Iran fails to report certain nuclear materials and activities – UN watchdog
Iran has failed to report certain nuclear material and activities and needs to quickly implement an additional international agreement in order to provide credible assurances regarding the peaceful nature of its nuclear activities, the United Nations nuclear watchdog agency reported today.
Presenting the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) annual report for 2002 to the Board of Governors in Vienna, IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei also said his agency could provide no assurances that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) had not diverted nuclear material for weapons or other explosive devices, and he warned that more work needed to be done to prevent nuclear terrorism.
On Iran, Mr. ElBaradei noted that the report points out that corrective actions are being taken in cooperation with the Iranian authorities. But he added: “I continue to call on Iran, as with all States with significant nuclear programmes, to conclude and bring into force an additional protocol at an early date, in order to enhance the Agency’s ability to provide credible assurances regarding the peaceful nature of its nuclear activities.”
Calling on Iran in the meantime to permit the IAEA to take environmental samples at the particular location where allegations about enrichment activities exist, he said: “This is clearly in the interest of both the Agency and Iran.”
The additional protocols to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) aim to enhance IAEA’s ability to provide “credible, comprehensive assurances” regarding all NPT States. So far only 35 countries have brought additional protocols into force.
The report says work is still continuing on the correctness and completeness of Iran’s declaration to ensure that all its nuclear material has been declared and is under safeguards. “In this respect, we are continuing our efforts – through technical discussions, inspection and environmental sample analysis – to understand all aspects of Iran’s nuclear programme, including: the research and development work relevant to its uranium conversion and enrichment programme; and its programme for the use of heavy water,” Mr. ElBaradei said.
On the DPKR, he noted that the IAEA had not performed any safeguards functions there since December, when the government asked for the agency’s withdrawal. “We cannot, therefore, provide any assurances about the non-diversion of nuclear material for weapons or other explosive devices in the DPRK,” he said. “We remain, however, ready to assist all concerned parties, through our verification role, in bringing the DPRK back to the non-proliferation regime, and redress a most serious challenge to that regime.”
With regard to Iraq, all IAEA’s inspectors were withdrawn on the eve of the war in March “before having been able to complete its Security Council mandated work to verify the presence or absence of prohibited nuclear activities.” But Mr. ElBaradei said, the agency’s mandate still stood even as the occupying powers had assumed the function.
With regard to nuclear terrorism, he said agency assistance to Member States in helping to put in place protective measures “is continuing at an exceptionally fast pace,” with 35 advisory and evaluation missions conducted and 54 training courses, workshops and seminars convened since September 2001.
The work included helping countries make use of advanced analytical methods for nuclear material seized in illicit trafficking incidents; improving coordination between the nuclear scientific community and the law enforcement community; regional training courses in physical protection; assessment of states’ capabilities to detect nuclear and other radioactive material at their borders; and the three-way initiative by the IAEA, the United States and the Russian Federation seeking to secure vulnerable radioactive sources within the territories of the former Soviet Union.
But, Mr. ElBaradei warned: “Clearly, more work still needs to be done in this important area, and I encourage all of you to continue your support.”