Safeguards in Iran: IAEA Chief Stresses Need for More Transparency
IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei briefing the press. (Photo credit: D. Calma/IAEA)
Speaking to reporters in Vienna, IAEA Director General Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei emphasized that IAEA inspectors are making "good progress" in verifying Iran´s nuclear programme while underlining the need for Iran to be "more transparent". The IAEA Board concludes its meetings in Vienna this week on nuclear safeguards, safety, and technology issues.
Following is an unofficial transcript of the Director General´s remarks to the press on Wednesday, 2 March.
"We have no new revelations about Iran´s past nuclear programme, we are making good progress, particularly with regard to the enrichment programme. We are cooperating well with Pakistan to resolve the issue of contamination. We are conducting interviews with members of the illicit network to understand the dimension of the enrichment programme in Iran. And we are trying to... make sure that Iran´s programme has been declared to us in its entirety."
"This is a special case. This is a programme that has been clandestine for almost two decades. It is difficult that we can come to a conclusion and provide assurance, without full cooperation, full openness, full transparency on the part of Iran. And that´s what we are asking Iran to do - to go out of its way, not just to play it by the book, but to be more transparent, to allow us to do everything we want to do, frankly, in terms of interviewing people, in terms with having access to documents, in terms of making transparency visits to facilities... that we can create the necessary confidence."
"If I say there are three more important things Iran needs to do, I should say transparency, transparency and more transparency. We had a good meeting today with Iranian colleagues and again I explained to them that it really is in their interest to make everything possible for us to speed up the process and conclude our investigation on the past programme. That´s part of our work which I think also will help in the dialogue that Iran is having now with the Europeans. The more confidence it creates in regard to the past programme, the easier the Europeans and Iran will be able to focus on the future normalization of relations in areas of economic relations, trade, technology and security."
"We need to keep moving forward; we need to conclude the process as early as possible. The ball is very much in Iran´s court to come clean through absolute transparency measures and cooperation with the Agency."