The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
adopted a resolution August 11 calling on Iran to halt all
nuclear reprocessing activities.
Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and
Pacific Affairs Christopher Hill addresses the
media Wednesday, August 10 in Washington. Although
13 days of intensive negotiations did not produce
a final agreement, the United States believes
the scheduled resumption of the Six-Party Talks
for August 29 indicates North Korea is serious
about resolving issues related to its nuclear
weapons programs, says Hill. (© AP/WWP)
The resolution demands that Iran halt uranium
enrichment and reprocessing activities it began August 8
at its Isfahan uranium conversion plant after an eight-month
suspension of nuclear work.
The resolution was drafted by Britain, France
and Germany -- known as the EU3 for their efforts to get
Iran to comply with IAEA demands to halt its nuclear production
program. It calls on IAEA Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei
"to provide a comprehensive report on the implementation
of Iran's NPT [Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty] Safeguards
Agreement and this resolution by September 3, 2005."
"The resolution on Iran was just adopted
without a vote [but] by ... full consensus. All 35 members
of the board [of governors] agreed [to] the language of
the resolution text," IAEA spokeswoman Melissa Fleming
told reporters at the organization’s headquarters
The United States has urged Iran not to
proceed with uranium enrichment at its Isfahan conversion
plant and to suspend any future nuclear-related reprocessing
activities, Ambassador Greg Schulte said August 9 at an
IAEA board meeting. The board decided to delay voting on
the EU3 resolution until August 11 to give members time
to negotiate terms of the accord.
Not only does uranium enrichment at the
Isfahan facility violate Iran's obligations under the 1970
Treaty, but "it also poses
a threat to international peace and security," Schulte
Ambassador Greg Schulte
"Imagine nuclear weapons in the hands
of a regime that so boldly flaunts its international obligations,
that actively supports international terrorism, and that
actively opposes the Middle East peace process," Schulte
said. "Iran must step away from this dangerous path."
Ultimately, the IAEA could, as a last resort,
refer Iran to the U.N. Security Council for not complying
with its resolution to cease enrichment and reprocessing
ElBaradei confirmed August 10 that Iran
had removed the seals on the process lines at its Isfahan
facility. He also reported that the IAEA surveillance equipment
"at the [uranium conversion facility] is fully functional
and that the uranium ore concentrate has been verified by
ElBaradei said that Iran's voluntary suspension
of reprocessing and enrichment activities is essential for
"We stand united with the EU3, other
members of this board, and the rest of the world in urging
Iran to return to the provisions of the [November 2004]
Paris Agreement, to restore full suspension on enrichment-related
and reprocessing activities, including uranium conversion,
and to cooperate fully with the IAEA verification efforts,"
At the heart of U.S. and others concerns
is that the "Iranian leadership is determined, no matter
the cost to the Iranian people, no matter the cost to Iran's
international standing, to develop a nuclear weapons capability,"
The EU3 has offered a useful alternative,
he said by preserving and enhancing Iran’s access
to peaceful nuclear technology.
"Its offer would allow the Iranian
people not only to enjoy the peaceful benefits of nuclear
technology, but also to gain in security and prosperity.
The Iranian people deserve this opportunity," he said.
Schulte is the permanent representative
of the United States to the United Nations Office in Vienna,
the IAEA, and other international organizations in Vienna.
Following is the text of Schulte's August
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
August 9, 2005
IAEA Board of Governors Meeting
The United States government has strongly
supported the efforts of France, Germany, and the United
Kingdom, with the support of the High Representative of
the European Union, to negotiate a diplomatic settlement
with Iran following the revelation of Iran’s breaches
of safeguards obligations. We, the governing Board of the
IAEA, endorsed the first EU3 initiative in 2003 as the principal
effort to bring Iran back into compliance with its treaty
The agreement reached in Paris in November
2004, embodied our collective hope to find a diplomatic
solution to the challenge Iran’s nuclear program poses
to international peace and security. We meet today because
Iran has broken that agreement. We urge our fellow Board
members to send a clear message to the leadership in Tehran:
Step away from the dangerous course of action you are pursuing.
In seven reports since 2003, the IAEA confirmed
that Iran pursued a covert nuclear program for nearly two
decades. During this period, Iran devoted considerable resources
to developing and acquiring nuclear fuel cycle technologies
that provide the capability to make fissile material for
At the Board meeting in June, the secretariat
confirmed that Iran still has not assured us that these
activities are purely for peaceful uses. Iran still denies
inspectors the transparency and cooperation required to
build confidence that Iran is not hiding elements of a covert
program. Serious questions remain.
Of particular concern among the outstanding
questions are: What is the full extent of Iran's uranium
enrichment efforts? What is the full extent and time frame
of Iran’s experimentation with plutonium reprocessing?
What is the full extent of military involvement in Iran’s
supposedly civil programs?
These questions go to the core of Iran’s
program and intentions. Iran cannot claim to be fully cooperating
with inspectors and to have met their obligations until
we are fully satisfied with the answers.
In the face of these serious questions,
the EU3, with the support of the European Union, undertook
to seek a peaceful, diplomatic solution. The EU3 offer that
Iran has so roundly rejected would have preserved Iran’s
right under the NPT to pursue the benefits of civil nuclear
technology. At the same time, it would have addressed deep
international concerns over Iran’s noncompliance with
its NPT safeguards obligations. The offer would, furthermore,
have laid the groundwork to improve Iran’s diplomatic,
security, and economic engagement with Europe and beyond.
But Iran rejected the offer in the harshest
Why? The Iranian people stand to gain both
security and prosperity if their government maintains the
suspension and negotiating in good faith with the EU3. Why
would Iran’s leaders turn their backs on this opportunity?
What are their real intentions?
Is it because Iran has a pressing technical
need to operate Isfahan? The answer to this question is
no. Russia has contracted to supply fuel for the Bushehr
reactor, the only power reactor Iran will be able to operate
for many years. And in any case, if Iran’s declarations
are to be believed, it does not yet have the capability
to either enrich or fabricate such fuel.
Is it because it makes economic sense for
Iran to develop a self-sufficient fuel cycle for civil nuclear
power? Again, the answer is no. According to the best international
data available, Iran does not have the domestic uranium
reserves to sustain even a single Bushehr reactor, let alone
the seven reactors Iran says it wants to build. Besides,
the international market can provide fuel at much lower
Is it because conversion and enrichment
are essential for Iran to enjoy the benefits of peaceful
nuclear technology? Again, no. The EU3 offer to Iran would
not only preserve Iran’s access to peaceful nuclear
technology, it would enhance it. All that is asked is that
Iran no longer develop technologies of concern for which
it has no peaceful need. The NPT does not assure the right
of countries to nuclear technologies as a cover for a weapons
So why is Iran proceeding? We can only conclude
that the Iranian leadership is determined, no matter the
cost to the Iranian people, no matter the cost to Iran's
international standing, to develop a nuclear weapons capability.
Not only does this violate Iran's NPT obligations,
it also poses a threat to international peace and security.
Imagine nuclear weapon in the hands of a regime that so
boldly flaunts its international obligations, that actively
supports international terrorism, and that actively opposes
the Middle East peace process.
Iran must step away from this dangerous
path. The EU3 has offered a constructive alternative. Its
offer would allow the Iranian people not only to enjoy the
peaceful benefits of nuclear technology, but also to gain
in security and prosperity. The Iranian people deserve this
We stand united with the EU3, other members
of this Board, and the rest of the world in urging Iran
to return to the provisions of the Paris Agreement, to restore
full suspension on enrichment-related and reprocessing activities,
including uranium conversion, and to cooperate fully with
the IAEA verification efforts.
We hope Iran will make this choice. If,
however, Iran refuses to take the steps necessary to restore
our confidence in its nuclear intentions, we, the IAEA Board
of Governors, will have no choice but to report this threat
to international peace and security to the United Nations
Thank you, Madam Chair.