On Saturday, the IAEA Director General issued a public statement noting that Iran has withdrawn the designation of several experienced Agency inspectors, including its most experienced experts with unique knowledge of uranium enrichment technology. Iran’s actions will undermine the Agency’s ability to carry out its safeguards mandate effectively. As the Director General makes clear in his statement, Iran’s actions are another step in the wrong direction and constitute an unnecessary blow to an “already strained relationship between the IAEA and Iran.”
Iran continues to expand its nuclear activities. It is now also deliberately hampering the normal planning and conduct of Agency verification and monitoring activities in Iran required under Iran’s NPT Safeguards Agreement. This is at a time when the IAEA has serious, longstanding, and unresolved questions related to undeclared nuclear materials and activities in Iran that Iran has failed to address for more than four years. We join with, and support, the Director General in strongly condemning this latest Iranian “unprecedented and unilateral” measure that he reports will have a severe impact on the Agency’s ability to conduct its verification activities.
Iran must immediately reverse these inspector de-designations and fully cooperate with the Agency to enable them to provide assurances that Iran’s nuclear programme is exclusively peaceful. France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States will continue to stand in strong support of the IAEA and the international safeguards verification regime on which the world’s security relies.
In light of Iran’s actions, we will take note of any further information on the impact of the inspector de-designations on the Agency’s ability to fulfil its essential verification mandate in Iran. We will respond based on further reporting from the Director General.