Iran Crisis Deepens: IAEA Board of Governors Meeting, Vienna, September 8-12
Note: the 35 members of the Board of Governors for 2002-2003 are: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Iran, Japan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Panama, Philippines, Romania, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Sudan, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States.
'Introductory Statement to the Board of Governors by IAEA Director General Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, Vienna, September 8, 2003'; website of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), http://www.iaea.org.
Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources
The control of radioactive sources continues to be an issue of increasing security concern. These concerns were the focus of a major international conference held here in Vienna in March, on which I reported to the Board in June. The Agency is continuing to assist Member States in efforts to strengthen their source control programmes, and over the past year completed missions to assist Bolivia, Ecuador, Nigeria and the United Republic of Tanzania with the recovery, characterization and securing of radioactive sources seized in illicit trafficking incidents.
One aspect of our assistance involves the provision of guidance. The revised Code of Conduct before you on the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources, prepared by an open-ended group of experts, takes account of the relevant findings of this year's conference, and strengthens the security related provisions of the Code of Conduct.
Verification of Nuclear Non-Proliferation
Status of Comprehensive Safeguards Agreements and Additional Protocols
A comprehensive safeguards agreement for Cuba is before the Board for approval, as well as additional protocols for Cuba and Iceland.
I should note in that context that forty-seven States still have to fulfil their obligations under the NPT to conclude and bring into force safeguards agreements with the Agency. And more than six years after the Board's approval of the Model Additional Protocol, only 35 States have additional protocols in force, with over 150 States yet to take similar action. This is obviously a very disappointing result so far. As I have mentioned in many contexts, without the necessary authority, the Agency cannot provide the required assurance.
Implementation of Safeguards in the DPRK
The situation in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) continues to pose a serious and immediate challenge to the nuclear non-proliferation regime.
As I have reported repeatedly to the Board, since 1993 the Agency has been unable to implement fully its comprehensive NPT safeguards agreement with the DPRK. The Agency has never been allowed by the DPRK to verify the completeness and correctness of the DPRK's initial 1992 declaration - specifically, that the DPRK has declared all the nuclear material that is subject to Agency safeguards under its NPT safeguards agreement. From November 1994, the Agency was only allowed to monitor the "freeze" of the DPRK's graphite moderated reactor and related facilities, in connection with the "Agreed Framework" between the DPRK and the USA. This continued until the end of December 2002, when the Agency's inspectors were withdrawn at the request of the DPRK. Since that time, the Agency has not performed any verification activities in the DPRK and cannot therefore provide any level of assurance about the non-diversion of nuclear material.
The six-party talks that recently took place in Beijing were clearly a step in the right direction towards a comprehensive resolution of the Korean crisis. I do hope that the dialogue will continue, and I trust that any future settlement will ensure the return of the DPRK to the non-proliferation regime and that the IAEA will be given the necessary authority and resources and be provided with all available information, to be able to fulfil its responsibilities under the NPT in a credible manner. I also hope that the Agency will be consulted at an early stage on verification requirements.
Implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolutions Relating to Iraq
Regarding the implementation of UN Security Council resolutions relating to Iraq: as you are aware, as of 17 March 2003, when the Agency withdrew its inspectors and staff from Iraq, the Agency had not found any evidence of the revival of nuclear activities prohibited under Resolutions 687 and 707. However, considering the four-year absence of Agency inspectors from Iraq, the time that was made available for the renewed inspections was not sufficient to permit the Agency to complete its overall review and assessment.
The Agency's mandate in Iraq under various Security Council resolutions still stands. On 22 May, the Security Council adopted resolution 1483 in which, inter alia, it expressed its intention to revisit the mandates of the IAEA and UNMOVIC under the relevant Security Council resolutions. We are awaiting that review and further guidance by the Council. Nonetheless, I should emphasize that, irrespective of our mandate under Security Council resolutions, we have the continuing responsibility under Iraq's NPT safeguards agreement with the Agency to ensure that, in accordance with that agreement, Iraq has declared all its nuclear material and activities, and that all nuclear activities in Iraq are for peaceful purposes. We will continue, obviously, to fulfil that responsibility.
Application of Agency Safeguards in the Middle East
Pursuant to the mandate given to me by the General Conference, I have continued to consult with the States of the Middle East region on the application of full scope safeguards to all nuclear activities in the Middle East, on the development of model agreements, and on a forum on the experience of other regions that would contribute to the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East. Once again, I regret to report that due to the prevailing situation in the region I have not been in a position to make progress on the implementation of this important mandate, which is of direct relevance to non-proliferation and security in the Middle East. As before, I will continue to exert every effort within my authority. With the active co-operation of all concerned, I do hope to be able to move this mandate forward in the coming year.
Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran
Regarding the implementation of the NPT safeguards agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran: as you can see from the comprehensive and detailed report before you, as a result of our inspection activities in Iran since February, we now have a better understanding of Iran's nuclear programme than at any time before, but much urgent and essential work still remains to be completed before the Agency can draw conclusions on the programme.
It is now clear that, beginning in the mid-1980s, Iran embarked on an extensive fuel cycle research and development programme, based on both indigenous development and imported equipment. The Agency needs to fully understand and verify all aspects of that programme, including its full history.
Since July, Iran has shown increased co-operation in providing information to the Agency and allowing us access to its facilities - and has recently expressed a readiness to enter into negotiations with the Agency on the conclusion of an additional protocol. However, information and access were in some instances slow in coming, piecemeal and reactive, and at times the information provided has been inconsistent with that given previously.
I would strongly urge Iran, in the coming weeks, to show proactive and accelerated co-operation, and to demonstrate full transparency by providing the Agency with a complete and accurate declaration of all its nuclear activities. It is essential that all outstanding issues - particularly those involving high enriched uranium - be brought to closure as soon as possible, to enable the Agency to come to a definitive conclusion. Specifically, Iran should:
In addition to the above issues that are the highest priority, Iran should move rapidly towards the conclusion and bringing into force of an additional protocol. I should note that the additional protocol is a standard text that so far has been signed by 75 countries, and is applied without difficulty in 35 countries. Once a decision has been taken to conclude an additional protocol, the process should not be long.
I would also hope and expect that, in the interim period, before the protocol is brought into force, Iran would allow the Agency prompt access to all sites and locations that the Agency deems necessary to visit - as well as allowing environmental samples to be taken as needed. As I have stated many times, the more transparency that is provided, the more assurance we can give. This is in the interests of both Iran and the international community.
The resolution of some of the issues I have mentioned will also require active co-operation by countries from which nuclear equipment and other forms of nuclear assistance were provided to Iran's nuclear programme. I trust that such co-operation will be forthcoming. ...
Statement by Ambassador Kenneth Brill, US Permanent Representative to the IAEA, September 9
My delegation welcomes and takes note of the Director General's August 26 report on the Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The report sets out important information both on Iran's nuclear program and on the nature of its responses to the Agency's efforts to achieve a coherent picture of that program. I regret to say that my delegation found the August 26 report less effectively organized and less clear in some respects in stating the results of its analysis than was the June 6 report. But it nonetheless made plain that - after an additional two months of intensive work - the unanswered questions have only grown in both number and significance. The Director General's introductory statement to the Board on Monday confirmed the need for "much urgent and essential work" to bring all outstanding issues to a definitive conclusion.
The United States of course agrees that the Secretariat should continue its efforts to clarify the history, nature and purposes of the Iranian nuclear program. But while we look forward to eventually receiving a comprehensive analysis of all relevant issues, we as Board members must not use the need for continuing work as grounds to avoid our present responsibility to look at the facts that have already been established. The importance of the issues raised by the Iranian program requires us to reflect seriously now on patterns that the Agency's work to date has put clearly on the record.
Those patterns - which are inconsistent with both Iran's safeguards agreement and its professions of transparency - include:
Those are the broad patterns the Agency's work has thus far established. The Director General's June 6 report stated forthrightly that Iran had failed to meet important obligations under its Safeguards Agreement and provided a listing of those failures. It also reviewed a number of open questions it was still pursuing, with particular regard to Iran's enrichment program, the role of uranium metal in its nuclear fuel cycle, and its heavy water program. In response to that report, the Board authorized a statement in our June meeting that, inter alia, urged Iran promptly to rectify all safeguards problems identified in the report and to resolve the open questions. We also encouraged Iran in June not to introduce nuclear material at the pilot enrichment plant at Natanz, and called on it to permit environmental sampling at the particular location (the Kalaye Electric Company site) about which allegations of enrichment activities had been made.
It is instructive to consider the Director General's August 26 report in light of his June 6 report and the June 19 Board Statement. To begin with, the August 26 report makes additions to the already significant June 6 list of failures by Iran to meet its safeguards obligations. Contrary to earlier Iranian statements - and only in response to damning evidence and repeated IAEA inquiries - Iran has now confirmed it conducted undeclared conversion experiments on two occasions in the 1990s, as the paragraphs 15 and 23 of the report detail.
Along with confirmed failures by Iran to observe its safeguards obligations, the June 6 report cited numerous "open questions" that required answers. The most significant such open question related to Iran's enrichment program. The August 26 report provides information making clear Iran has consistently misled the Agency about its enrichment program. Let me list three examples:
There were also open questions in June about laser enrichment. The August 26 report suggests that those questions are still open. Iran has not allowed IAEA inspectors to take environmental samples at a key laser research site - whose existence it had previously not acknowledged - and did not let them visit the site until after some equipment, including a large imported vacuum vessel that could have applications for laser uranium enrichment, had been moved to another location (paragraph 42).
There were also "open questions" in June about the Kalaye Electric Company site. After months of repeated requests, the Agency was finally allowed to take environmental samples there in August, but paragraph 32 of the August 26 report notes that Iran had used the intervening months to make "considerable modifications" to the site that "may impact on the accuracy of the environmental sampling and the Agency's ability to verify Iran's declarations about the types of activities previously carried out here."
I will not detail other still-open questions - involving, for instance, uranium metal and heavy water - but simply note that the August 26 report shows that, despite the Secretariat's excellent work in the intervening period, there are today more open questions about Iran's nuclear program than there were on June 6. The more the Agency has looked underneath the surface of Iran's program, the less the explanations offered have hung together in a plausible way.
In addition to urging that open questions be resolved, the Board called on Iran in June to "cooperate fully with the Agency in its ongoing work." What does the August 26 report have to say about Iran's cooperation with the Agency?
Paragraph 52 of the report says that "since the last report was issued," Iran showed increased cooperation in terms of the "amount" and "detail" of information provided. In fact, most of that "increased cooperation" in "amount" and "detail" came only in the last two weeks before the DG's report was issued, when Iran clearly tried to influence its content and tone after stalling for the preceding six weeks. That delay was quite possibly also an attempt to prevent sampling results from the Kalaye Electric Company from being available by the time of this Board meeting.
Board members should note there is no indication in the careful wording in paragraph 52 of an increase in the "quality" or "accuracy" of the information Iran provided since the June report - we will have to look to the results of future work of IAEA inspectors to see whether the new stories are as unreliable as previous Iranian claims. Paragraph 52 alludes circumspectly to that problem, saying not only that "information and access were at times slow in coming and incremental," but also that "some of the information was in contrast to that previously provided by Iran." And the DG's characterization of Iranian information as "piecemeal" and "reactive" in his introductory statement to the Board Monday only reinforces that Iran has not stepped forward in a positive way to resolve the Agency's concerns.
What else should the Board note about Iran's reluctant and grudging cooperation with the Agency?
In fact, the record clearly shows that Iran's "cooperation" with the Agency has at best been episodic and reluctant, and has frequently featured delay, denial of access, and misinformation. Forced admissions and grudging grants of delayed access are more accurately described as damage control than as genuine cooperation.
In addition to the additional identified failures by Iran to meet its safeguards obligations I cited above, the DG's report (paragraphs 34 and 29) details the disturbing news that the Agency found two different types of HEU in Iran. Iran has tried to explain away that finding with a belated admission that its senior officials erred in repeatedly telling the Agency, the Board and the world that the Iranian centrifuge enrichment program was wholly indigenous. Instead, the Agency is now told, Iran must have acquired "contaminated" centrifuge components from previously unacknowledged foreign sources. In light of prior revisions in Iran's explanation of its program, this new assertion clearly must be examined with great care to establish whether the particles that were discovered reflect enrichment activities outside Iran, within the country, or both. The IAEA is entirely right to call on Iran immediately to provide full documentation of all related transactions - how much credibility does Iran have, now that it is clear it did not tell the truth about key aspects of its program?
Another issue addressed in the report (paragraph 11) is Iran's August 24 letter to the Director General saying it is "prepared to begin negotiation" on an Additional Protocol. The US hopes that letter is something more than another facet of Iran's strategy of delay, although we see scant ground for optimism in that regard. Let us see how rapidly Iran accepts the provisions of a document scores of other IAEA members have already signed. And let us see whether it will agree, as the Director General called on it to do in his introductory statement, to apply provisionally the provisions of the Additional Protocol to provide much-needed reassurance to the international community until its Protocol is ratified and ready for full implementation.
In summary, Madame Chairwoman, what does the evidence in the Director General's August 26 report, combined with his June 6 report and the Board's June 19 Statement, mean in relation to Iran's NPT Safeguards Agreement?
We know from the June 6 and August 26 reports that Iran has failed in a number of important regards to meet its obligations under its NPT Safeguards Agreement. Indeed, Paragraph 52 of the August 26 report makes clear the Agency is at this time unable to provide assurance to the Board that Iran has not diverted nuclear material to non-peaceful purposes, and will not in the future be in a position to do so unless Iran provides "continued and accelerated cooperation and full transparency." It is also clear Iran's cooperation with the Agency has been selective at best, and the list of significant outstanding issues is growing longer.
In the face of the facts in the Director General's June 6 and August 26 reports, the Board has a responsibility to act. The credibility of the global nuclear nonproliferation regime depends on the Agency - and let me stress that the Agency includes the Board as well as the Secretariat and DG - standing firm against all efforts to violate or circumvent NPT obligations. The United States believes the Board must today send a clear message of political backing for the DG and Secretariat in their efforts to penetrate the fog of obfuscation, misleading information, and delayed admissions in which Iran continues to envelop its nuclear program. Because of their high skill and professionalism and hard work, Agency inspectors have made progress, but it is obvious from the August 26 report that they need help to complete the job. The Board has a responsibility now to address the nonproliferation challenge manifest in the clear pattern of the evidence before us.
Some have claimed the United States is seeking to "politicize" the IAEA process. Nothing could be further from the truth. What we seek to ensure is that the IAEA meets its responsibilities. Finding peaceful resolutions to critical nonproliferation issues means, among other things, that relevant institutions must serve their intended functions. Is it politicization to support the NPT, or to expect NPT signatories to meet their safeguards obligations, as the US is doing? Is it politicization to imply that "cracks" in treaties and unexpected reactions could result from the IAEA pressing for answers to outstanding questions?
It is no secret, Madame Chairwoman, that the United States believes the facts already established would fully justify an immediate finding of non-compliance by Iran with its safeguards violations. We have taken note, however, of the desire of other member states to give Iran a last chance to stop its evasions, and have agreed today to join in the call on Iran to take "essential and urgent" actions to demonstrate that it has done so. Passing a resolution on this issue that firmly backs the IAEA's efforts is the least the Board could credibly do to meet its responsibilities.
The United States looks forward to working with other delegations to support the Agency and the NPT in resolving this issue.
Finally, I propose we agree that, on the basis of past practice and full transparency, the Director General's report of August 26 be released to the public.
Source: US Says Iran Has Failed to Meet NPT Safeguards Obligations, US Department of State (Washington File), http://usinfo.state.gov/usinfo/products/washfile.html, September 9.
'Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreements in the Islamic Republic of Iran', GOV/2003.69, September 12; resolution adopted without a vote.
The Board of Governors,
(a) Recalling the Director General's report of 6 June 2003 (GOV/2003/40), which expressed concern over failures by the Islamic Republic of Iran to report material, facilities and activities as it was obliged to do pursuant to its safeguards agreement, and noted that the Secretariat continues to investigate a number of unresolved issues,
(b) Recalling also recent statements by Iranian authorities recommitting Iran to full NPT and IAEA safeguards compliance and renouncing Iranian interest in nuclear weapons,
(c) Acknowledging Iran's decision to start negotiations for the conclusion of an additional protocol, but noting it does not meet the Board's 19 June request hat Iran promptly and unconditionally sign and implement such a Protocol,
(d) Noting with appreciation the Director General's 26 August 2003 (GOV/2003/63) on the implementation of safeguards in Iran, and acknowledging that as a result of intensive inspection activities in Iran by the Agency since February the Agency now has a better, although still incomplete, understanding of Iran's nuclear programme,
(e) Commending the Secretariat for its continuing efforts to resolve all outstanding safeguards issues and sharing the view of the Director General that much essential work remains to be completed urgently to enable the Agency to draw conclusions on the programme,
(f) Noting the interim nature of the Director General and calling on Iran to further enhance cooperation and provide full transparency to allow the Agency to fully understand and verify all aspects of Iran's nuclear programme, including the full history of its enrichment programme,
(g) Concerned by the statement of the Director General that information and access were at times slow in coming and incremental, that some of the information was in contrast to that previously provided by them, and that there remain a number of important outstanding issues that require urgent resolution,
(h) Noting with concern:
(i) Expressing grave concern that, more than one year after initial IAEA inquiries to Iran about undeclared activities, Iran has still not enabled the IAEA to provide the assurances required by member states that all nuclear material in Iran is declared and submitted to Agency safeguards and that there are no undeclared nuclear activitie sin Iran,
(j) Mindful of Iran's heavy responsibility to the international community regarding the transparency of its extensive nuclear activities,
(k) Recognising the basic and inalienable right of all member states to develop atomic energy for peaceful purposes,
(l) Stressing the need for effective safeguards in order to prevent the use of nuclear material for prohibited purposes in contravention of safeguards agreements, and underlining the vital importance of effective safeguards for facilitating cooperation in the field of peaceful uses of nuclear energy,
1. Calls on Iran to provide accelerated cooperation and full transparency to allow the Agency to provide at an early date the assurances required by member states;
2. Calls on Iran to ensure there are no further failures to report material, facilities and activities that Iran is obliged to report pursuant to its safeguards agreement;
3. Reiterates the Board's statement in June 2003 encouraging Iran not to introduce nuclear material into its pilot enrichment cascade in Natanz, and in this context calls on Iran to suspend all further uranium enrichment-related activities, including the further introduction of nuclear material into Natanz, and, as a confidence-building measure, any reprocessing activities, pending provision by the Director General of the assurances required by member states, and pending satisfactory application of the provisions of the additional protocol;
4. Decides it is essential and urgent in order to ensure IAEA verification of non-diversion of nuclear material that Iran remedy all failures identified by the Agency and cooperate fully with the Agency to ensure verification of compliance with Iran's safeguards agreement by taking all necessary actions by the end of October 2003, including:
(i) providing a full declaration of all imported material and components relevant to the enrichment programme, especially imported equipment and components stated to have been contaminated with high enriched uranium particles, and collaborating with the Agency in identifying the source and date of receipt of such imports and the locations where they have been stored and used in Iran;
(ii) granting unrestricted access, including environmental sampling, for he Agency to whatever locations the Agency deems necessary for the purposes of verification of the correctness and completeness of Iran's declarations;
(iii) resolving questions regarding the conclusion of Agency experts that process testing on gas centrifuges must have been conducted in order for Iran to develop its enrichment technology to its current extent;
(iv) providing complete information regarding the conduct of uranium conversion experiments;
(v) providing such other information and explanations, and taking such other steps as are deemed necessary by the Agency to resolve all outstanding issues involving nuclear materials and nuclear activities, including environmental sampling results;
5. Requests all third countries to cooperate closely and fully with the Agency in the clarification of open questions on the Iranian nuclear programme;
6. Requests Iran to work with the Secretariat to promptly and unconditionally sign, ratify and fully implement the additional protocol, and, as a confidence-building measure, henceforth to act in accordance with the additional protocol;
7. Requests the Director General to continue his efforts to implement the Agency's safeguards agreement with Iran, and to submit a report in November 2003, or earlier if appropriate, on the implementation of this resolution, enabling the Board to draw definite conclusions; and
8. Decides to remain seized of the matter.
IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei, September 12
"[This resolution sends] a very powerful message to Iran that they need to cooperate fully and immediately and to show complete transparency. ... We are going to adopt a very vigorous approach, a very intensive approach to try to complete our work..."
Source: UN sets Iran nuclear deadline, draws Tehran anger, Reuters, September 12.
US Statement to the Board of Governors, September 12
Ambassador Kenneth Brill, statement to the IAEA Board of Governors following the adoption of the resolution on Iran, September 12.
The United States made clear to the Board on Tuesday that we believe the facts already established by the Agency about Iran's nuclear program would fully justify an immediate finding of non-compliance by Iran with its safeguards obligations. We took note, however, of the desire of other member states to give the Agency a last chance to elicit Iran's full and prompt cooperation with Agency requests and response to Agency questions, and have therefore joined in support of the resolution sponsored by Australia, Canada and Japan. We thank and commend them for this service on behalf of the Agency.
The resolution was, as we all know, the result of lengthy and difficult consultations among a large number of Board members over the past week. Despite the differences expressed during those consultations, we all concur in the fundamental purpose of the resolution, which is to express the Board's full and unambiguous support for the Agency in its efforts to implement its Safeguards Agreement with Iran and get to the bottom of the many unanswered questions that have been raised about Iran's program.
Today's Board action is consistent with the responsibility the Board bears within the nuclear nonproliferation regime. It conveys an unequivocal message that when legitimate questions about safeguards compliance are raised, the international community will not be satisfied or deflected by policies of delay, denial, and deception. Such delay, denial, and deception complicate efforts to find a constructive resolution of this issue and undermine the multilateral institutions that have been established to deal with such matters.
Madame Chairwoman, the United States recognizes the right of all member states that are in compliance with their safeguards agreements to develop atomic energy for peaceful purposes. However, there is no right to nuclear energy for "putatively peaceful" or "presumably peaceful" purposes. The whole NPT framework makes clear the right involves the use of nuclear material only for verifiably peaceful purposes, and thus in conjunction with effective safeguards. To expect the Agency or other NPT parties to give any state "the benefit of the doubt" or uncritically accept assurances of peaceful intent would undermine the nonproliferation regime. We all value the Agency's commitment to fulfilling its verification function.
In his introductory statement to the Board on Monday, the DG stressed it was essential that all outstanding issues be brought to closure as soon as possible, to enable the Agency to come to "a definitive conclusion." With that in mind, Operative Paragraph 4 of today's resolution determines it is "essential and urgent" that Iran demonstrate it has not diverted nuclear material for non-peaceful purposes. That language is purposely reflective of Article 18 of Iran's safeguards agreement with the Agency, INFCIRC/214. Operative 4 gives Iran until the end of October to take all necessary actions to ensure verification of compliance with that Safeguards Agreement. Operative Paragraph 7 requests the DG to submit a report in November 2003, or earlier if appropriate, to enable the Board to draw definitive conclusions. It is our firm understanding that the Board will be in a position to draw those conclusions no later than the next regularly scheduled Board meeting in November.
The Secretariat will not be surprised to hear the United States say we expect that report will be available at least two weeks prior to the November 20 Board meeting, to allow Board members time to study the report carefully and to draw conclusions. In fact, the Agency should have no problem with time to draft its report, if Iran does not delay its cooperation until the last minute - or beyond. As the DG made clear in public statements this week, here is no evident reason why the cooperation the Secretariat requires cannot be provided quickly, thus allowing a rapid resolution of this issue. But Iran must seize this chance to answer all outstanding questions and document the history, nature and purposes of its nuclear program.
Additionally, Madame Chairwoman, the United States seconds the request by the delegation of Canada for the release of the resolution to the public. We also reiterate the request we made on Tuesday for the public release of the Director General's report of August 26. In view of the remarks of the Iranian delegation today, it is even more important that the public have an opportunity to view the context in which these proceedings have taken place. Finally, since the Iranian statement included unjustified attacks on other delegations, we believe it would be inappropriate for them to be included in the official record of the Board or placed on the Agency's website. I would also call attention to the purely political nature of Iran's statement, and its failure to address any of the technical issues of safeguards compliance that the Director General's reports have highlighted.
Source: Text - IAEA gives Iran 'one last chance' to disclose nuke program, US Department of State (Washington File), http://usinfo.state.gov/usinfo/products/washfile.html, September 12.
Comments to the Press by US Ambassador, September 12
Ambassador Kenneth Brill, comments during press stakeout outside IAEA Board Room, following adoption of resolution on Iran, September 12.
Ambassador Brill: I'd like to say that the Board of Governors and the IAEA just passed a very strong resolution on the question of Iran. A resolution that gives full backing to the Agency's efforts to get to the bottom of the Iran nuclear issue and to really find what the truth about the Iranian nuclear program is. The Board has considered the issue very carefully for the past week, based on the two reports of [the] DG and I think it's very fair to say that there was very broad support in the Board for the Agency speeding up its work to get to the bottom of this. And for Iran, the absolute essential need for Iran to respond promptly and fully to the outstanding questions the Agency has for it. I think it's very unfortunate that as we concluded this meeting with the passage of this resolution, without a vote, meaning that nobody objected to it. And our Iranian colleague sought to politicize the issue and brought into the Board a series of threats and political statements and did not choose to address any of the technical issues before us. This is an issue that lends itself to technical resolution. Simple answers to direct questions can bring us to the truth, and that's what all of us are trying to get to. ...
Question: How do you interpret "definitive conclusions," what does that mean to you?
Ambassador Brill: "Definitive conclusions" means that we will have before us a report that adds to the body of knowledge developed by the agency, and that based on that we should be able to come to a definitive conclusion as to whether Iran is in compliance with its safeguards agreement. I don't think it's any secret to anyone that the United States believes that the evidence to date already indicates that Iran is not in compliance. But, the Board decided to give Iran one last chance to comply with the Agency's request and the Board's request that it make available all the information the Agency is asking for and allow access to all the sites and installations the Agency needs to visit and take samples in.
Question: If there are open questions again in November, as happened in the last two reports, would you think that the Board should recommend sending it to the Security Council?
Ambassador Brill: The Board will have to make that decision, but we think that finding them in non-compliance - it's quite clear what the obligations of the Agency are with such a finding - the statute calls for us to report to the Security Council that finding of non-compliance.
Question: In walking out, the Iranian delegate said he accepts neither the resolution nor the process. How do you interpret that, what does he mean by process and does that jeopardize the whole deadline, the whole next six weeks of what has been decided in the resolution?
Ambassador Brill: Iran has an obligation to honor its agreements and its commitments, and that's what this Board has been calling on. There is no reason for them not to honor those commitments, not to open up fully, as the IAEA has requested, if they are pursuing, as they claim, a peaceful program. If they wish to disrupt that process, it can only lead the Board, and indeed the international community, to conclude that in fact they are not pursuing a peaceful program.
Question: What's your comment concerning the rejection of the Iranian Delegation of the Draft Resolution and the statement that his country is going to revise its cooperation with the Agency?
Ambassador Brill: I think I would suggest that indicates that they have something they wish to hide, that they do not want to come to light.
Source: Text - IAEA gives Iran 'one last chance' to disclose nuke program, US Department of State (Washington File), http://usinfo.state.gov/usinfo/products/washfile.html, September 12.
Statement to the press Ambassador Ali Akbar Salehi, head of Iranian delegation, September 12
"You can't impose deadlines on a sovereign country... We will have no choice but to have a deep review of our existing level and extent of engagement with the Agency vis-à-vis this resolution... The Western Group in the Board of Governors, in line with their political goals, have made illegitimate, illegal and impractical requests of Iran... Even if all the claims on Iran's programme's shortcomings are true, they cannot be resolved within the 45 days given to Iran... [We are dealing with] extremist countries [not wishing] to resolve the issue technically and legally. ... It is no secret that the current US administration, or at least its influential circle, entertains the idea of invasion of yet another territory, as they aim to re-engineer and reshape the entire Middle East. ... [Iran] is a fervent subscriber to the NPT, a loyal party to it and a staunch promoter of the Middle east as a nuclear-free zone..."
Sources: UN sets Iran nuclear deadline, draws Tehran anger, Reuters, September 12; Iran given deadline to lay bare nuclear program, Washington Post, September 13; Iran reacts with anger, defiance to IAEA nuclear deadline, Agence France Presse, September 13; US gives Iran nuclear caution, BBC News Online, September 13.
Former Iranian President Hashemi Rafsanjani, Friday prayer sermon, September 12
"What is happening now in Vienna is an unjust, tyrannical and unilateral process... [N]o regime will accept such a thing, and in fact one of the objectives of our revolution was to struggle against those who want to force us to submit to their will. ... They are putting pressure on Iran to sign the Additional Protocol immediately and to implement it. Accepting the Additional Protocol is not compulsory and no country has to accept it..."
Source: Iran reacts with anger, defiance to IAEA nuclear deadline, Agence France Presse, September 13; US gives Iran nuclear caution, BBC News Online, September 13.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hamid-Reza Asefi, September 14
"The Islamic Republic from the beginning had declared that the IAEA must act professionally and had warned the agency not to enter a political game. However, the agency has been regretfully misused by certain Western states, particularly the US, and the process of debates and the behind-the-scene lobbies showed that Iran's warnings were right and that the IAEA has overlooked its professional work and has entered political bickering. ... The efforts by the US and certain Western states show that they want to deprive Iran of its natural and legitimate right to acquire nuclear technology. The Islamic Republic cannot overlook this natural and legitimate right, but the measure by the IAEA created very serious doubts about its performance. ... Russia will not side with the Western countries, but its positions were not the same that we expected... They had their own reasoning for the decision they made... Russia will continue its cooperation with Iran in building the Bushehr nuclear power plant, and this shows that Moscow is abiding by its commitments toward Tehran."
Source: Asefi says Iran examining how to continue cooperation with the IAEA, Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), http://www.irna.com.
Canadian Foreign Minister Bill Graham, September 12
"The IAEA's findings are deeply disturbing, and show that Iran's nuclear programme is a potentially serious threat to regional and international peace and stability.."
Source: UN sets Iran nuclear deadline, draws Tehran anger, Reuters, September 12.
© 2003 The Acronym Institute.