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Transcripts of Interviews

Transcript of the Director General's Press Statement

IAEA Headquarters Vienna

Delivered 19 June 2003

This is a rush transcript. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

.....The Board also made it very clear that Iran should continue to be transparent and co-operative with the Agency in completing the work ahead of us. We still have a lot of work to clarify safeguards and verification issues in Iran with regard to the enrichment programme, with regard to the heavy water programme we need to fully understand the depth and breadth of the programme and everything is declared to the Agency and under safeguards.

To that end we would like to continue to have a collection of environmental samples, we would like to see Iran, as early as practicable, concluding an additional protocol which gives us the required authority to sites and locations and the Board was supportive of my request to conclude a protocol to allow us to take environmental samples. The Board was very clear that safeguards have to be implemented in a very comprehensive very conspicuous manner, very rigid manner if you like. To build confidence we need to be completely transparent and that the issues before us should be resolved as early as possible.

We have a lot of work ahead of us in the next couple of months. We are, as I mentioned, collecting environmental samples. We are awaiting the results we need to discuss them with Iran. We are fielding a number of inspection missions to again help us understand the programme and report to the Board.

I intend to report to the Board in September, that would be the time, in my view, required for us to be able to complete our analysis, but obviously I could report to the Board earlier if required. So I very much hope and look forward to full active co-operation with Iran.

The more transparent Iran will become, the more confidence it will be able to build in the international community. And the more we can provide critical assurances that Iran’s programme is dedicated fully to peaceful purposes. I would be happy to answer a couple of your questions.

Q: (inaudible).

A: Well that’s what we are asking. I think again that they need to conclude an Additional Protocol to give us additional authority but, in the meantime, I am impressing on Iran to give us full access to all the locations - all the sites we would like to visit. As I mentioned, the more transparency Iran can provide, the more access we can get, the more confidence we can create.

Q: (inaudible).

A: Iran said they are positively considering that and I hope that a decision by Iran will be translated into an actual protocol sooner rather than later.

Q: (inaudible).

A: Yes, I think there is a statement by the Board which reflects the broad sense of the Board which will be circulated to you. But the Board made it clear that Iran should accept, without any condition, as early as possible, an additional protocol. But as I said, in the meantime, and before even that will take place, I expect Iran to be fully transparent; fully co-operative with the Agency, particularly with regard to collection of environmental samples and particularly with regard to access to sites and locations. So the jury is still out. I might end by saying, as I mentioned to the Board, that we still have a lot of work to do and we will be hopefully in a much better position to make a judgement by September or earlier if we can.

Q: (inaudible).

A: We hope so. The message coming from the Board is loud and clear. The Board issued a statement that reflects a broad sense of the Board that we should be able to take environmental samples; that we should be able to visit sites; and that we are interested in visiting. I think I come from that Board equipped with broad support of the measures we have so far taken and we would like to take in the next few weeks and months. There is, I would say, a very concrete support by the international community.

We need to bring that issue to a closure as soon as possible and we need to go to the bottom of that programme to assure ourselves that it is a comprehensive programme dedicated to peaceful purposes. I think, as you are all aware, non-proliferation of nuclear weapons is becoming a number one national security issue. The international community has become very much sensitised to the need for full transparency and full co-operation on the part of an inspected country.