran’s safeguards declarations seriously affects the ability of the Agency to provide assurance of the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme.

I also call upon Iran to fulfil all of its legal obligations under the Subsidiary Arrangements to its Safeguards Agreement and fully implement modified Code 3.1.

Related to the matters in both of these reports, I indicated that I was available to travel to Iran to meet members of the new administration to discuss these matters with a view to resolving them without delay. I hope that through a direct, cooperative and productive dialogue with the new Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran these urgent matters can be addressed.

Yesterday, I issued another report entitled Verification and monitoring in the Islamic Republic of Iran in light of United Nations Security Council resolution 2231 On that day I met the Vice-President of Iran and Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, H.E. Mohammad Eslami, in Tehran and we issued a Joint Statement. That Joint Statement provided, inter alia, that Agency inspectors will service Agency monitoring and surveillance equipment and replace the storage media, which will be kept in Iran under seals of the Agency and the AEOI. The way this is to be carried out and the timing have been agreed between us.

The Joint Statement also refers to a meeting that I will have with Vice-President Eslami on the sidelines of the forthcoming IAEA General Conference and my visit to Tehran in the near future to hold high-level consultations with senior Iranian officials with the aim of enhancing cooperation between Iran and the Agency in different fields, and to discuss current issues of mutual interest.

I will continue to report as appropriate.

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