Iran’s Response to the IAEA’s Most Recent ReportPosted: July 30, 2013
A colleague sent me this today. It’s Iran’s formal response to the IAEA DG’s May 22 report on Iran’s safeguards implementation. I highly recommend that you read it. Its a very thorough response, covering all of the issues raised in the IAEA report, and making detailed and substantive factual and legal arguments. The point of most of my writing about Iran’s nuclear program is just to say that their legal arguments about the IAEA and the NPT should be taken seriously, because many of them are correct. This is a good source to see those legal arguments as made by Iranian officials themselves. I’ll excerpt only the “General Observations” section here, but you really have to read the whole thing – including particularly page 16, where the document says the IAEA is being “more Catholic than the Pope.” LOVE that. Note also the specific calling out of David Albright and ISIS, and the “unprofessional” disclosure of confidential materials to him by IAEA officials.
A. General Observations
1- The report is not balanced and factual since it has not duly reflected the cooperation, letters and explanations of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the questions of/or communication made with the Agency. For more elaboration of this assessment, three letters addressed to the DG are attached.
2- Paragraph 27 of the Safeguards Resolution adopted by the General Conference GC(53)/RES/14 as well as GC(54)/RES/11, mandate the Agency to prepare technically objective and factually correct reports with appropriate references to relevant provisions of the Safeguards Agreement. Regrettably, this statutory requirement has continuously been ignored and has not been observed in this and in the previous reports. The Agency should not arbitrarily step beyond its statutory and legal mandate in preparing its reports, assessments and comments without considering the relevant concrete obligations of a State.
3- More importantly, the IAEA is an independent inter-governmental organization, not a United Nations programme or fund. Therefore, the Agency’s mandate is to carry out its activities in accordance with its rights and obligations under the Statute and the Safeguards Agreements. The Agency should therefore refrain from taking instructions from anonymous States and sources with vested interests or allow unauthorized parties to interfere with its mandates. There are no provisions in the Safeguards Agreements and IAEA Statute which may authorize the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to take over the role of the IAEA in implementing the Safeguards Agreements, impose new requirements, or modify the obligations of the parties to the Safeguards Agreements; nor does the Agency have the right or authority to impose ultra vires demands on Iran by relying upon the UNSC resolutions.
4- The Islamic Republic of Iran has already made it clear, based on the legal provisions such as those of the Agency’s Statute and the Safeguards Agreement as to why the UNSC resolutions against Iran are illegal and unjustified, which have been already explained in INFCIRCs/: 786, 804, 805, 810,
817, 823, 827, 833, 837, 847, 849 and 850. Iran’s peaceful nuclear activities have unlawfully been put
on the agenda of the UNSC and the Council has taken a wrong approach by adopting its politically motivated, illegal and unacceptable resolutions against Iran. Therefore, any request by the Agency stemming from those resolutions is not legitimate and not acceptable.
5- Although the report once again reconfirmed that “the Agency continues to verify the non- diversion of declared nuclear material at the nuclear facilities and LOFs declared by Iran under its Safeguards Agreement”, it keeps using “unusual” and “irrelevant” language with regard to the Safeguards conclusions, by stating: “the Agency is unable to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran”, since the Agency has to simply confirm that all declared nuclear material is accounted for and therefore “declared nuclear material in Iran remained in peaceful activities”.
6- The Non-Aligned Movement in its several statements to the Board of Governors has stated that “NAM emphasizes the fundamental distinction between the legal obligations of states in accordance with their respective Safeguards Agreements, as opposed to any confidence building measures undertaken voluntarily that do not constitute a legal safeguards obligation.” and also “NAM takes note that the latest report of the Director General includes many references to events that transpired prior to the previous report contained in document GOV/2009/74 dated 16 November 2009, and contrary to the expectation of NAM, does not mention the responses provided by Iran to the Agency on several issues.”, NAM has also stated that “taking into account the recent developments mentioned above as well as previous Director General’s reports on the implementation of the Work Plan on “Understanding of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Agency on the Modalities for resolution of the Outstanding Issues” (INFCIRC/711), NAM still looks forward to the safeguards implementation in Iran being conducted in a routine manner”. However, the Director General in preparing his report has unfortunately not heeded these important statements which reflect the concerns of a large number of the United Nations and the Agency Member States.
7- The Agency should strictly observe its obligations under Article VII.F of the Agency’s Statute and Article 5 of the Safeguards Agreement between the I.R. oflran and the Agency, both emphasizing on the confidentiality requirements. As was emphasized in previous Iran’s Explanatory Notes, the information collected during inspections of nuclear facilities should be considered as confidential information. However, once again, the report in contradiction to the Agency’s statutory mandate and the Safeguards Agreement (INFCIRC/214) contains a lot of confidential technical details that should have not been published. The DG by including detailed information in his reports such as the number of installed and/or operating centrifuges, amount of nuclear material fed and/or produced, etc., has demonstrated his inability to fulfill his commitments on confidentiality measures. It comes as no surprise that almost at the same time the DG report is released, some websites such as ISIS, publish the report contained with sort of fictitious calculations as its evaluation on the detailed information of the report. This fact leaves no doubt that ISIS has real time access to the safeguards confidential information, thanks to the DG’s generosity in disclosing confidential information to unauthorized circles before even the less privileged Member States have a chance to examine such reports. We strongly object to this unprofessional and wrong pattern of non-compliance with the legal framework of the IAEA. This continuous violation must be stopped.
8- Regrettably, the main portion of the DG’s report is based on certain information related to missile issue, not involving nuclear material activities. The Agency is not entitled to step beyond its mandate to the bilateral Safeguards Agreement, or interfere with Iran’s national security concerns on the pretext of Iran’s nuclear program. Moreover, the DG has relied on some forged, fabricated and false information provided by western intelligence services and known sources hostile to Iran, assessed as “overall credible” information, without any authenticity verification, while independent observers have revealed part of the false information used by the Agency and criticized ironically its immature assessment on allegations against Iran.
9- The report in its introductory part enters into a legal qualification and judgment that is not absolutely at the discretion and the responsibility of the Director General of the IAEA. Defining unilaterally obligations on a sovereign State is beyond the mandate of the Director General. As clearly described above, the DG has deviated from his mandate. Iran reserves its right to file claims against his acts on the damages arising.
10- In the light of the above, the claims and baseless allegations against the Islamic Republic of Iran’s peaceful nuclear activities as contained in the DG’s report (GOV/2013/27, dated 22 May 2013) are unprofessional, unfair, illegal and politicized.