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Strengthening Nonproliferation and International Safeguards

Sunday, September 26, 2010  
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Strengthening Nonproliferation and International Safeguards

The second area I want to discuss is strengthening nonproliferation safeguards to increase the security of nuclear material around the world.

As noted at the 8th NPT Review Conference, the IAEA safeguards system is facing a growing imbalance between workload and resources. New facilities require safeguards and technologies require updating, yet the IAEA safeguards budget has remained relatively static. The United States supports a significant increase in the IAEA's Regular Budget.

At the U.S. Department of Energy we have also undertaken a major effort called the Next Generation Safeguards Initiative to identify technology gaps and solutions, train new experts, and develop new concepts and approaches to improve international safeguards.

Further, the IAEA has stated that it needs the measures of the Additional Protocol to assure compliance with a safeguards agreement. Therefore, I urge all countries that have not yet done so to conclude an Additional Protocol with the Agency without delay.

For countries that do not adhere to their safeguards commitments there must be real and timely consequences. We support the IAEA in its efforts to resolve outstanding concerns related to the nuclear programs in Iran and Syria and we encourage the Agency to make full use of existing authorities. North Korea also continues to present a challenge to nonproliferation efforts and needs to comply with international obligations.

The U.S. hopes all states will focus on meeting their essential international nuclear verification obligations, rather than criticize the IAEA's effort to effectively implement its legal mandate under Agency safeguard agreements.

As outlined in the Director General's report earlier this month, Iran refuses to cooperate fully with the IAEA and defy IAEA Board of Governors and U.N. Security Council resolutions. Iran's intransigence represents a challenge to the rules that all countries must adhere to. In recognition of this, the U.N. Security Council in June adopted Resolution 1929, the strongest and most comprehensive set of sanctions to date to address Iranian non-compliance.

While we continue to acknowledge Iran's right to pursue peaceful civilian nuclear power and remain committed to pursue a diplomatic solution, Iran must do what it has thus far failed to do - meet its obligations and ensure the rest of the world of the peaceful nature of its intentions. Otherwise, it is clear that there is a broad and growing international consensus that will hold Iran accountable if it continues its defiance.

The U.S. has already taken action. The Obama Administration has levied sanctions against those trading with Iran, including the European-Iranian Trade Bank, effectively preventing the bank from operating in the US financial system. We also applaud Canada, Australia, South Korea and the United Arab Emirates for taking similar steps to prevent foreign capital from funding enrichment efforts. We will continue to pressure the Iranian government to fulfill its international commitments.

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