Foreign Secretary expresses concern about IAEA's latest findings on Iran

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

On 15 September the International Atomic Energy Agency's Board of Governors discussed the Agency's latest report on Iran's nuclear programme.

The UK, France and Germany made a joint statement to the meeting, expressing concern about Iran’s continued non-compliance with its international obligations (see full statement below). The European Union also delivered a statement along similar lines. Commenting on the IAEA’s findings, Foreign Secretary, William Hague, said:

'’This report shows, yet again, that Iran is failing in its international obligations to the IAEA. It underlines that concerns about the Iranian nuclear programme are justified. Without meaningful engagement by Iran to address these issues international pressure on Iran will continue to intensify.’’

Statement by the United Kingdom, Germany and France

Mr Chairman,

I have the honour to make this statement on behalf of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Federal Republic of Germany and France. Our countries are naturally in full agreement with the statement made by the Presidency of the European Union.

We wish to congratulate and thank Director General Amano for his GOV/2010/46 report, which was particularly useful and comprehensive.

Mr Chairman,

Since the Director General’s previous report and its consideration by the Board of Governors last June, Iran has chosen to remain isolated, continuing activities which are in breach of international law and becoming increasingly uncooperative with the IAEA.

As highlighted by the Director General, in its Resolution 1929 (2010) of 9 June 2010, the United Nations Security Council confirmed that Iran must promptly comply with the Resolutions of the Board of Governors. This resolution therefore served to confirm and consolidate the action taken by the Board of Governors over the past several years.

We strongly regret that Iran has breached Resolution 1929 (2010) on several counts:

  • Iran has continued to produce low enriched uranium;
  • Iran has continued to enrich uranium to almost 20%;
  • Iran has continued construction of the Fordo/Qom enrichment plant;
  • Iran has continued its heavy water related activities and construction of the so-called research reactor at Arak.

We once again express our concern at Iran’s possible military activities, both past and present, including studies on the development of a nuclear warhead for a missile. We note with regret Iran’s refusal to cooperate with the Agency and to grant it access to the information, sites, equipment and personnel involved in these activities. We support the Agency’s urgent requests to this end and demand that Iran comply with these requests without delay.

Mr Chairman,

Iran’s refusal to fully cooperate with the IAEA and its deliberate attempts to prevent it from carrying out its mandate in Iranian territory are just as troubling and reprehensible. We note with the utmost concern that the situation in this respect has once again worsened.

We wish to draw the Board of Governors’ attention to the seriousness of the “de-designation” measures against inspectors, about which Iran notified the IAEA on 10 June 2010. These measures are aimed at officials of the Agency who have acquired experience of Iran’s nuclear programme. The Iranian authorities are clearly attempting to intimidate the Agency so as to influence its ability to report to the Board and undermine its ability to effectively implement the safeguards regime in its territory. We fully support the Director General’s request for Iran to re-appoint the inspectors concerned.

Iran continues to refuse to ratify and re-implement the Additional Protocol which it signed with the Agency. In breach of the principles of public international law, Iran has attempted to unilaterally alter the terms of the comprehensive Safeguards Agreement reached with the IAEA, as since 2007 it has refused to meet its obligations stemming from modified Code 3.1 of the General Part of the Subsidiary Arrangements to that Agreement, which was signed in 2003. We saw this recently with the construction of the Darkhovin facility and the Fordo/Qom enrichment plant. We can still see it today with Iran’s refusal to supply the Agency with information on its decisions to build new facilities, despite the fact that these decisions were publicly announced by the highest Iranian authorities. We call on Iran to end this contemptuous attitude towards the IAEA and to once again unconditionally apply modified Code 3.1.

Mr Chairman,

The findings of the Director General’s report are alarming. Iran is pursuing enrichment and heavy water programme which have no credible peaceful purposes. To do this, it has no hesitation in breaching its international commitments, including within the framework of the IAEA. So far, Iran has rejected all offers to bring about a resolution, which remain open. The conclusion we can draw from this is that Iran remains determined to pursue a nuclear programme which could provide it with military capabilities. We call on the Board of Governors and all IAEA Member States to reject this prospect and to act steadfastly to prevent it from coming to fruition in the interests of regional and international stability and the integrity of the non-proliferation regime.

Mr Chairman,

The adoption of UNSCR 1929 reflects the international community’s grave concern about Iranian non-compliance with its obligations. Its message to Iran is that failure to address these concerns carries an increasing cost. At the same time it reaffirms the readiness of China, France, Germany, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States, with the support of the European Union High Representative, to engage in dialogue. As the six Foreign Ministers made clear on the occasion of the adoption of the Security Council Resolution, the aim of these efforts continues to be the achievement of a diplomatic solution, which restores international confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme, while respecting Iran’s legitimate right to peaceful use of nuclear energy. It is up to Iran to demonstrate its readiness seriously to engage and to address the substance of our concerns in a sincere manner. We expect Iran to respond positively to our openness towards dialogue and negotiations.

Thank you very much.