E3 Statement on Item 7 “Verification and Monitoring in Iran” at the IAEA Board of Governors, September 2022
IAEA Board of Governors, September 2022
Agenda Item 7. Verification and monitoring in the Islamic Republic of Iran in
light of United Nations Security Council resolution 2231 (2015)
On behalf of France, Germany and the United Kingdom, I would like to thank Director General Grossi for his latest report contained in GOV/2022/39, and Deputy Director General Aparo for his Technical Briefing. We commend the Agency for its objective reporting of Iran’s activities with regards to its commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. We strongly support the impartial implementation of the mandate conferred on the Agency by the United Nations Security Council, despite the increasing limitations placed on its verification and monitoring activities in Iran.
Once again, we are deeply concerned by the continued advances of Iran’s nuclear programme that the Director General documents in his report. In the past three years, Iran has taken unprecedented steps to accelerate the pace of its nuclear programme. As a result of Iran’s nuclear activities in violation of the JCPoA, its nuclear programme is more advanced than at any point in the past, and Iran continues its escalation, unabatedly. This is threatening regional and international security and risks undermining the global non-proliferation regime.
Iran’s activities are dangerous and contrary to Iran’s commitments. They are also unravelling the deal that we have so carefully crafted together to restore the JCPoA.
As Iran continues to advance its nuclear programme, a return to the deal becomes more complicated and provides fewer non-proliferation benefits.
We have noted with great concern the acceleration in the production and installation of hundreds of advanced centrifuges these past months. Iran has installed over 2,500 powerful advanced centrifuges, which is considerably more than what was permitted under the JCPoA, and continues to use them far beyond the R&D limitations Iran had agreed to in the JCPoA. Such activities have severe and irreversible non-proliferation implications.
We have also noted with concern the alarming pace at which Iran is producing enriched uranium, including High Enriched Uranium.
This escalation goes far beyond any plausible civilian justification and is fuelling distrust as to Iran’s intentions. We urge Iran to swiftly return to implementing its nuclear-related JCPoA commitments and to halt and reverse all activities that are in violation of the JCPoA. We also reiterate our call on Iran not to resume or commence any further work related to the production of uranium metal.
Iran’s decision to stop the implementation of its commitments, including the Additional Protocol, has also seriously affected the Agency’s verification and monitoring activities.
We note with utmost concern Iran’s decision to remove all of the Agency’s equipment previously installed in Iran for surveillance and monitoring activities in relation to the JCPOA. It has already had detrimental implications for the Agency’s ability to provide assurance of the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme.
As a result, the Director General reports that the Agency will face considerable challenges in reliably confirming the accuracy of Iran’s declared centrifuge inventory, even in the event of a return to the deal.
We urge Iran to reapply and ratify the Additional Protocol as soon as possible. This would be an important confidence-building step. It is also a necessary condition for the IAEA to eventually reach the Broader Conclusion that all nuclear material in Iran remains in peaceful uses.
Alongside other participants to the JCPoA and the U.S., the E3 have been engaged in intensive negotiations with Iran since April 2021 aimed at restoring the JCPoA. After a year and a half of negotiations, and while Iran has been moving the goalposts by accelerating its nuclear activities and reducing cooperation with the IAEA, the Coordinator submitted a final set of texts which would allow for Iran to return to compliance with its JCPoA commitments and a US return to the deal.
Iran has chosen not to seize this critical diplomatic opportunity to conclude the deal. Instead, Iran continues to escalate its nuclear programme far beyond any plausible civilian justification and raises issues that contradict its legally binding obligations under the global non-proliferation regime.
This posture is raising serious doubts about Iran’s commitment to a successful outcome on the JCPoA. We strongly urge Iran to stop escalating its nuclear programme and to return to full cooperation with the Agency, including through the application of the Additional Protocol and JCPoA-related verification and monitoring measures.
We will consult, alongside international partners, on how best to address Iran’s continued nuclear escalation and lack of cooperation with the IAEA regarding its NPT safeguards agreement.
We encourage the Director General to keep the Board informed regarding progress on monitoring and verification in Iran in all its aspects. We would welcome the Agency’s last quarterly report on monitoring and verification in Iran to be made public.