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Verification and monitoring in the Islamic Republic of Iran in light of UN Security Council resolution 2231 (2015) Statement by the Governor of the Russian Federation, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the International Organizations in Vienna Mikhail I. Ulyanov under item 5 of the provisional agenda for the IAEA Board of Governors session 10 March 2020

Unofficial translation

Dear Madam Chairperson,

Dear colleagues,

Russia, as a member of the JCPOA, has always been committed to maintaining this agreement, fulfilling its obligations under it, as well as restoring the lost balance and returning to the comprehensive implementation of the “nuclear deal”.

We all want Iran to fully adhere to its obligations under the JCPOA,  which implies receiving concrete dividends from unhindered trade and economic cooperation with the international community. This is what Tehran wants as well. We regret to note that today this is not possible for objective reasons. They are linked solely to the irresponsible and malicious actions of the United States, their withdrawal from the JCPOA in gross violation of UNSCR 2231 and Article 25 of the UN Charter, as well as attempts to prevent the remaining participants from observing the JCPOA. The so-called “maximum pressure” policy has proved to be effective only in terms of escalating tensions in the Persian Gulf and the Middle East, undermining the nuclear non-proliferation regime and creating additional threats to peace and security. Such a foreign policy course cannot be regarded as a constructive one.

The situation around the JCPOA remains extremely difficult even critical. At the same time, the planned meeting of the Joint Commission in Vienna on February 26 left hope that the interest in preserving this unique achievement of multilateral diplomacy would nevertheless allow the remaining participants to overcome difficulties with joint efforts for the sake of a common goal. This will require significant political and expert efforts, great teamwork, and creative solutions. We are fully prepared for such an interaction.

In this context, today's statement by the three European colleagues with references to the so-called dispute resolution mechanism provided for in paragraph 36 of the JCPOA causes disappointment and concern. These links are counterproductive, especially after the successful meeting of the Joint Commission on February 26, which was held in a constructive manner and at where mutual understanding was reached that the existing differences should be resolved on the basis of steb-by-step and reciprocity. In light of this arrangements, attempts to use the dispute resolution mechanism have become irrelevant, not to mention the fact that even from the procedural point of view its practical application, to put it mildly, is extremely problematic.

Returning back to the report of the Director General, we would like to note that the information contained therein is a clear confirmation that nuclear material and related activities in Iran are under constant close monitoring by the IAEA. In terms of scope and intensity, the verification in Iran goes beyond the framework of the regime set by the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement and its Additional Protocol. For example the scope of the IAEA verification is much more modest in countries that reduce the whole non-proliferation regime to fierce criticism of Iran, and call into question Iran’s rights under the NPT to develop nuclear energy.

It is important that, despite pressure from opponents of the "nuclear deal", Tehran continues to fulfil its obligations on many key aspects of the JCPOA. Iran's well-calibrated steps in the framework of its decision to reduce certain obligations leave the necessary political space for diplomatic efforts in the interests of maintaining the JCPOA. As it stems from the report of the Director General, Tehran is still refraining from concrete measures under the last "fifth" step. All measures previously taken by Teheran are completely reversible. The pace of development of the nuclear program is very moderate. All nuclear activities remain under the intrusive control of the IAEA, which guarantees the absence of any proliferation risks. In addition, as emphasized by Deputy Director General for Safeguards M.Aparo during the technical briefing on March 5, Tehran provides the necessary interaction on all issues, including the case of traces of natural uranium found at one of the Iranian sites. We hope that this topic will be closed in the very near future as part of Iran’s bilateral cooperation with the Agency.

In the context of the report of the Director General, we would like to draw attention to footnote 7, which refers to the statement of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Great Britain, Germany and France of January 14. The inclusion of this link is absolutely inappropriate. We urge the IAEA Secretariat to take a more thorough approach when choosing information that is not related to the Secretariat's direct responsibilities under the JCPOA, and if necessary, seek clarifications from the Joint Commission.

We are grateful to the entire staff of the Safeguards Department for their consistent professional efforts to ensure verification activities in Iran, taking into account the risks caused by the coronavirus.

Thank you, Madam Chair.