United States Statement As Delivered by Chargé d’Affaires Ambassador Laura Kennedy at the IAEA Board of Governors Meeting

September 18, 2014

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear

Thank you, Mr. Chairman,

The U.S. would like to extend its appreciation to the Director General and his staff for the September 5 report on the "Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and relevant provisions of Security Council resolutions in the Islamic Republic of Iran."  The Agency deserves our thanks for its rigorous efforts to resolve all past and present issues of concern regarding Iran's nuclear program.  The Agency's objective, factual, and technical approach is again reflected in this report. Furthermore, with the extension of the Joint Plan of Action (JPOA) among the E3+3, the European Union, and Iran, the Agency is continuing to play the essential role in verifying Iran's nuclear-related commitments under the JPOA.

In recent reports, the Director General was able to note areas where Iran was engaging or providing some cooperation and to announce further measures Iran intended to undertake under the November 2013 IAEA-Iran Framework for Cooperation.  This report, however, indicates Iran had not taken the steps it committed to fulfill by August 25 and that two of the measures have not yet been

Both of these measures – one on the initiation of high explosives and the other on neutron transport calculations – relate to the possible military dimensions (PMD) of Iran's nuclear program.  They are among the core issues that form the basis for the international community's serious and unresolved concerns about the peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear activities.  We call on Iran to engage with the Agency substantively, fully, and without further delay in order to implement these two measures. 

The Director General states in his report that the Agency has not identified any outstanding questions for the six non-PMD measures agreed upon as part of the second step of the IAEA-Iran Framework for Cooperation.  He offers no such assurances on exploding bridge wire (EBW) detonators, however.  In fact, in the September 9 Technical Briefing to member states, Deputy Director General for Safeguards Varjoranta reported that at recent expert-level meetings in Tehran, Iran chose to address only "certain" outstanding questions related to EBW.  We would also like to recall the clear statement by the Director General that the Agency will need to consider all PMD issues, of which EBW is only one, as a "system" and assess that PMD "system" as a whole.

The U.S. reiterates its support for the IAEA's intention to review all PMD-related issues under a holistic "system" approach.  Such an approach is appropriate given the interconnected nature of the PMD concerns outlined principally in the annex to the Director General's November 2011 report and the interactive nature of its engagement with Iran.  Indeed, it would be premature to close out any particular PMD-related item without understanding its relationship to other PMD issues as a whole. The IAEA's approach in this regard reflects sound verification practice and the United States would not support any supposed resolution of PMD issues achieved in a piecemeal fashion.

Looking ahead, we note with concern that Iran has not yet agreed to cooperate on new practical measures under the Framework for Cooperation.  We are extremely concerned by this lack of forward movement and call on Iran to intensify its engagement with the Agency and to agree to implement, and follow through on implementing, additional measures without delay.  The international community is only asking that Iran take the steps necessary to allow the IAEA to verify the exclusively peaceful nature of its nuclear program.

The IAEA's ongoing efforts regarding Iran's nuclear program occur against the backdrop of work by the E3+3, the European Union, and Iran to achieve a long-term comprehensive solution to the Iranian nuclear issue.  Since our last Board meeting in June, the participants decided to extend the JPOA through November 24, 2014.  Under this extension, all participants have committed to uphold their JPOA-related commitments and have committed to certain additional steps while we work toward a comprehensive solution.

We welcome Iran's continued fulfillment of its nuclear- related commitments under the JPOA, as extended, which the IAEA is playing the essential role in verifying.  The U.S. was pleased to provide an extra-budgetary contribution in support of the IAEA's JPOA-related verification activities.  We commend those Member States that have offered similar contributions, and encourage others to do so.

On September 18, negotiators from the E3+3, the European Union, and Iran will meet in New York to continue discussions on achieving a long-term comprehensive solution.  To date, we have made meaningful progress on some key issues, although we remain further apart on others.  One issue particularly important to this body, as affirmed by the numerous resolutions it has adopted, is PMD.  We would like to take this opportunity to reaffirm that PMD concerns must be addressed as part of any comprehensive solution.  Only with resolution of the international community's serious PMD concerns will it be possible to have confidence that Iran's nuclear program is and will remain exclusively peaceful.

In his report, the Director General recalled Iran's statement of its high-level commitment to implement the IAEA-Iran Framework for Cooperation and of Iran's
willingness to accelerate resolution of all outstanding issues.  We only ask that Iran translate its words into concrete, verifiable, and immediate actions.

With these comments, my delegation takes note of the Director General's report as contained in document "GOV/2014/43" and requests that the report be made public.  We look forward to further reporting from the DirectorGeneral.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.