U.S. Statement on the Report by the Director General on the Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of IranAmbassador Greg Schulte, U.S. Permanent Representative to the UN and the International Atomic Energy Agency
IAEA Board of Governors Meeting, Agenda Item 8(g)
June 12, 2006
June 12-16, 2006
Last September, the IAEA made two important findings:
The IAEA and the UN Security Council have called on Iran to cooperate, fully and proactively, in resolving troubling questions about its nuclear program.
The IAEA and the UN Security Council have also called on Iran to refrain from activities to enrich uranium and produce plutonium.
Iran failed to heed these calls.
Last week's report by the Director General is sparing in words but clear in content:
No one disputes the right of Iran to a peaceful nuclear program in conformity with its NPT obligations. But Iran's program makes no sense from a civil perspective.
The programs and actions of Iran's leaders are not consistent with a peaceful program.
Our goal is to secure a diplomatic solution, one in which the leaders in Tehran provide tangible assurances that they do not seek to acquire atomic weapons.
With that goal in mind, we have worked with Europe, Russia, China, and other like-minded countries to present Iran's leaders with a clear choice.
The negative choice is for Iran's leaders to maintain their present course, ignoring international concerns and international obligations. If Iran's leadership makes this choice, the Islamic Republic will only incur great costs and lost opportunities. The positive choice, the constructive choice, the choice that would most benefit the Iranian people, is for Iran's leaders to alter their present course and to cooperate in resolving the nuclear issue.
This must start by Iran meeting IAEA and Security Council requests to suspend all activities related to uranium enrichment and plutonium reprocessing, including research and development. These activities, once pursued covertly, and now pursued in contradiction of IAEA resolutions, are not necessary for Iran to enjoy the benefits of civil nuclear power. But they are a necessary step in mastering the technology and acquiring the material and know-how to produce weapons-grade material. Hence our concern. And hence the requirement by the Security Council, the Board, and the six Ministers to suspend these activities.
Suspending these activities will allow the Security Council to suspend its action. And suspending these activities will allow the EU3 countries, joined by the United States and others, to open negotiations for a long-term agreement. Such an agreement would both reaffirm and advance Iran's right to nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, including access to nuclear fuel and civil nuclear technology. Such an agreement would also open the prospect for increasing political dialogue and economic cooperation with the rest of the world. This choice will lead to the real benefit and long-term security of the Iranian people.
When the Foreign Ministers of France, Germany, the United Kingdom,
And the delivery of the message could not be more clear: Six Ministers representing Europe, Russia, China, and the United States standing side-by-side, in complete solidarity. We hope that Iran's leaders will think carefully about the proposal from the six Foreign Ministers.
We hope that Iran's leaders will think about what is best for the economic prosperity and long-term security of the Iranian people. And we hope that other countries, including all represented here today, will encourage Iran's leaders to make the right choice:
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.