24 January 2014
OPENING REMARKS AT NEWS CONFERENCE
Good afternoon, Ladies and Gentlemen.
Today, the IAEA Board of Governors held a special meeting to consider the Agency undertaking monitoring and verification of measures to be implemented by Iran in relation to the Joint Plan of Action.
The Board expressed its full support and gave its endorsement.
This reflected the strong support among IAEA Member States for a peaceful solution to the Iran nuclear issue.
The Joint Plan of Action is aimed at achieving “a mutually-agreed long-term comprehensive solution that would ensure Iran’s nuclear programme will be exclusively peaceful.”
This is an important and encouraging development after several years of little or no progress.
The implications for the Agency are quite far-reaching.
There will be much more work and more travel for safeguards staff dealing with Iran. In fact, we will need to nearly double the staff resources devoted to verification in Iran.
IAEA inspectors will visit additional locations, install more safeguards equipment and analyse more samples.
I know that our highly professional safeguards staff will be more than equal to the challenge.
I have asked our Member States for additional extrabudgetary contributions and I am grateful for the pledges of support made in the Board.
In undertaking this additional work, it goes without saying that the Agency will continue to act independently, in accordance with its Statute.
As I told the Board, I believe this new phase of work in Iran will be a further important step towards achieving a comprehensive solution to the Iran nuclear issue. But there is still a long way to go.
Before concluding, I would like to inform you that the IAEA is implementing the Framework for Cooperation which we agreed with Iran in November last year.
Another meeting with Iran will take place in February and I will report on developments to the March Board of Governors
I hope that all of the work undertaken by the Agency will provide an important contribution to resolving this important issue and will lead to further positive developments.
I will now be happy to take your questions.
Live video streaming of the news conference will be available for downloading after the conference.