Comment by the Russian Permanent Representative to the International Organisations in Vienna Vladimir Voronkov on the adoption of the Iran resolution at the closed meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors, Vienna, December 15, 2015
The consensus resolution that was adopted today by the IAEA Board of Governors is a substantiated, balanced, comprehensive and sustainable document. Being fully in keeping with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which the P5 + 1 group and Iran approved on July 14 of this year, and which was endorsed by UN Security Council Resolution 2231, this document will facilitate the implementation of a comprehensive agreement on the settlement of issues pertaining to Iran’s nuclear programme. I’d like to say that Russia initiated the drafting of this resolution several months ago, and that this work involved serious diplomatic efforts.
One of the resolution’s underlying elements was the report of the IAEA Director General to the Board of Governors on past and present outstanding issues regarding Iran’s nuclear programme. This report reaffirmed that Iran has implemented its commitments under the roadmap, which Iran and the IAEA agreed in Vienna on July 14 concurrently with the finalising of the JCPOA. The IAEA Director General noted that the IAEA, based on its verification activities, has not found indications of undeclared nuclear materials or an undeclared nuclear fuel cycle in Iran. In other words, suspicions that Iran violated its non-proliferation commitments have not been confirmed, and the so-called file on suspected nuclear weapons research has been closed. All of the restrictive resolutions and decisions of the IAEA Board of Governors will be lifted as of the beginning of the JCPOA’s comprehensive implementation, which is believed to be launched soon.
The Board of Governors’ resolution has returned order to the procedure for applying the IAEA Safeguards in Iran, in a normal and traditional fashion and in full compliance with the Agency’s mandate. In other words, Iran’s cooperation with the Agency will subsequently proceed on the basis of the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement and the Additional Protocol, as well as Teheran’s taking its own measures to assure transparency in keeping with the JCPOA. It is important to note that the resolution clearly states that JCPOA provisions “should not be considered as setting a precedent for any other state” in regard of the internationally recognised principles and practices of the Agency’s safeguards. This provision is of crucial significance for the majority of the IAEA member states.
Under UN Security Council Resolution 2231, the IAEA has an essential and independent role in verifying Iran’s compliance with the safeguards agreement. Iran’s nuclear programme has been essentially removed from the Board of Governors’ agenda as an emergency issue. From now on, the board’s member states are to receive regular information from the Agency’s Director General on efforts to verify the implementation of the comprehensive safeguards agreement in Iran.
We are especially content that the agreements reached on Iran are fully and entirely based on the formula proposed by Russian President Vladimir Putin, one that provides for the recognising of Iran’s right to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, including uranium enrichment, and for the lifting of all sanctions from Iran after all outstanding issues regarding Iran’s nuclear programme, both past and present, are settled and strict international verification measures are in place. The settlement of Iran’s nuclear issue is a vivid example of how the most dramatic challenges to the non-proliferation regime and the most difficult international issues can and should be settled diplomatically and with firm reliance on international law, as the Russian delegate said in his statement at the closed meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors. This is the approach that we advocate.
December 15, 2015