United States Statement As Delivered by Ambassador Macmanus at the IAEA Board of Governors Meeting

June 4, 2014

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear

Thank you, Mr. Chairman,

We would like to extend our appreciation to the Director General and his staff for the May 23 report on the "Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and relevant provisions of Security Council resolutions in the Islamic Republic of Iran." We commend the Agency for its ongoing efforts to verify the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear program and to resolve all outstanding issues and concerns. Moreover, we welcome the continuing and essential role the Agency is playing in verifying the nuclear-related understandings contained in the Joint Plan of Action (JPOA) between the E3+3 and Iran.

Mr. Chairman,

I would like to highlight several developments since the Board of Governors last convened in March.  The Director General reports that Iran has implemented the seven practical measures agreed with the Agency in February under the IAEA-Iran "Framework for Cooperation."  This included providing information on exploding bridge wire detonators.  The Director General notes that this is the first time that Iran has engaged in a technical exchange with the Agency on a topic related to the possible military dimensions (PMD) of Iran's nuclear program since 2008.  Such engagement is welcome – if long overdue.  We stress it is only a first step and that the Agency is now analyzing the information provided by Iran.  The United States continues to see full cooperation on all outstanding issues as an essential requirement before the Secretariat will be in a position to report to the Board its findings in relation to the serious PMD concerns the Director General previously conveyed.

The Director General outlined a number of issues in the annex to his November 2011 report which gave rise to these serious concerns regarding the nature of Iran's nuclear program.  In his May 23 report of this year, the Director General stated the Agency plans to consider and acquire an understanding of individual PMD elements and then integrate all of the issues to be assessed collectively, including the information provided by Iran related to exploding bridge wire detonators.  Given the interrelated nature of these PMD issues, the United States agrees that employing such a "system" approach to assessing PMD is necessary and appropriate.  We encourage the Agency to draw conclusions on PMD when all necessary information has been acquired, integrated, and assessed.

We welcome the announcement by the IAEA and Iran that Iran will implement five additional practical measures, two of which relate to PMD.  This opens the way for further steps forward, and we encourage Iran to engage substantively and expeditiously on these measures.  Only with Iran's complete cooperation – which would include implementing the provisions of the Additional Protocol and Modified Code 3.1 – would the Agency be in a position to reach a conclusion regarding whether Iran's nuclear program is exclusively peaceful.  It is Iran's responsibility to cooperate with the IAEA in this regard.  Such cooperation is required in order to resolve questions about the nature of Iran's nuclear program that have been raised by Iran's own actions, as the Director General has reported to the Board over the past twelve years and particularly in the PMD annex to the Director General's November 2011 report.

Mr. Chairman,

Resolution of the issues related to PMD is critical to a long-term comprehensive solution that provides the necessary confidence Iran's nuclear program is exclusively peaceful.  Efforts to achieve such a resolution occur against the backdrop of implementation of the Joint Plan of Action by the E3+3 and Iran.  In his latest report, the Director General confirms Iran's fulfillment of the JPOA's nuclear- related commitments.  We continue to welcome Iran's fulfillment of the JPOA's nuclear-related measures.  We note, however, that the conversion to oxide of uranium enriched up to five percent has not yet begun.  We look forward to accelerated progress in that regard.

The most recent round of talks in Vienna between the E3+3 and Iran concluded on May 16.  The discussions were useful, but also difficult.  This is not unexpected when dealing with such complicated and challenging issues.  We remain focused, united with our E3+3 partners, and committed to working to move the process forward.  Our goal remains a long-term comprehensive solution that addresses the international community's concerns regarding Iran's nuclear program and ensures Iran does not acquire a nuclear weapon.

We were pleased to learn that the Agency has achieved its goal for extra-budgetary contributions in support of its JPOA-related verification efforts.  We commend those states that provided such contributions.  This demonstrates broad support for the enhanced verification role the Agency is playing with respect to the JPOA in parallel to its verification efforts under Iran's safeguards agreement.

Mr. Chairman,

We urge Iran to build on and further intensify its engagement with the Agency in an effort to resolve all outstanding issues.  If Iran does so, we are confident it will find a willing partner in the Agency, which performs its duties with characteristic professionalism, impartiality, and technical expertise.

With these comments, the United States takes note of the Director General's report as contained in document GOV/2014/28 and requests that the report be made public. We look forward to further reporting from the Director General.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.