Statement by Ambassador Ali Akbar Salehi to the IAEA Board of Governors

September 12, 2003

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear

The debate on this issue revealed two distinctly contrasting views. One attempts to circumvent the IAEA and issue an express ticket to the Security Council; and the other - the clearly prevailing view, though not necessarily dominating, seeks to sustain the process and allow the Agency to run its course and discharge its responsibilities withstanding political bullying. I believe the Director General summed up the debate in succinct and compelling terms. I may be paraphrasing, but the main points of that summary included, as I recall, that:

  • The issue is important and needs to be cleared;
  • The approach is technical and should remain technical;
  • Expectation to resolve the matter soon is justified but the Agency should be allowed to exhaust its course;
  • Failures do happen. But the important thing is to remedy them and ensure that all activities are under the safeguards;
  • A negative conclusion on the ability of the Agency to verify the situation harms the safeguard;
  • The reaction of the Board, in form and substance, should reflect the collective view of the entire membership;
  • And above all, there should not be any jumping to conclusions or jumping the gun.