E3 statement on Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action

Delivering their statement to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)’s Board of Governors, the E3 said:

Thank you Chairman,

France, Germany and the United Kingdom would like to thank Director General Grossi for his latest report contained in GOV/2021/51 and Deputy Director General Aparo for his Technical Briefing. We commend the Agency for its independent and objective reporting, despite the increasing limitations placed on its activities in Iran. We commend the IAEA for its rigorous and impartial implementation of the mandate conferred to it by the United Nations Security Council.

We are deeply concerned that, for more than two years, Iran has continued its systematic nuclear escalation, thereby permanently and irreversibly upgrading its nuclear capabilities and exposing the international community to significant risk. Iran has no plausible civilian justification for both 20% and 60% enrichment and the production of High Enriched Uranium (HEU) is unprecedented for a State without a weapons programme. As a result of its alarming pace of production, Iran’s total stockpile today contains enough fissile material that if enriched further could be used to produce more than one nuclear weapon and accumulation of uranium enriched at 20 and 60% is further reducing the time Iran would take to break out towards a first nuclear weapon. Moreover, the recent installation of modular infrastructure of advanced centrifuges is a concerning development since it will enable Iran to change the operating configuration of such cascades more easily and to enrich to higher levels. Iran has also developed essential knowledge critical to the production of a nuclear weapon, in particular in the field of uranium metal. Research & Development (R&D) with both natural and enriched uranium metal lack any plausible civilian justification in Iran and is providing Iran with weapons applicable knowledge gains. Iran’s R&D on, and extensive use of, advanced centrifuges have permanently improved its enrichment capabilities. This means that Iran’s continued escalations are irreversibly reducing the counter-proliferation value of the JCPoA.

The combined effect of these steps – including the increased production of High Enriched Uranium; the accelerated development and deployment of advanced centrifuges; and the production of uranium metal enriched to 20% – means that the nuclear programme is now in a significantly more advanced state. While expanding its nuclear activities, Iran has also considerably reduced crucial cooperation with the IAEA and seriously undermined the Agency’s ability to monitor the Iranian programme. For nine months already, Iran has suspended all transparency and verification measures, under the JCPoA and under the Additional Protocol. The successive prolongation of the Temporary Technical Understanding reached in February to maintain the possibility of restoring continuity of knowledge, and Iran’s continued refusal to formally extend these limited transparency measures have become a significant challenge to the Agency. Continuity of knowledge is key for the Agency to be in a position to resume the necessary verification and monitoring activities in Iran in relation to the JCPOA. We therefore very strongly urge Iran to reinstate IAEA access and cooperate in full.

DG Grossi visited Tehran on 11-12 September and again on 22-23 November with a view to addressing issues highlighted in his reports regarding Iran’s lack of co-operation with the IAEA. Despite the understanding reached with Iran during the September talks, Iran has continued to deny the IAEA access to the TESA Karaj facility. The fact that Iran has failed to fully implement this agreement is extremely concerning and calls into question whether Iran is prepared to act in good faith. We are gravely concerned that by Iran’s actions, the Agency risks being unable to restore continuity of knowledge at this location.

We call upon Iran to urgently restore IAEA access to Karaj, in order to verify whether production of centrifuge rotor tubes and bellows has resumed and to install replacement cameras. Iran must also account for the whereabouts of missing IAEA recording units and storage media. It is essential that Iran returns to full implementation of JCPOA-related IAEA monitoring arrangements, including its application of the Additional Protocol, as soon as possible. Restoring full transparency and monitoring arrangements will help build the confidence of the international community in the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme.

We as E3 will return to Vienna for negotiations in good faith, to resume work based on where we left off discussions in June. We are convinced that it is possible to reach and implement an understanding on the measures providing for Iran return to full compliance with its JCPoA commitments and the United States return to the deal. We are convinced it is in the best interest of all parties to do so swiftly. Iran should take the opportunity to do this deal now. Restoring full implementation of the JCPoA is in the collective security interests of all, including of Iran.

We encourage the Director General to keep the Board informed regarding progress on monitoring and verification in Iran in all its aspects. It is important that the Board continues to monitor the situation closely.

We would welcome the Agency’s latest quarterly report on monitoring and verification in Iran be made public.

Thank you Chairman.

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