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Remarks by IAEA Deputy Director General Tero Varjoranta, Head of the Department of Safeguards, to the media after the Board of Governors meeting on 21 September 2015

Vienna, Austria

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As the Director General mentioned, we have over the years allowed Members States under certain circumstances to participate in certain verification activities. However, we are always very cautious to ensure that all these activities never compromise the work that we are doing.

I can mention to you that over the years we have cooperated in this manner with over 40 different Member States.

Sample taking is a complex exercise and it consists of a variety of important elements.

Let me just summarise for you 12 of the main elements.

Firstly, the process has to follow our detailed written instructions and procedures—nothing else is possible.

Secondly, the determination of the spots where the samples are taken is a separate, important, careful activity.  Spots have to satisfy our requirements.

Thirdly, there are specific requirements for equipment to be used—our sampling kits, containers, seals, camera systems, GPS systems, a lot of these kinds of things.

Fourthly, everything is always tested—components, systems—to see that they also work before they are implemented.

Fifth, we always carry out risk assessments to see where vulnerabilities might be and eliminate these vulnerabilities. If they can’t be eliminated, we can’t proceed.

Sixth, peer reviews. This process is always independently peer reviewed in order to ensure the quality of the results.

Seven, we always train each and every individual for each and every step. All the activities individuals take have to comply fully, and in detail, with our written procedures.

Eighth, the chain of custody, that we know from the samples, from the early source until the end of the process, plays a crucial part. Any interruption in the chain of custody stops the process and it has to be started again.

Ninth, the actual swiping or other sample taking under redundant continuous surveillance; and as I mention, following in an accurate manner all the steps that we have.

Ten is then transporting the samples to us; and in this case, as the Director General mentioned, the transportation has taken place and the samples are in Vienna.

Only after this we get into the analysis part, which will take several weeks because we don’t want to have any doubts about the results of the analysis.

And last but not least, the results and reporting the results.

From all this, from the verification point of view, with the participation of Iran’s representatives in one of these 12 elements, we feel fully confident that the process and the results so far are fully in line with our safeguards process and so far the authenticity has been fully assured.

Thank you.

Last update: 16 Feb 2018

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