Agenda Item 7(d)
Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and Relevant Provisions
of United Nations Security Council Resolutions in the Islamic Republic of Iran
June 5, 2012
The United States would like to extend its deep appreciation to the Director General and his staff for this latest report on the implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and relevant provisions of the Security Council resolutions on Iran.
We commend the Director General and his staff for their highly professional efforts in carrying out the Agency’s verification mandates in Iran. Despite those efforts, and despite recent Iranian claims of willingness to cooperate, the Director General’s report confirms that the facts on the ground in Iran continue to be cause for deep concern on two fronts. First, Iran continues to carry out and expand proliferation sensitive activities the Security Council has decided must be suspended. Second, Iran has yet to follow through on its reported “agreement to agree” with the IAEA’s structured approach for resolving the IAEA’s concerns about the possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear program. Far from answering these questions, Iran continues to hold the IAEA in abeyance while pondering the order in which they will be answered.
The Director General’s resulting conclusions are clear: the Agency is still unable to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran, and therefore cannot conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities.
Of particular concern, the Director General’s latest report confirms that, rather than take concrete steps to come into compliance with its obligations, Iran continues to expand its enrichment program in defiance of multiple legally binding Security Council and Board of Governors resolutions requiring Iran to suspend all enrichment activities. Iran continues to install centrifuges at Natanz and the Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant near Qom, and continues to enrich uranium to near 20 percent. Iran has actually accelerated its production of low-enriched uranium, even though it has now produced a total of more than 6,000 kilograms of UF6 enriched up to five percent, and nearly 150 kilograms of UF6 enriched up to 20 percent. There appears no immediate peaceful need for such stockpiles or for such an acceleration of the program, and we would note that this quantity of low-enriched uranium is enough for several nuclear weapons if further enriched to higher levels.
Our concerns regarding the Fordow facility are amplified given the previously clandestine nature of the facility, Iran’s multiple revisions to the facility’s declared purpose, and the fact that Iran is still stonewalling the IAEA’s requests for additional information regarding the facility’s original and current purpose. These immediate concerns are exacerbated by Iran’s recent installation of two new cascades, above and beyond the four cascades already operating, and thus bringing the total number of centrifuges installed at Fordow to over 1000 in total.
Iran has yet to provide any evidence to demonstrate that the construction of Fordow was for a legitimate and peaceful civilian purpose, constructed as it was in secret and at a size inconsistent with any plausible civil need. It is for this reason that the continued expansion of this facility remains a serious provocation and why we call for its immediate shutdown if we are to reduce the confidence deficit between Iran and the international community.
In addition to our concerns with the Fordow facility, the Director General reports on other areas that require Iran’s immediate attention and clarification. For example, we note that the Agency has previously requested additional information in relation to a discrepancy of 19.8 kilograms of natural uranium metal in Iran; we are disappointed that Iran has not provided this information, particularly in light of our concerns regarding the possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program. We call on Iran to fully cooperate with the Agency in resolving this discrepancy. We also note the Director General’s report that Iran’s refusal thus far to provide the IAEA with updated design information for the IR-40 heavy water reactor is now having an adverse impact on the Agency’s ability to effectively verify the design of the facility. Iran is required to provide this information under the modified Code 3.1 of the Subsidiary Arrangements under Iran’s safeguards agreement that the IAEA and this Board has made clear is still in force in Iran.
Turning to the issue of outstanding issues related to the possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear program, the Director General’s report makes clear that Iran continues to deny the Agency the full cooperation necessary, including access to the locations, documents, and personnel required to resolve these outstanding issues. The Director General’s report is yet another reminder that despite the best efforts of the IAEA, Iran has failed to make use of repeated opportunities to cooperate, including multiple meetings with senior IAEA officials that culminated in the Director General’s visit in May to Tehran. It is clear that Iran still refuses to comply with the common set of established international rules, norms, and principles that accompany a state’s right to the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
Regarding the latest IAEA-Iran meetings in May, we regret that Iran was unable to agree to and implement the IAEA’s proposed structured approach for resolving the Agency’s concerns about Iran’s nuclear program, as called for in the resolution adopted by the Board last November. We are also deeply concerned that Iran continues its refusal to provide the Agency access to the Parchin facility — a request that the Director General reiterated in his May 2 letter to Iran. We are deeply troubled by the Director General’s report in this regard, and by the related presentation made by Deputy Director General Nackaerts at the May 30 Technical Briefing showing that Iran is undertaking likely sanitization activities at the Parchin facility that would prevent the Agency from carrying out its mandate to establish whether Iran’s declarations are correct and complete. As noted in the Director General’s report, virtually no activity had been observed for a number of years at the specific location within the Parchin site to which the IAEA has requested access. However, following the Agency’s request for access, the Director General reported that “the buildings of interest to the Agency are now subject to extensive activities that could hamper the Agency’s ability to undertake effective verification.” If Iran has nothing to hide, why deny the Agency access and carry out these apparent cleanup efforts?
We note the Director General’s report that, during his meeting with Dr. Jalili in Tehran, the two parties decided to agree on a structured approach to address the Agency’s longstanding concerns with the possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear program. We further note Dr. Jalili’s promise that the remaining issues posed during the talks in Vienna and Tehran are not obstacles to reaching an agreement. However, we regret that despite this assurance made last month, Iran has still not yet executed an agreement with the Agency detailing this structured approach. We urge Iran to move in an expedited manner to reach an agreement with the Agency at its pending meeting with the Agency on Friday, June 8, and, much more importantly, to implement such an agreement without further delay by granting the access to all sites, equipment, persons and documents requested by the Agency, including Parchin, and to halt any sanitization efforts pending that visit. The international community will judge Iran not on its words, but by the actions it takes to address these longstanding concerns.
My delegation would also like to recall the statement made by EU High Representative Ashton at the close of the E3+3 meetings with Iran in Baghdad May 23-24. We would like to emphasize that this is the beginning of a process to hold Iran accountable to its international obligations and to resolve the outstanding issues that raise questions about the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program. The E3+3 process does not, and cannot, replace the serious discussions between the IAEA and Iran on implementing a structured approach to resolve the Agency’s concerns with the possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear program, as well as separate Agency efforts to ensure that all issues associated with verifying the correctness and completeness of Iran’s declarations are addressed.
Finally, Mr. Chairman, I would like to reiterate that while we are encouraged by the ongoing discussions between Iran and the Agency and hopeful that a modalities agreement can be quickly reached, success will only be measured and defined by Iran’s actual fulfillment of the agreement. It is not enough to merely sign a document. Iran must take the steps necessary to resolve the longstanding issues with its nuclear program without any further delay.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.