Statement on the occasion of the IAEA Board of Governors
Vienna, 18-20 November 2020
Agenda item 3: Verification and monitoring in the Islamic Republic of Iran in light of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231 (2015)
1. I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union. The following countries align themselves with this statement: Turkey, the Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro, Iceland, Serbia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Liechtenstein, Norway, the Republic of Moldova and San Marino.
2. The European Union would like to thank the Director General for his report, and Deputy Director General Aparo for the technical briefing on 12 November 2020.
3. The EU expresses its resolute commitment to and continued support for the JCPOA. We are determined to continue working with the international community to preserve the JCPOA. The strategic importance of the agreement remains and its full implementation is essential. It is a key element of the global nuclear non-proliferation architecture and it is crucial for regional, European and international security. The EU calls on all countries, in line with United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231 (2015), to support the implementation of the JCPOA and to refrain from undermining implementation of commitments under the JCPOA.
4. The EU continues to deeply regret the withdrawal of the United States from the JCPOA and the re-imposed sanctions. Alongside the verified full implementation by Iran of its nuclear-related commitments, the lifting of nuclear-related sanctions is an essential part of the agreement. The EU has fully upheld its JCPOA commitments, including sanctions lifting as foreseen under the JCPOA.
5. We take note of the fact that the IAEA has not observed any changes to the level of cooperation by Iran in relation to Agency verification and monitoring activities under the JCPOA. At the same time, the EU deeply regrets Iran’s announcement of 5 January that its nuclear programme would no longer be subject to any restrictions in the operational sphere.
6. The EU reiterates its clear and grave concern about Iran's continued accumulation of low enriched uranium in excess of the JCPOA threshold and that its maximum enrichment level remains above the limit set by the agreement. We also remain very concerned about enrichment in Fordow. Iran has continued testing and accumulating uranium with advanced centrifuges, which significantly increases its enrichment capacity. The current stockpile of 2.442,9 kg low-enriched uranium (LEU) – twelve times the maximum quantity of 202,8 kg uranium allowed by the JCPoA – is an alarming departure from a key provision set in the JCPOA. In this regard, we are also greatly concerned about the planned transfer of all centrifuge research and development activities, including enriching uranium, from the Pilot Fuel Enrichment Plan to the Fuel Enrichment Plant (FEP), in Natanz, which has already started. All aforementioned activities are inconsistent with the JCPOA and have severe and, in the case of R&D activities, irreversible proliferation implications. The ongoing installation of advanced centrifuges at the FEP constitutes a new grave measure contrary to the JCPOA.
7. We strongly urge Iran to reverse all activities that are inconsistent with the JCPOA and return to full implementation of its commitments without delay. All EU Member States support the efforts of the JCPOA participants in addressing these issues within the JCPOA framework, including in the context of the Dispute Resolution Mechanism. We acknowledge the Chair's statement following the 1 September 2020 meeting of the Joint Commission, which addressed nuclear as well as sanctions lifting issues under the agreement and where all participants reaffirmed the importance of preserving the agreement.
8. The EU commends the Director General and the Secretariat for their continued professional, objective, independent and impartial work. We also commend the Agency's efforts to maintain monitoring and verification activities in Iran, despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on travel arrangements. We welcome the support of all countries involved in the process and commend the financial and organizational support of several Member States in this regard.
9. The EU fully supports the IAEA's long-term mission of verification and monitoring of Iran's nuclear-related commitments and recalls the importance of ensuring the necessary resources. We take note of the fact that, as of 6 November 2020, € 5,1 million of extra budgetary funding had been pledged, which meets the cost of JCPOA-related activities until April 2021.
10. The EU calls upon Iran to continue to fully implement the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement and the Additional Protocol to it, as well as the modified Code 3.1 of the Subsidiary Arrangements to its Safeguards Agreement. Complete and timely cooperation by Iran is crucial to enhance confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme. We welcome the fact that in line with standard practice, the IAEA evaluates all available safeguards-relevant information and we encourage it to continue to do so if new information becomes available to it. The EU notes that the Agency has conducted complementary access under the Additional Protocol to all the sites and locations in Iran which it needed to visit.
11. EU notes that the Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material in Iran and that the Agency’s evaluations of the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities are ongoing. In this context, the EU supports the Agency's efforts to resolve the matter reported by the DG on the detection by the Agency of multiple uranium particles of anthropogenic origin, including isotopically altered particles, at a location in Iran not declared to the Agency. In this regard, we have read the new information provided in the DG’s report and note with concern the fact that Iran’s responses were deemed unsatisfactory by the Agency because they were not technically credible. We urge Iran to provide full, prompt and credible explanations to the IAEA regarding the presence of uranium particles of anthropogenic origin, including isotopically altered particles, at the undeclared location mentioned before.
12. Full and sustained implementation of the JCPOA together with reaching the Broader Conclusion is essential to help building international confidence. In this regard, the early ratification by Iran of the Additional Protocol is essential.
13. The EU takes note of the Director General's report and requests that it be made public.
Thank you, Madam Chair.