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Statement by the Governor of the Russian Federation, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the International Organizations in Vienna Mikhail I. Ulyanov after the vote on the draft resolution of the Board of Governors “NPT safeguards agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran” (Vienna, June 19, 2020)

Dear Madam Chair, dear colleagues,

Everyone knows one of the main principles of medical ethics, which says - "Do no harm." It certainly applies to the work of the IAEA on safeguards issues. The implementation of safeguards is intended to strengthen the nuclear non-proliferation regime, and not vice versa.

We noticed qualitative changes in the draft resolution submitted by the France, Germany, and UK. We are grateful to their respective delegations for taking into account a number of Russian comments. At the same time, our comprehensive thorough analysis of the situation led to the conclusion that adopting any resolution of the Board on this issue will not bring a positive result. On the contrary, it is very likely that the situation will become even more complicated.

We believe that undoubted progress has been made in the work between Iran and the Secretariat on the issue of access. To achieve a positive result, the Agency and Tehran need to continue dialogue in accordance with standard practice, taking into account the concerns of the parties. Iran has definitely confirmed that it is committed to meeting the requests of the Secretariat, but in order to make a positive decision, it needs to clarify a number of issues. This is normal. In these circumstances, intervention by the Board of Governors in such a delicate matter is not required. It is simply counterproductive and can have consequences directly opposite to the declared intentions.

The tension around the issue of access in this particular case seems completely abnormal, since there is no the slightest risk of proliferation. If at the sites that the Secretariat seeks to visit, undeclared activity with a small amount of nuclear material was actually conducted, such activities were stopped by Iran itself 16-17 years ago. There are no evidence that Iran is currently conducting undeclared nuclear activities at these locations. The Agency has no other issues, as confirmed by the IAEA Deputy Director General for Safeguards Massimo Aparo during the technical briefing on June 10. The only matter is verifying the completeness of the Iranian declaration. Such stories do not pose any threat to the safeguards system - not to mention international peace and security - and should be settled in a calm, professional and non-confrontational spirit within the framework of the ongoing dialogue between the IAEA Secretariat and Tehran.

In the light of what was explained the Russian delegation voted against the draft resolution.

Thank you Madame Chairperson.