Australian Embassy and Permanent Mission to the United Nations
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia

Agenda Item 4 (d): NPT Safeguards Agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran

IAEA Board of Governors Meeting

Statement by H. E. Mr Richard Sadleir, Resident Representative of Australia to the IAEA

Agenda Item 4 (d): NPT Safeguards Agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran

24-26 November 2021


Thank you Chair

All of us on this Board are seized of the crucial importance of the international safeguards system for global confidence in the nuclear non-proliferation regime. The credibility and integrity of that system rests on the full, strict and transparent compliance with safeguards obligations by all.

Australia is deeply concerned by the ongoing failure of the Islamic Republic of Iran in this respect. As documented in GOV/2021/52, Iran has once again failed to address in a technically credible manner the presence of nuclear material at three undeclared locations. We share the deep concern of the Agency that the current location of those nuclear materials are not known.

Australia is further dismayed by the treatment of Agency inspectors outlined in the report. Allegations of intimidation and excessively invasive physical searches are deeply disturbing. Iran must take immediate steps to ensure that its security practices are in line with its legal obligations in relation to the privileges and immunities of the Agency and its inspectors.  In what are exceptionally trying circumstances, the IAEA’s ongoing professionalism and impartial implementation of safeguards in Iran is laudable, so too is the professionalism and courage of individual inspectors. Australia strongly supports the actions and efforts of the Director General, including during his recent trips to Iran, and welcomes his commitment to resolve all outstanding matters.

Notwithstanding the Director General’s and the Agency’s determination, persistence and professionalism in continuing to seek credible answers from Iran, this situation cannot persist indefinitely.



A considerable amount of time has elapsed since these safeguards issues were first raised, and the Agency’s ability to provide assurance of the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme is now seriously affected.

The full resolution of these issues going forward is essential for the credibility and integrity of the safeguards regime and assurance of Iran’s compliance with its obligations under the NPT.

The international community expects answers on these gravely important matters. Should Iran fail to do so without delay, the Board will have little choice but to act. We ask that the Director General continue to report developments on these issues and request that GOV/2021/52 be made public.


Thank you Chair