(New York, N.Y.) — United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) Chairman Senator Joseph I. Lieberman and CEO Ambassador Mark D. Wallace released the following joint statement calling for the IAEA to launch an internal investigation after the Wall Street Journal reported Iran was able to secure internal Agency documents and for the Islamic Republic to be formally censured for its continued refusal to cooperate with investigators on the IAEA’s outstanding safeguards investigation. On Thursday, the U.S. State Department spokesman announced Washington’s intent to join with the E3 (the United Kingdom, France, and Germany) to pursue a resolution “focused on the need for Iran to fully cooperate with the IAEA.”
“We have respect for the IAEA’s mission to verify that member states comply with their commitments under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). But we cannot overlook its history in never being able to successfully oversee the undertakings of nascent nuclear weapons states unless those states fully cooperated. The IAEA does not offer a fool-proof verification mechanism.
“The revelations in the Wall Street Journal about Iranian intelligence accessing internal IAEA documents two decades ago which enabled the regime to invent cover stories and falsify records compromised the Agency’s integrity and ability to operate. These are grave breaches which pose serious questions as to the IAEA’s security to this day. Therefore, the IAEA must authorize a robust internal investigation; Iran must be held accountable in accordance with its findings; and the Agency must institute reforms to ensure this never happens again.
“Unfortunately, Tehran’s pattern of deceit continues to this day with the IAEA’s safeguards investigation. The never-ending tap dance around whether to hold Iran accountable has taught the regime a lesson: it can ignore the international community and its obligations without consequence. The U.S. and the E3 are rightfully seeking a censure resolution at the next IAEA Board of Governor’s meeting. But it needs to have teeth.
“The IAEA’s determination that Iran ‘has not provided explanations that are technically credible’ about the presence of uranium particles at three undeclared sites – two years after it adopted a resolution expressing ‘serious concern' about Iran’s stonewalling in the same probe – requires the Board of Governors to assert itself especially after agreeing to a roadmap in March with Iran’s leadership, which aimed to resolve the matter by June. But Tehran has still not provided sufficient answers. The Islamic Republic should be formally censured next week for its refusal to cooperate to the satisfaction of IAEA inspectors, and the matter should be referred to the U.N. Security Council.
“The U.S. and its European allies should also use the occasion to announce that it will not finalize any agreements that provide nuclear or non-nuclear sanctions relief until Iran’s IAEA file is completely and properly closed. The threat that Iran poses to international peace and security by virtue of its nuclear obfuscation is severe. Resolving safeguards concerns should be a red line in any talks. The international community cannot kick the can down the road again as it will undermine the IAEA’s credibility.”