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

Agenda Item 6(c): 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 6(c): NPT Safeguards Agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran

13-17 September 2021

Australia remains firmly of the view that strict and full compliance with safeguards obligations is essential for the credibility and the integrity of the international safeguards system, and for global confidence in the nuclear non-proliferation regime.

So, it is of serious concern to Australia that there has been little progress by Iran in cooperating with the Agency to resolve the outstanding safeguards issues that have now been before the Board for two years. Australia shares the Agency’s deep concern that nuclear material and/or contaminated equipment has been present at three undeclared locations in Iran and that Iran has not provided any explanations for the presence of nuclear material particles at these locations.

We are also deeply concerned that, despite extensive opportunities, Iran has not answered, or not answered in a technically credible manner, the Agency’s questions with regard to the undeclared locations, nor clarified the current location of the outstanding uranium metal disc.

Australia strongly supports the actions and efforts of the Director General and welcomes his commitment to resolve these outstanding matters. We commend the Agency’s patience, persistence and professionalism in continuing to seek credible answers from Iran.

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

This is not acceptable.  The international community expects answers on these gravely important matters and has given Iran ample opportunity to provide them.  The full resolution of these issues is essential for the credibility and integrity of the safeguards regime and assurances of Iran’s compliance with its obligations under the NPT.  It also expects Iran to fulfil its legal obligations, including implementing fully modified code 3.1.

We note the 12 September IAEA-Iran joint statement and consider that it is now incumbent on Iran to act immediately upon the commitments outlined therein. Should Iran fail to do so without delay, the Board must act.

We ask that the Director General continue to report developments on these issues and request that GOV/2021/42 be made public.