United States Institute of Peace

The Iran Primer

U.S. Sets March Deadline for Iran’s Cooperation

            On November 29, Ambassador Robert Wood set a March 2013 deadline for Iran to begin cooperating with the U.N. nuclear watchdog. He warned that the United States may otherwise refer the nuclear issue to the U.N. Security Council. “Iran cannot be allowed to indefinitely ignore its obligations,” Wood told the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors.
            IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano criticized Iran for continuing to enrich uranium despite U.N. resolutions. In his statement to the board, Amano again requested that Iran provide access to the Parchin nuclear site. Satellite imagery suggests that Iran may be attempting to remove evidence of undeclared activities there.
            The following are excerpts from statements by U.S. Ambassador Robert Wood and IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano.

U.S. Ambassador Robert Wood
            We regret that we cannot speak of any progress on this urgent matter during the intervening year.  Instead, Iran chose to spend the past twelve months refusing to cooperate with the IAEA Secretariat to address the serious unresolved issues and taking steps to seriously undermine the Agency's verifications activities. Therefore, one year on, we find ourselves still facing a series of unanswered questions, Iran's ongoing intransigence, and Iran's continuing refusal to cooperate…
            One step Iran could have taken over the past year was to provide the IAEA access to the Parchin site, which the Director General described in the annex to his November 2011 report as housing a large explosives containment vessel for conducting hydrodynamic experiments that appears consistent with input Iran may have received from a foreign expert with previous experience in nuclear weapons-related research…
            Iran has not only refused to comply with its obligation to suspend uranium enrichment; it has provocatively snubbed the international community by expanding its enrichment capacity in defiance of multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions…
            Iran cannot be allowed to indefinitely ignore its obligations by attempting to make negotiation of a structured approach on PMD an endless process.  Iran must act now, in substance…
            If by March Iran has not begun substantive cooperation with the IAEA, the United States will work with other Board members to pursue appropriate Board action, and would urge the Board to consider reporting this lack of progress to the U.N. Security Council.
IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano
            Mr. Chairman, the Agency has continued its intensive efforts to resolve all of the outstanding issues related to Iran's nuclear programme. However, no concrete results have been achieved. I am unable to report any progress on clarifying the issues relating to possible military dimensions to Iran's nuclear programme…
            Satellite imagery shows that extensive activities, including the removal and replacement of considerable quantities of earth, have taken place at this location. I am concerned that these activities will have seriously undermined the Agency's ability to undertake effective verification. I reiterate my request that Iran, without further delay, provide access to that location and substantive answers to the Agency's detailed questions regarding the Parchin site and the foreign expert…
            The IAEA is firmly committed to dialogue. There is an opportunity to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue diplomatically. Now is the time for all of us to work with a sense of urgency and seize the opportunity for a diplomatic solution.

Click here for the full text of Ambassador Wood's statement.
Click here for the full text of Director General Amano's statement.

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