IAEA Board of Governors Meeting: 17 November 2016
Statement by HE Dr Brendon Hammer, Resident Representative to the IAEA
Item 4: Verification and Monitoring in the Islamic Republic of Iran in light of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231 (2015)
Since this is my first time to address the Board, I wish firstly to provide my personal assurances, that myself – and my delegation – will continue to maintain Australia’s strong and positive commitment to the work of the Board: work which we believe is quite crucial.
I look forward to working with you Mr Chair.
And I also look forward to working in the same spirit of constructive and positive commitment with the wider IAEA, and in particular with you, Director General Amano – and as you know, Australia fully supports your candidacy for a further term.
As regards the agenda item at hand:
Australia thanks the Director General for his 9 November report entitled, ‘Verification and Monitoring in the Islamic Republic of Iran in light of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231 (2015)’.
We appreciate the professional job being undertaken by the Director General and his staff in monitoring and verifying Iran’s implementation of the E3/EU+3-Iran Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
The results of the Director General’s report are mixed.
We welcome the Director General’s advice in his report that a number of nuclear-related activities are being carried out in Iran as agreed under the JCPOA.
We also welcome advice that Iran continues provisionally to apply the Additional Protocol to its Safeguards Agreement, pending entry into force, taking note that the Agency continues to evaluate the declarations submitted by Iran under the Additional Protocol.
We further welcome advice that the Agency has continued to conduct complementary accesses under the Additional Protocol to sites and other locations in Iran.
On the other hand, we note that technical discussions between the Agency and Iran relating to the quantity of enriched uranium in the process lines at the Enriched UO2 Powder Plant at Esfahan – which have contributed to the Agency’s assessment that Iran’s total enriched uranium stockpile did not exceed 300 kg of UF6 enriched up to 3.67% U-235 – have not yet been resolved.
We also take note of advice that the Director General on 2 November expressed concerns related to Iran’s stock of heavy water to the Vice-President of Iran and that – on 8 November – the Agency verified that Iran’s stock of heavy water had reached 130.1 metric tonnes.
We share the concern expressed by others today that, during the most recent reporting period, Iran’s stock of heavy water exceeded the 130 metric tonnes set in the JCPOA for a second time.
We are concerned that such occurrences will undermine confidence in the JCPOA, and in Iran’s willingness to adhere to its requirements.
While we welcome advice from the Director General that Iran has informed the Agency of its plan to make preparations for transfer of some of its nuclear grade heavy water out of Iran, and further advice from Deputy Director General Varjoranta given today, we are disappointed that this did not happen earlier.
We would also appreciate any additional information as soon as possible about the destination of this heavy water.
With this in mind – and as we have said before – we would appreciate additional information from the Director General in his written reports to the Board, particularly where it can be used to identify potential issues before they arise.
Reporting on current stockpiles and rates of production of heavy water and low enriched uranium (LEU), for example, would allow the Board to anticipate and address questions about the JCPOA’s implementation before Iran reaches the limits set in the JCPOA.
Reporting in this manner would also allow the Board to follow the record of implementation of the JCPOA over a sustained period of time.
Such transparency is in keeping with the clear expectation of the Board – including in its resolution of 15 December 2015.
Such reporting is in the Board’s interest. It is also in Iran’s interest.
The Director General’s reports are designed to demonstrate that Iran is meeting the commitments it has undertaken.
They help build and maintain the trust of the Board – and of Member States more generally – that the JCPOA is being faithfully implemented: consistently and in full.
In doing so, they support Iran’s efforts to build international confidence in its nuclear program.
Australia supports the public release of the Director General’s report GOV/2016/55.
Thank you, Mr Chair.