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Transcripts of Interviews

Transcript of the Director General´s Press Statement

IAEA Headquarters Vienna

Delivered 17 June 2005

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

On Iran: We need to talk to some people who have been involved in the illicit trafficking network. I expressed hope that some of these issues will have been resolved by September. The ball, as I mentioned before, again is in Iran´s court.

I would like speedy co-operation. Sometimes co-operation is a bit slow, particularly in terms of providing documents and relevant information. Because of the confidence that was lost in the past, we need an extra effort on the part of Iran to build that confidence and the more transparency they show, the faster confidence could be created.

On the positive side, again I have made it clear that Iran has facilitated access to nuclear material and facilities under the Additional Protocol and the Safeguards agreement. They have also maintained in full the suspension of all enrichment related and reprocessing activities, which is again positive.

I look forward to the continuation of the dialogue between Iran and the European Union. As you know the EU is supposed to provide comprehensive proposals to Iran by the end of July, beginning of August. I think that´s an important, delicate phase of that negotiation. I very much hope that that dialogue will continue. I was very pleased to see the US today saying that they are also lending their full support to the European dialogue. So, I very much hope that the diplomatic solution to the Iran issue will continue and will yield full results. In the meantime I would like to make sure that in the next few months, we should be able to come to conclusion about the past Iran nuclear programme.

On the Small Quantity Protocol (SQP): This is widely regarded as a weakness in the Safeguards system that has been there for over thirty years. And this is part of our effort to shore up the system, adjust the system to new realities, and new challenges. The issue will be discussed again in September. We will provide Member States with a seminar on all the technical, legal and institutional aspects relevant to that issue to make sure that people understand the implication of either rescinding or adjusting the Small Quantity Protocol.

On the New Committee, proposed by US: This is a committee to strengthen the Safeguards system. It is a reality check. It is time to revisit the whole Safeguards system to see whether it is still effective to meet emerging challenges: illicit trafficking of nuclear material and facilities, the increasing threat of nuclear terrorism, the discovery of more clandestine programmes by a number of countries. These are serious challenges and we need to make sure that the system is adequate and effective to deal with these issues.

The Committee is open-ended to all members of the Agency. It is advisory. It would make recommendations to the Board. It has been established for two years and then the Board will review its utility or whether or not to extend its mandate. So I was happy to see today unanimous support for the Committee which shows that we need, periodically, to make sure that the verification system is as credible, and as comprehensive as possible. We take both our responsibilities in the area of development, and the area of security very, very seriously.

I continue to look forward to Member States supporting me in the next four years, to make sure that the Agency is in the forefront of the international community to build a credible non-proliferation regime.