Thanks to its technical competence and unique experience in the implementation of safeguards, the IAEA has contributed significantly to the ongoing process to resolve the Iran nuclear issue, Director General Yukiya Amano said in Brussels this week.
“The IAEA was able to make a vital contribution by sticking to its technical mandate and not straying into politics,” Mr Amano said in his keynote address at the 4th European Union Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Conference organized by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) on 11 November.
“We have been accused both of being too tough on Iran and of being too accommodating,” Mr Amano said. “That suggests to me that we have probably got it about right. By sticking to the facts and our technical mandate, we retained the confidence of all sides.”
The IAEA will verify and monitor Iran’s nuclear-related commitments following the signature of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in July by Iran and six countries and the European Union, known as the E3/EU+3. It has been implementing the Road-map for the clarification of past and present outstanding issues regarding Iran’s nuclear programme between Iran and the IAEA, which was also agreed in July. Activities under the Road-map were completed by the October 15th deadline. The IAEA is now finalising its analysis of all of the information at its disposal concerning Iran’s nuclear programme and will present its assessment to the IAEA Board of Governors by December 15th, Mr Amano said.
“The IAEA is a technical organisation and our job is to establish the facts, to the best of our ability,” he added. “My report will be factual, objective and impartial. It is up to our Member States to determine the appropriate response.”
The agreements reached in July represented a clear net gain for verification, Mr Amano said. “The combination of our comprehensive safeguards agreement with Iran, the Additional Protocol, and the transparency measures agreed in the JCPOA enhances our ability to verify the nature of Iran’s nuclear activities.”
During his two-day visit to Belgium, Mr Amano met Belgium’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Affairs Didier Reynders and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Jan Jambon and discussed with them developments with Iran, the IAEA’s role in sustainable development, and bilateral cooperation between Belgium and the IAEA.
Mr Amano also visited the offices of IBA, a high-technology medical company specializing in proton therapy, radiopharmacy, particle accelerators and dosimetry, with Marie Christine Marghem, Minister of Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development. He highlighted the importance of innovative nuclear technologies in human health, particularly cancer diagnosis and treatment.