The United Nations atomic watchdog and Iran today signed a joint statement in Tehran in which they agree to strengthen their cooperation and dialogue to ensure the peaceful nature of the country’s nuclear programme.
“This is an important step forward to start with, but much more needs to be done,” said the Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Yukiya Amano, at a news conference after the signing.
“Under the Framework, Iran and the IAEA will cooperate further with respect to verification activities to be undertaken by the IAEA to resolve all present and past issues.”
Iran’s nuclear programme – which its officials have stated is for peaceful purposes, but some other countries contend is driven by military ambitions – has been a matter of international concern since the discovery in 2003 that the country had concealed its nuclear activities for 18 years in breach of its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
Iran’s cooperation will include providing the IAEA with timely information about its nuclear facilities and in regard to the implementation of transparency measures. For its part, the IAEA agreed to continue to take into account Iran’s security concerns, including through the use of managed access and the protection of confidential information.
The Joint Statement on a Framework for Cooperation, signed by Mr. Amano and Iranian vice-president Ali Akbar Salehi, includes an annex that lists practical measures to be taken as a first step by Iran within three months.
These include providing mutually agreed relevant information and access to the Gchine mine in Bandar Abbas and the Heavy Water Production Plant, providing information on all new research reactors, providing information regarding the identification of 16 sites designated for the construction of nuclear power plants, and clarification on the announcements made by Iran regarding additional enrichment facilities and with respect to laser enrichment technology.
Mr. Amano said that outstanding issues that are not contained in the annex will be addressed in the subsequent steps under the Framework for Cooperation.
“The IAEA is firmly committed to resolving all outstanding issues through dialogue and cooperation,” he added.