21 June 2004

U.S. Deplores Iran's Lack of Cooperation with IAEA Inspections

Iran suspected of pursuing secret nuclear military program, Brill says

The U.S. envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Kenneth Brill, has praised the IAEA board of governors for passing a resolution that deplores the quality of Iran's cooperation with international nuclear inspections.

Speaking to reporters after the resolution was passed, Brill said the United States believes that Iran is pursuing a secret nuclear military program.

Following is the transcript of Brill's comments to reporters after the IAEA resolution:

(begin transcript)

Ambassador Kenneth C Brill
Q & A at Board of Governors Press Stakeout
1:15 CET, June 18, 2004

AMB. BRILL: I'd like to say that the IAEA Board of Governors today, just a little while ago, passed, I think, a very firm, consensus resolution on the Iran question. It's a resolution that deplored the quality of Iran's cooperation, that I think expressed the very broad and very deep and continuing concerns of the international community about the Iranian nuclear program, and that called on Iran to take a number of steps in order to improve its cooperation with the Agency and to make sure that, in fact, the IAEA and the international community fully understand what the Iranian program is all about.

We think this is an important step. We would hope this process would move, as the resolution says, towards conclusion, because we think that the process of Iran's partial cooperation and Iran's deception efforts it's making in its work with the Agency make it very hard to get to the end of this. We need to improve things so that we know the true nature of the program and we are confident that that true nature involves a concealed set of activities related to a military program.

Q. George Jahn, AP: Sir, how are you going to get your wish fulfilled, i.e., Security Council involvement if, come September, they're still serious doubts?

A. Well, I think that there are - there's plenty of grounds right now to report this to the Security Council. I think it's very interesting. I notice the press has carried a report of a facility in an Iranian, Tehranian neighborhood, a neighborhood in Tehran, that reminds us all of what happened in Kalaye. And that is the Iranians have sought to change the facts on the ground to cover up what they're doing: as opposed to cleaning a warehouse, they're now leveling whole buildings. It will be interesting to see what the Agency finds when it has an opportunity to go to that site.

Q. Amy Kellogg, Fox News: Can I ask a follow up to that, Ambassador? There have also been reports in the media, and I think ABC News has [inaudible], of commercial satellite photographs of Arak or Arak [different pronunciations], I don't know how to pronounce it, at this time and activity there that is suspicious. Do you know anything about that or can you comment on those reports?

A. Well we think there are a number of activities that are suspicious. And I would just not say anything on the record about that beyond what we said in the Boardroom, copies of which you have. But also, the ABC story is very interesting, particularly since it documents its story with commercial satellite photography and shows a site that once existed very recently and no longer does.

Q. Jahn, AP: Ambassador, you say that every passing day may be bringing Iran closer to acquiring the bomb, meanwhile it strings out this process quite successfully from one meeting to the next of the IAEA. What's your plan? How do you stop that? How long are you content that that should continue?

A. Well my sense is the members of the Board are finding with each of these reports more and more reasons to question the assertions of the Iranian authorities. I think the Board's skepticism is well founded. I think it will build as we get additional information from the Agency. And we, and others, will be consulting intensively with our colleagues in the weeks and months ahead.

Q. Jahn, AP: Sir, are you hoping that reports such as the one first carried by ABC will strengthen the hand of those wanting harsher action against Iran?

A. I think it's important for everybody to remember how this process all started and that was with press reports of a group's claim in 2002 about activities that hadn't been reported before and that were found to be quite significant. We now have another report of a similar kind of activity. It will be very instructive, I think, for the Agency to report on what they find there. Although, I note a member of the delegation from Iran today said, "There's nothing there." I think to accurately rephrase that is, there's nothing there anymore. But the Agency has proven in the past that is can get behind efforts to conceal activities.

Q. Kellogg, Fox: Are you referring to what happened at Lavizan?

A. Yes.

Q. Michael Adler, AFP: Why are you confident that in the end the Board would back going to the Security Council when it has been so reluctant to do this despite American urging in the past year?

A. I think it's very clear that the level of concern has risen as more and more countries have learned more and more about what is going on in Iran, and as it's clear that the level of cooperation is not what you would expect of a country that says it really has nothing to hide because its purposes are purely peaceful. The DG's made it clear that he hasn't addressed the issue one way or the other. The jury is still out on the true purpose of that program. The more facts that we build, and assuming we do that, the more likely our case will be sustained.

(end transcript)

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