U.S. Statement – As Delivered by Ambassador Laura S.H. Holgate – Agenda Item 4 – Verification and Monitoring in Iran (JCPOA)
Vienna, Austria, November 22, 2023
The United States extends its appreciation to the Director General for his report on verification and monitoring in Iran in light of UN Security Council resolution 2231. We thank the Secretariat for its continued dedication and professionalism in undertaking the Agency’s JCPOA-related responsibilities in Iran.
As the Director General’s report makes clear, Iran continues to expand its nuclear program, including by installing even more advanced centrifuges and accumulating highly enriched uranium for which it has no credible peaceful purpose. We once again call on Iran to halt all production of uranium enriched to 60 percent. No other non-nuclear weapons states party to the NPT enriches to 60 percent because there is no reasonable peaceful application for such material. Iran argues it is treated unfairly. The reality remains that Iran continues to single itself out through its actions.
Since early 2021, Iran has manufactured advanced centrifuge components and produced uranium ore concentrate and heavy water without providing monitoring data or relevant records to the Agency. As reported by the Director General, establishing a new verification baseline for these activities would pose major challenges. We urge Iran to cooperate fully with the Agency in providing all relevant data and look forward to further reporting from the Director General on these issues.
We note with serious concern the Director General’s conclusion that Iran’s actions have undermined the Agency’s ability to provide assurance of the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program. In particular, the Director General reports that Iran’s de-designation of experienced Agency inspectors has seriously affected the Agency’s verification activities. Such actions are deeply counterproductive, and we reiterate the Director General’s call to reverse these steps that risk impeding the conduct of Agency inspections.
Iran’s de-designations of experienced inspectors follow its undeclared modification of advanced centrifuge cascades at Fordow earlier this year, in clear violation of Iran’s safeguards obligations, and the Agency’s subsequent detection there of uranium particles enriched to more than 80 percent, well beyond the level of enrichment Iran has declared to the IAEA. Iran’s actions have intensified tensions and pushed unprecedented boundaries. Iran should take actions that build international confidence, rather than undermine the Agency’s essential assurances. Furthermore,
Iran is still not implementing modified Code 3.1 of the Subsidiary Arrangements to its Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement and has failed to provide design information as legally required under this safeguards obligation.
We will address these serious matters and the other outstanding safeguards issues under the safeguards agenda item. For now, I will underscore that Iran’s inadequate cooperation with the Agency overall is unacceptable, and far short of the expectations outlined by the Director General and the Board.
With these comments, the United States requests that the Director General’s report in document GOV/2023/57 be derestricted, consistent with longstanding practice.
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