IAEA Board of Governors Meeting: Implementation of NPT Safeguards Agreement and Relevant Provisions of U.N. Security Council Resolutions in the Islamic Republic of Iran

Statement by U.S. Ambassador Joseph E. Macmanus, U.S. Permanent Representative to the IAEA
September 11, 2013

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear

Mr. Chairman,

The United States would like to extend its appreciation to the Director General and his staff for his August 28 report on the implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and relevant provisions of the Security Council resolutions in Iran. We would like to commend the Director General for his factual and informative report and the IAEA Secretariat for carrying out its duties in a professional and impartial manner.  Considering the importance of this issue to the international community, we call on the Secretariat to release the DG’s report to the public.

The United States has reaffirmed its readiness to work with the new Iranian government under President Rouhani to reach a diplomatic solution that will fully address the international community's concerns about Iran's nuclear program.  We are hopeful that the Rouhani Administration will live up to its assurances of transparency and cooperation by taking concrete steps over the next several months that will allow for a positive report in November.  We are mindful of this unique moment, and urge Iran to take the steps necessary to allay international concerns about the nature of its nuclear program.

Mr. Chairman,

We note with regret that, as reported by the Director General, Iran has not taken any concrete actions to come into compliance with obligations under its safeguards agreement and relevant resolutions of the United Nations Security Council and the Board of Governors, which remain legally binding despite Iran's protests to the contrary.

First, Iran has not provided the transparency that these resolutions require. Iran refuses to implement the Additional Protocol and the modified Code 3.1 of its safeguards agreement subsidiary arrangement, both of which are required by UN Security Council and Board resolutions. As a result, the Director General has once again reiterated his long standing conclusion that "the Agency is unable to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran, and therefore to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities."  We call on Iran to implement these measures without delay.

Second, Iran has not taken any steps towards cooperating with the IAEA on the outstanding questions relating to Iran's nuclear program, including its possible military dimensions, and has not come any closer to agreement with the Agency on a structured approach to resolve these issues.  In this regard, we commend the Director General for outlining in detail the elements of a structured approach that will allow the IAEA to carry out an effective investigation in keeping with established safeguards and verification practices.  The United States believes these elements are reasonable and necessary.  As noted in the report, it is imperative that the structured approach cover all outstanding issues.  Likewise, the Agency must be allowed to request, as necessary, further information and follow-on actions and to return to issues previously discussed.

We strongly urge the Director General to ensure these elements remain in the structured approach, and call on Iran to accept them.  While we commend the Agency for its efforts to conclude a structured approach with Iran, the United States remains of the view that such an agreement is not required for Iran to cooperate with the IAEA on resolving outstanding issues.  We call on Iran to cease its delaying tactics and immediately begin taking steps to cooperate with the IAEA on its investigation.

The United States is deeply concerned that Iran continues to deny the Agency access to the Parchin facility—one of the first issues the Agency requested Iran address over a year-and-a-half ago.  As detailed in previous reports by the Director General, satellite imagery has shown that since the Agency's first request for access, Iran has undertaken extensive measures to modify this facility in an apparent effort to obscure evidence of past activities.  While reporting no new sanitization efforts since his last report, the Director General reiterated that the extensive activities that Iran has undertaken at Parchin have seriously undermined the Agency's ability to conduct effective verification.  We call on Iran to grant access to Parchin without further delay, even in the absence of an agreed structured approach.

Mr. Chairman,

In addition to Iran's refusal to comply with its obligations related to transparency and cooperation, Iran refuses to suspend its enrichment and heavy water-related activities, as required by multiple UN Security Council and IAEA Board resolutions.  In fact, Iran continues taking actions in direct contravention of its obligations to expand and deepen these prohibited programs.  First, let me first turn to Iran's enrichment program.  The Director General reported that Iran has now installed 1,008 advanced IR-2m centrifuges at Natanz, comprising six full cascades.  Further, Iran has indicated that it will test the performance of the six fully-installed cascades at an unspecified time.  Iran also continues to install ever more first generation centrifuges at Natanz.  These are concerning escalations of an already prohibited activity. 

Even as it works to increase its enrichment capacity, Iran has acknowledged that it already has enough near-20 percent enriched uranium for conversion into fuel plates for the Tehran Research Reactor for years to come.  Futhermore, it does not need indigenous LEU for the Bushehr nuclear power plant.  In short, there is no legitimate rationale for Iran to continue to enrich to any level and certainly no need to expand its enrichment capacity further.  We call on Iran to refrain from undertaking any testing or enrichment activities with the newly installed centrifuges, in particular the six IR-2m cascades. 

In addition to efforts to expand its prohibited enrichment program, Iran continues construction of the IR-40 heavy water research reactor at Arak, also a clear violation of Iran's UNSCR obligations.  A heavy water moderated reactor is ideally suited for the production of plutonium, thus opening a potential second avenue to a nuclear device.  Its construction is of significant concern.  We note that, although commissioning has been delayed beyond the first quarter of 2014, Iran continues to make progress on the reactor.  As reported by the Director General, Iran has recently put the reactor vessel in place.  Iran also has begun to fabricate fuel rods for use in the reactor and has informed the Agency that it has sufficient stocks of heavy water to commission the reactor.  All of these are troubling developments.  In this regard, we note that Iran's continued production of heavy water and its continued refusal to allow the IAEA access to the heavy water production facility are violations of its UN Security Council Resolutions obligations.  We note with concern that Iran’s refusal to provide the IAEA with updated design information for the IR-40 is having an increasingly adverse impact on the Agency's ability to effectively verify the design of the facility and to implement an effective safeguards approach.  If Iran is truly interested in transparency, it should adhere to the terms of modified Code 3.1 and provide the IAEA with new design information without further delay.

Mr. Chairman,

The many issues I have raised here are not new to this Board.  With a new President in office, and a new government in place under his leadership, Iran today has an opportunity to change its path from intransigence to cooperation, from obfuscation to transparency.  Over the coming weeks and months, the international community will be watching Iran's actions to see whether it will choose a new, more cooperative and transparent approach.  Should Iran continue its intransigence and obfuscation, we will work with fellow Board members at the November Board meeting to hold Iran appropriately accountable.  However, it is our sincere hope and desire that Iran will take advantage of this opportunity to change course in favor of cooperation and transparency.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.