UN calls on Iran to allow nuclear inspectors in
UN watchdog calls on Iran to allow enhanced inspection of nuclear programmes
The United Nations nuclear watchdog agency today called on Iran to allow environmental sampling of alleged enrichment activities and to agree to enhanced inspections of its nuclear programmes following an official report that it had failed to disclose certain nuclear material and activities.
The Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) “shared the concern expressed by the Director General in his report at the number of Iran’s past failures to report material, facilities and activities as required by its safeguards obligations,” the Board said in a statement summing up its meeting in Vienna.
Delivering the report on Monday, Director General Mohamed ElBaradei noted corrective actions were being taken and called on Iran to bring into force an additional protocol on expanded inspections to enhance IAEA’s ability to provide credible assurances about the peaceful nature of its nuclear activities.
“Noting the Iranian actions taken thus far to correct these failures, the Board urged Iran promptly to rectify all safeguards problems identified in the report and resolve questions that remain open,” today’s statement said. Iran is a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which the IAEA is entrusted with verifying.
The Board also called on Iran to cooperate fully with the Agency in its on-going work. “Specifically, the Board took note of the Director General’s 16 June introductory statement which called on Iran to permit the Agency to take environmental samples at the particular location where allegations about enrichment activities exists,” it added.
Welcoming Iran’s readiness to look positively at signing and ratifying an additional protocol, the Board urged Tehran “to promptly and unconditionally conclude and implement an additional protocol to its Safeguards Agreement, in order to enhance the Agency’s ability to provide credible assurances regarding the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear activities, particularly the absence of undeclared material and activities.”
The Board welcomed Iran’s reaffirmed commitment to full transparency and “expected Iran to grant the Agency all access deemed necessary by the Agency in order to create the necessary confidence in the international community,” the statement said.
Noting that the enrichment plant is under IAEA safeguards, the Board encouraged Iran not to introduce nuclear material at the pilot enrichment plant, as a confidence-building measure and requested Mr. ElBaradei to provide a further report on the situation whenever appropriate.
“The jury is still out. We still have a lot of work to do,” Mr. ElBaradei told reporters afterwards. He said he trusted Iran would allow the Agency to do the work it needs to do to provide the necessary assurances.
“The Board was very clear that safeguards have to be implemented in a very comprehensive, very conspicuous manner, very rigid manner, if you like,” he added. “To build confidence you need to be completely transparent and that the issues before us should be resolved as early as possible.”
He said the IAEA was continuing its inspection work, including the collection of environmental samples, and would be in a better position to report back to the Board by September, although it could also report earlier if needed.