Statements of the Director General
26 November 2003 | Vienna, Austria
IAEA Board of Governors
Opening Remarks at the Press Conference on the Outcome of
the Board of Governors' Consideration of the Implementation of
Safeguards in the Islamic Republic of Iran
by IAEA Director General Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei
- This is a good day for peace, multilateralism and non-proliferation.
By todayís decision, the international community affirmed, in no uncertain terms, the integrity of the nuclear non-proliferation regime by strongly deploring Iranís failures and breaches to comply with its obligations under the safeguards agreement. The international community also laid down a marker that Iran must strictly adhere to its non-proliferation obligations in both letter and spirit through a policy of active co-operation and full transparency. Importantly, and in addition, it made it clear that any serious failures in the future by Iran to comply with its obligations will be met with an appropriately serious response.
From a nuclear non-proliferation perspective we are in new territory with respect to Iranís nuclear programme. Through verification and diplomacy we now know much more about this programme, its nature, extent and development, than at any time in the past. Corrective actions to address past breaches and failures have been and are being taken by Iran. Iran has committed itself to a policy of full disclosure and has decided, as a confidence building measure, not only to sign the Additional Protocol, making way for more robust and comprehensive inspections, but also to take the important step of suspending all enrichment related and reprocessing activities and to accept IAEA verification of this suspension. These are positive and welcome steps which I very much hope will be sustained.
While much progress has been achieved, much work remains to be done. This is work in progress. We naturally still have much verification work to do before we can provide the assurances expected by the international community, specifically that all nuclear activities in Iran are fully declared and are exclusively for peaceful purposes. These assurances could clearly help build confidence and could open the way for a new chapter of co-operation between Iran and the international community. Our success and pace of progress in generating the required assurance will, however, depend on Iranís full co-operation and transparency; the ball is now in Iranís court to demonstrate through verification the peaceful nature of its programme. Our success will also depend on getting full co-operation from all relevant countries, particularly those that were the source of some of the nuclear material and equipment in Iran. In the next few weeks and months the IAEA will be fully engaged in Iran and will carry out intensive verification activities. I will be reporting again to the IAEA Board of Governors in February or earlier if appropriate.
- A good day for peace because the Board decided to continue to make every effort to use verification and diplomacy to resolve questions about Iranís nuclear programme.
- A good day for multilateralism because the international community has decided to stand as one in addressing what is clearly a very critical issue, with serious implications.
- A good day for non-proliferation because of the clear message coming from the international community that the integrity of the nuclear non-proliferation regime must be respected and upheld.
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