IAEA Director General's Introductory Statement to the Board of Governors (March 2023)

March 6, 2023

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear

Related Library Documents: 


Rafael Grossi

Author's Title: 

Director General

Mr Chairperson,

Before I begin, I would like to welcome The Gambia as the 176th Member State of the IAEA.

On Saturday, I returned from Tehran where I held talks with senior officials including President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, H. E. Mr. Ebrahim Raisi; Minister of Foreign Affairs, H. E. Mr. Hossein Amir-Abdollahian; and Vice-President of the Islamic Republic of Iran and President of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), H. E. Mr. Mohammad Eslami.

These high-level meetings addressed the importance of taking steps to facilitate enhanced cooperation, to expedite as appropriate the resolution of outstanding safeguards issues.

Both sides recognize that such positive engagements can pave the way for wider agreements among state parties.

I will update Members of the Board in more detail about my visit to Iran and the situation pertaining to Iran’s obligations under JCPOA and under its NPT agreement, shortly.


Returning to the issue of Iran’s nuclear programme. You have before you my latest report on Verification and monitoring in the Islamic Republic of Iran in light of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231 (2015). As you are aware, the Agency has not been able to perform JCPOA verification and monitoring activities in relation to the production and inventory of centrifuges, rotors and bellows, heavy water and uranium ore concentrate (UOC) for two years, including nearly nine months when the surveillance and monitoring equipment were not installed.

Following my discussions with Vice-President Eslami in Tehran on Saturday, I note Iran’s agreement to allow the Agency to proceed with further monitoring and verification measures indispensable to the Agency fulfilling its mission.

Achieving this will be very important because it would allow the Agency to begin to establish a new baseline necessary in the event of a resumption of Iran’s implementation of its nuclear-related commitments under the JCPOA.

I now look forward to the follow-up technical discussions and to the prompt and full implementation of Iran’s assurances and the Joint Statement between Vice-President Eslami and myself. You will find this joint statement attached as an annex to my latest report on the NPT Safeguards Agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran, which is before you.

In January, Iran implemented a significant change to the declared design information for the Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant (FFEP) without informing the Agency in advance. This was contrary to Iran’s obligations under its Safeguards Agreement. Following discussions between Iran and Agency officials, Iran has since confirmed that it will facilitate the further increase in the frequency and intensity of Agency verification activities at FFEP, as notified by the Agency.

Also in January at the Fordow fuel enrichment plant, we found particles of high enriched uranium with enrichment levels well beyond the enrichment level declared by Iran. The Agency and Iran have initiated technical discussions to fully clarify this issue.

I welcome Iran’s high-level assurances that it is willing to implement further appropriate verification and monitoring activities, and to cooperate with the Agency to resolve the outstanding safeguards issues, including those pertaining to the three undeclared locations in which the Agency found traces of uranium particles of anthropogenic origin. In the spirit of the joint statement, I look forward promptly to engaging in technical follow-up discussions with Iran, as we have agreed. There is important work ahead of us.