IAEA Board of Governors Meeting: 15 December 2015
Statement by HE Mr David Stuart, Resident Representative to the IAEA
Final assessment on past and present outstanding issues regarding Iran’s nuclear program
The Australian delegation thanks the Director General for his final assessment on past and present outstanding issues regarding the nuclear program of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
We commend the Director General and his staff for their persistent and professional effort to clarify the possible military dimensions of Iran’s activities in pursuit of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1929 (2010) and resolutions of this Board in November 2011 and September 2012.
In July 2015, in parallel to the E3/EU+3/Iran Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Iran and the Agency agreed to a Roadmap for the clarification of all past and present outstanding issues regarding Iran’s nuclear program. Under the Roadmap, Iran agreed to accelerate and strengthen efforts to resolve all past and present outstanding issues, including those set out in the annex to the Director General’s November 2011 report titled ‘possible military dimensions (PMD) to Iran’s nuclear program’.
The final assessment being considered today is the result of that process. We thank all parties involved for their genuine efforts in bringing it to conclusion. In his report, the Director General confirms that all activities contained in the Roadmap were implemented in accordance with the agreed schedule. The Director General notes that implementation of the Roadmap facilitated a more substantive engagement between the Agency and Iran.
The report is consistent with the Director General’s previous reports regarding Iran’s nuclear program. In the Agency’s overall assessment (paragraph 85), the Director General reports that:
… a range of activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device were conducted in Iran prior to the end of 2003 as a coordinated effort, and some activities took place after 2003. The Agency also assesses that these activities did not advance beyond feasibility and scientific studies, and the acquisition of certain relevant technical competences and capabilities. The Agency has no credible indications of activities in Iran relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device after 2009.
We have also noted that, in the preceding paragraph, he notes:
The Agency assesses that, before the end of 2003, an organizational structure was in place in Iran suitable for the coordination of a range of activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device. Although some activities took place after 2003, they were not part of a coordinated effort.
We also take note that the Director General reports that the Agency ‘has not found indications of an undeclared nuclear fuel cycle in Iran, beyond those activities declared retrospectively by Iran’ (paragraph 77) and ‘found no credible indications of the diversion of nuclear material in connection with the possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear program’ (paragraph 88).
We have also noted the Director General assesses, as he said was likely in previous reports, that ‘extensive activities undertaken by Iran since February 2012 at the particular location of interest to the Agency [at the Parchin military complex] seriously undermined the Agency’s ability to conduct effective verification’ (paragraph 80).
We thank the Director General for the assessment in the report.
In parallel to the Roadmap, the Australian Government has consistently supported the JCPOA agreed between the E3/EU+3 and Iran on 14 July and endorsed by the United Nations Security Council on 20 July.
We are now at the end of the Roadmap. Looking ahead, the JCPOA provides us with the best opportunity to ensure Iran’s nuclear program is and remains exclusively for peaceful purposes.
Under the JCPOA, Iran has committed not to engage in activities which could contribute to the development of a nuclear explosive device. The verification measures agreed in the JCPOA, together with Iran’s application of the Additional Protocol and Modified Code 3.1 to its Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement, will grant the IAEA unprecedented access to verify Iran’s commitments.
We support the draft resolution put forward to the Board by the E3/EU+3 as a further step along the path foreseen in the JCPOA. It supports the Board’s decision on 25 August to authorise the Director General to implement the necessary verification and monitoring of Iran’s nuclear-related commitments as set out in the JCPOA. We continue to support strongly the Agency taking such a central role.
The draft resolution asks the Director General to provide quarterly written reports on Iran’s implementation of its JCPOA commitments and on matters relating to verification and monitoring in Iran until the Board is no longer seized of the matter, and to continue to provide quarterly written updates for the duration of the JCPOA’s commitments.
We support this approach.
These reports will help build and maintain the trust of this Board that the JCPOA is being implemented faithfully.
The resolution specifically requests that the Director General report to the Board for appropriate action at any time if he has reasonable grounds to believe there is an issue of concern. This is consistent with, indeed it is a requirement of, the Statute of the IAEA. It is in line with our expectations of the Director General.
We must acknowledge the hard work building trust on all sides to get to the point where we have the prospect of implementing the JCPOA fully. This is a continuing process, the success of which will depend on the continuing commitment of the parties to the agreement, with the active support of the Agency – both its Secretariat and its Member States.
Australia supports the public release of the Director General’s final assessment GOV/2015/68 and of all other reports on the Agency’s activities under the JCPOA that have not yet been made public.