IAEA Board of Governors, September 2022
Agenda item 8c: NPT Safeguards Agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran
France, Germany and the United Kingdom
France, Germany and the United Kingdom thank Director-General Grossi for his report on the implementation of safeguards in Iran, contained in GOV/2022/42. We welcome the statement made by Germany on behalf of a group of States – allow me to add some additional remarks on behalf of our three countries.
We fully support and commend the IAEA for its professional, independent and impartial verification of Iran's safeguards obligations, and its repeated efforts to engage Iran on clarifying information concerning the correctness and completeness of Iran’s declarations under its NPT Safeguards Agreement. We re-emphasise the importance of the IAEA continuing to evaluate all safeguards-relevant information available, in line with its mandate.
It has now been nearly four years since the IAEA first observed landscaping activities at Turquzabad consistent with sanitisation of the location and subsequently sought clarifications from Iran regarding undeclared nuclear material at a number of sites. The Agency has sought to clarify these issues and Iran has been given time and numerous opportunities to provide those explanations. Still, to this day Iran has not done so despite its NPT safeguards agreement legally obliging it to.
In adopting, with an overwhelming majority, its recent resolution of the 8th June 2022, the second on these issues, the Board of Governors sent a clear message calling on Iran again to fulfil its legal obligations and engage with the IAEA to clarify and resolve all outstanding safeguards issues.
The E3 are deeply concerned with the conclusion of the Director-General’s latest report that despite the Agency’s stated readiness to engage with Iran without delay to resolve these issues, Iran has not engaged with the Agency and therefore there have been no developments at all since June.
We emphasise the message from the Agency that unless and until Iran provides technically credible explanations for the presence of uranium particles of anthropogenic origin at three undeclared locations in Iran and informs the Agency of the current location, or locations, of the nuclear material and/or of the contaminated equipment, the Agency will not be able to confirm the correctness and completeness of Iran’s declarations under its Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement. It is very concerning that therefore the Agency is not in a position to provide assurance that Iran’s nuclear programme is exclusively peaceful until this point.
The Director General has emphasized that the unresolved safeguards issues stem from Iran’s obligations under its Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement only. Furthermore, not only has Iran made the decision not to engage the Agency since the last Board, it has also ignored the Board’s clearly-stated concerns.
Instead, Iran has chosen to press for a political solution to the IAEA’s investigations and launched politically-motivated personal attacks on the IAEA’s Director General. We wholeheartedly reject any political pressure on the IAEA or the DG to close this investigation. Our three countries would like to make clear our absolute and unconditional support to you Director General to report on the safeguards issues according to your mandate, conferred by the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Our position is clear and steadfast. These issues are separate from the JCPOA. The most recent resolution adopted by the Board last June made clear that “the provisions by Iran of all of the technically credible information, documents and evidence the IAEA requires to make its assessment is essential for the Secretariat to be in a position to report the issues as no longer outstanding and thereby remove the need for the Board’s consideration and action on these issues”. It is only through transparent and active efforts by Iran that this investigation can be progressed. If, on that basis, the Director General can report that these matters are no longer outstanding, we would see no need for further Board consideration and action.
We, once again also recall that implementation of Modified Code 3.1 is a legal obligation for Iran under the Subsidiary Arrangement to its Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement which cannot be modified or stopped unilaterally.
We continue to strongly call upon Iran to act on an urgent basis to fulfil its legal obligations and, without delay, take up the Director General’s offer of further engagement to clarify and resolve all outstanding safeguards issues.
Should rapid and tangible progress not be forthcoming from Iran, we will consider our options for further action at the Board.
We would like to thank the IAEA for their impartial and professional work on this issue. We encourage the Director General to continue reporting to the Board of Governors as appropriate and welcome making the report contained in GOV/2022/42 public.
Thank you, Chair.