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A Conversation with IAEA Director-General Yukiya Amano

Authors: Yukiya Amano, Director-General, International Atomic Energy Agency, and George Perkovich, Vice President, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
December 6, 2012
Council on Foreign Relations

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GEORGE PERKOVICH: Good afternoon. It's my pleasure to welcome you here this afternoon for the event. My name's George Perkovich. I'm a vice president at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Before I have the pleasure of introducing our speaker, and even the greater pleasure of listening to him with you all, I have housekeeping assignments that are very professionally detailed for me. They're idiot-proof. You need to please turn off, not just put on vibrate, cell phones, BlackBerrys and all wireless devices so that we avoid interference with the PA system. If you would like, however, to use an electronic device today, you may, but you have to go outside to do it. Not outside like in the cold, but outside in the alcove there. And then as a reminder, this meeting is on the record.

And with that, you all have a brief, but perhaps adequate, biography of the director-general, so I'm not going to recite it here, so that we have more time to allow for his presentation. But Yukiya Amano is the director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency. He has long experience at that agency and in service in the Japanese government. And I want to welcome him to make some opening remarks and then I will ask a few questions and then we will turn it to a more open discussion.

Thank you. Director-General. (Applause.)

DIRECTOR-GENERAL YUKIYA AMANO: Good afternoon, everyone. It's a great pleasure for me to be back at the Council on Foreign Relations. When I spoke at your New York office in November 2010, I had been in office as director-general of the IAEA for less than a year. The last two years have been very challenging, but also very exciting.

I'm thinking in particular of the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan in March 2011. As I had been working in this field for some time, I was ready for an accident, and I was ready that it would happen, big or small, sometime, but I never thought that it would be such a huge accident and in Japan.

The 11th of March was a very quiet day for us. We had finished our Board of Governors meeting on the 10th of March, one day before the schedule. I was relaxed at my apartment. When I turned on CNN, I saw the report that there was a breakout of a huge earthquake in Japan. So I immediately called my assistant, and I was ensured that the incident and emergency center was activated. On – (inaudible) – the first news was an earthquake around 8 – a magnitude of 8. I thought, it will not develop into huge accident like this. But when I arrived, I learned the news of tsunami, and I understood this will be an extremely important accident.

It was the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl in 1986. The IAEA – I was actively involved right from the start in helping Japan to respond and to disseminate the information with all the countries. We still are. The IAEA member states agreed an action plan on nuclear safety, which is now being implemented throughout the world. I hosted the international ministerial conference on this issue in June 2011, and then action plan was adopted by consensus in September 2011. This is the first time that IAEA could adopt the ministerial declaration and action plan after such an accident. And now the priority is to implement it.

The problem is extremely detailed, but to give you just a couple of examples, nuclear power plants have been strengthened against earthquakes and tsunamis, and great efforts have been made to ensure that backup electricity is available if there is a blackout at the nuclear power plant. The East Coast of the United States is no stranger to powerful national disasters and electricity blackouts.

The Fukushima accident had huge global impact, especially negative impact in the confidence of nuclear power. Countries with nuclear power took a critical look at their programs. A few decided to phase out from nuclear power completely, and the future of Japan's use of nuclear power is very uncertain. It will depend very much on the coming election.

But globally, the number of nuclear power reactors in the world will continue to grow steadily in the coming decades. Some growth is expected in India, in China and some other developing countries. And many developing countries plan to introduce nuclear power.

I went to Jordan some time ago on some – that is a desert country. They don't have any oil, and they don't have some other hydro resource. And their source of energy is the gas – (inaudible) – pipeline, but that pipeline is shut down from time to time. People in Jordan want to have a nuclear power station at any cost, and they are doing their best efforts. There are some other developing countries like that. And the IAEA is helping them to use nuclear power safely and securely and sustainably, if they want to do. We are not entirely in the government decision whether or not to use nuclear power. But if they use, we want them to use it safely.

Two days ago, I addressed a conference of nuclear regulators from around the world on the subject of nuclear security. It was hosted here in Washington by the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The IAEA is at the center of global effort to ensure that terrorists do not get hold of nuclear or radioactive material with strong support from the United States. Terrorist always target to the weakest link in the chain. We try to impress upon all countries the vital importance of ensuring that sensitive material is properly protected. The IAEA's advantage is that we have variety of activities and we are well-placed to implement. We provide special restraining (sic) – training and equipment, such as radiation detectors for public police and border guards. We monitor – (inaudible) – for nuclear and other radioactive material or unauthorized activities involving them. In fact, we have a database and it is the only authoritative for global database.

A lot has been done and achieved in recent years in improving nuclear security in many countries, but there are still – (inaudible) – points. We will hold a ministerial conference next summer to try to address these. This is the first time that IAEA will hold an international conference on security at ministerial level. We would like to see that it will be a good occasion to add political weight to the activities that we are doing in the field of nuclear security.

Finally, we have continued to pay special attention to the nuclear program of a number of countries. This is a part of our work of most interest to the people and to media. A year ago I spelled out in detail the basis for the agency's concerns about possible military dimensions to Iran's nuclear program. We have intensified our dialogue with Iran this year, but no concrete result has been made yet. We still are – we are still not in a position to declare that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful purpose.

In the meantime, Iran has continued to enrich uranium up to 5 percent and 20 percent and has expanded its enrichment capacity. This is contrary to the resolutions of the Board of Governors and the United Nations Security Council. Last week I told the agency's Board of Governors that there is now an opportunity to resolve on the Iranian nuclear issue through diplomatic means. The IAEA remains firmly committed to dialogue. Now is the time for all of us to work with a sense of urgency and seize on the opportunity for a diplomatic solution.

Seen from the United States or Europe, Iran's nuclear program often causes most concern, but from the perspective of countries in the Asia-Pacific region, the North Korean program is equally worrying. The IAEA has not been able to implement any verification measures in North Korea for more than three years. Satellite images suggest North Korea is building a light-water reactor and working on uranium enrichment. This is troubling. And the latest news on the plan of the launch of missiles will negatively impact the perspective of the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. I believe IAEA has an essential role to play in verifying North Korea's nuclear program.

I'm sure that you will have lots of questions about these and other issues, so I will stop here and I will take questions. Thank you very much. (Applause.)

MR. PERKOVICH: Thank you, Director-General. And I want to make sure I don't hog all the time, but let me ask you a couple questions to start.

One is that you're nearing the completion of your first term; you've been in the agency in this position – the director-general – for over three years; has anything surprised you as the DG?

MR. AMANO: Not surprise, but the situation has changed a lot. When I joined the agency, Iran has not yet started the enrichment up to 20 percent, and I did not have access to the information indicating Iran's activities relevant to the development of nuclear explosive devices. When I had a thorough look for the information, together with the information coming in, I thought this is a serious situation and I thought that I need to share the information with the countries and also I need to make it clear to Iran what are the issues that they have to address.

Of course, the Fukushima Daiichi accident was a huge surprise for me. Nothing is static, or there's ups and downs. It keeps me busy every day, and I'm enjoying it. (Laughter.)

MR. PERKOVICH: Well, then that's a good segue to ask – so I take from that that you would be interested in having a second term. And so – and I think many people would applaud that result. And so the question is if you – if you were to have a second term, what would be, you know, two or three things that you would go in thinking, OK – (inaudible) – really accomplish these two things in this next term?

MR. AMANO: The Iran nuclear issue is on top of the agenda. It is a very complicated issue with long history. But what I have been doing in the past two years – first, establish a clear standard. Every country, including Iran, has to implement a safeguard agreement and other relevant obligations. I mean, the U.N. Security Council resolutions and other resolutions – they are binding. I provided – and a clear understanding – assessment on the situation. Then I have identified the issues that Iran has to address. So the situation is clear. Questions to address is clear. And now we are negotiating the approach to solve these issues. And I hope in the coming years we have the opportunity to solve this issue through diplomatic means.

The Fukushima Daiichi accident – we have learned some lessons, but it takes years. In case of Three Mile Island accident, they took 10 years to clearly understand what happened in the core of the troubled reactors. It will certainly take time in case of Fukushima Daiichi, and we need to follow up on this issue.

And last month – (inaudible) – this is – may not be relevant today's discussion, but nuclear power or nuclear technology is very useful for the cancer control, for the water management or for the – to address other – food security. And I would like to work on this field to – for the benefits of the people mainly in the developing countries.

MR. PERKOVICH: Thank you. Let me follow – I know there are going to be questions on Iran, but let me follow up a bit on Iran, because you talked just now and in your prepared remarks about the possible military dimensions and the information that was brought to you, and so now you're having to do that investigation. And I guess the question – and Iran has not provided full transparency or answers to those questions. And I guess my question is is it possible for the U.S. or the P-5 plus one to negotiate an agreement with Iran about its future activities, but Iran still not answering the past – questions about the past – could the agency, in a sense, stop asking those questions if there were an agreement about the future, or will the agency always have to ask these questions until they're answered, and it may be, you know, 10 years from now – even if there were an agreement, you're still having to ask those questions – do you know what I mean?

MR. AMANO: We'll keep on asking these questions. And what we are – said in our report is that – we did not say that Iran has nuclear weapons. We did not say that Iran made a decision to develop nuclear weapons. But we said we have credible information indicating that Iran has engaged in activities relevant for the development of nuclear weapons. Without clarifying these issues, we cannot provide the assurance that all the activities in Iran is peaceful purpose. But important thing for us is that our function is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons. Our function is not to provide the verdict. And some – we'll of course want to have access to site, people, document, information on some past activities useful to understand the current one and to have better understanding for the future. But the point is that our function is to prevent the proliferation.

MR. PERKOVICH: So the Iranian file can't be closed in the IAEA unless Iran actually answers those questions, is that – is that –

MR. AMANO: The issues related to the possible military dimension is a part of the problem. We have other issues. If I take up one, Iran has to inform them decision to construct nuclear facilities well in advance. Other countries are doing, but Iran is not doing. We need to know or we need to have better knowledge of their plans to understand whether there is undeclared activities or not.

Another issue is that we have some – we can verify that declared activities in Iran are staying in peaceful purpose. But we have less knowledge whether they have undeclared activity – (inaudible) – or not. For that, bringing into force additional protocol is needed. And so clarifying the issues with military dimension is one thing. But we have to bring into force the additional protocol. We have to fully implement the safeguard agreement, including the prior notification of the plan of construction. We call them outstanding issues, and we need to solve these outstanding issues to provide the assurance that all the activities in Iran is for peaceful purpose.

MR. PERKOVICH: OK, thank you. There's a broader issue that comes out of what you just said and that I know the agency is wrestling with, but I'd like you to explain it to us, and that is about safeguards and wanting to focus the safeguards process more on thinking of states in their entirety and focusing on trying to see whether they're – to be able to verify there are not undeclared activities.

In other words, in the past, the focus has been on declared facilities and materials and accounting. And so a lot of effort and money is spent kind of safeguarding those declared facilities and accounting for them. But proliferation hasn't happened from declared facilities in the past. It generally happens from undeclared activities, and the agency understands that, and the secretariat understands that and I believe would like to move in a direction that you could focus more on that. But I understand there's also resistance from a number of states, so this is a very complicated issue. Could you elaborate, in a sense, the complication or the challenge you and your colleagues face in trying to move in this direction?

MR. AMANO: You're right that in the past we have focused on the nuclear facilities, sending inspectors. Analyzing the – material accounting was the fundamental source, even the only source of understanding on the situation. But it became very clear through our experience in Iraq that it is not sufficient. If everyone is honest to declare everything, we don't have the problem. But it is not, unfortunately, always the case.

So we start to think that focusing only on declared, safeguarded facility is not enough. We have to see the bigger picture, and we have to see the country as a whole. This is some other approach called state-level concept. This has an origin in the 1990s. And safeguard implementation is evolving process. So we have been developing this method.

What does it mean? Of course, the information collected by inspectors is so fundamental and useful. But we have a lot of – from open-source materials, and they are very helpful. We have, for example, satellite imagery now, and our countries are collecting information and they provide us. We do not depend on one single source. It does not happen that someone told me, and I – and we say – we think, perhaps, that this is right and publish it. It never happens. We cross-check all of these informations. And when we think that the information seems to be credible, then next step for us is to ask the country: We have this type of information; please clarify this. And then we will have better understanding.

In this world, there is nothing like zero or 100 percent. That is not objective. I say fully implement. "Fully" does not mean 100 percent. What we want to do is that we would like to have credible assurance. We want to give a greater assurance to member states that a country's activity is in peaceful purpose. For that, we need to see the country not facility by facility, but as a whole. The very effective tool is the additional protocol. With that additional protocol, we can access some – to sites that is not declared, for example. This is only one example. In one word, additional protocol is a tool that makes us have a better confidence in the activities of our country. And when I joined the IAEA, we had 93 countries that had brought additional protocol into force. Today I have 119 countries, and this number is increasing. We will continue our efforts to have better understanding of the countries' activities.

MR. PERKOVICH: What's the – and I'm mindful of keeping on our budget of time, in this time when we're focused on budgets in Washington – (laughter) – but the resistance to that – I mean, because there is resistance to that, despite the compelling logic that you laid out. What's the source of the resistance to you? I mean, what's really bothering those that are – that aren't so happy to see this move in this direction?

MR. AMANO: I think there are two different groups of problems: One is whether a country brings additional protocol into force or not. Some countries are willing to do it; other countries, some are – have problems to do it, have doubts on this tool, or simply do not have a capacity to do it. So one issue is whether a country brings additional protocol into force. We are providing assistance, and we are talking quietly now to member states.

The second group from – our question is that – what is some concept – or what is some other concept of – from a state-level concept? How far shall we go? And there were some misunderstandings, and there were some – a lack of communication, and we are intensifying our dialogue with countries that have a keen interest on this issue. We would like to be transparent. We would like to have the support of all the countries.

Fortunately, there's a strong support to strengthen our safeguards regime. There is a basic support for the state-level concept. But for the details, there are still questions to be addressed. We are asked to provide a report on the – on the concept of a state-level concept, and we are willing to do it. And when to do it, how to do it, I have to think of. But in a sense, there are some questions, some problems, but there's a basic understanding and support that safety – safeguards must be strengthened. And there is a basic support for, on the state level, concept. For the details, there exist questions, areas which require some clarification, and we are willing to talk to them and to talk with all the member states of the IAEA.

MR. PERKOVICH: Thank you.

OK, we're going to – Barbara Slavin's the first – we are going to take questions. Do what Barbara's going to do, which is first you raise your hand, then the microphone comes, then you speak in the microphone and say who you are and what your affiliation is, please.

Q: Always good to stay in the front row. (Chuckles.) Hello, I'm Barbara Slavin, I'm from the Atlantic Council, and also al-monitor.com. Welcome to Washington.

Given what's been going on in Parchin, are you reaching a point where it's going to be impossible to say what exactly Iran did at that site? And also, if I may ask a question about Bushehr, recently fuel was removed from Bushehr. Has it been put back in? Are there proliferation concerns involved with that, or is it a safety issue? And if so, what is the IAEA doing to make sure that Bushehr doesn't become another Fukushima, given its strange history?

Thank you.

MR. PERKOVICH: Easy questions.

MR. AMANO: For the first question, for Parchin, in fact during the time of my predecessor, the IAEA sent a team to Bushehr – or, no, sorry, Parchin. But Parchin is a huge site with many buildings, and at that time we did not have enough information to identify the right spot. This time we had some additional information, and we requested access to a particular site and building in Parchin.

After the – after we requested this access, we have observed a very extensive activities by Iran. Some of this includes the demolishing of buildings, use of abundant more water, the removal of soils, removing fences – all of these things. And this has been observed by the satellite imagery, and some of them are the imageries that we have bought from our commercial sources.

Where we stand and what we can do when we have access. As some of these activities are quite intensive – particularly recently – we have concerns that our capacity to verify would be – would have been severely undermined, and it means that we cannot say we are sure to find something, but it is useful to have access to the site, and if we go, we can understand much better the situation. And also, we are requesting access onto the site, but we are also – we have already put lots of questions, and we are requesting access to information, people and site. So I cannot guarantee that we can find something or not, but I continue to believe that having access is very useful to have better understanding of the past and current activities at Parchin.

Next question about Bushehr, yes, some fuel had been removed from that core, and it was reported (now/not ?) to us, but this doesn't pose safeguard problems. We continue to verify that Bushehr nuclear power plant is in peaceful purpose.

Then your next question – is it a question of safety? We don't know yet the details, but they are taking necessary measures. Removing the fuel is already a measure to remedy the situation, and we have good communication on this issue, so we don't have much worry of the activities that they are taking.

Will we be safe? Sharing the safety of the nuclear power plant is a responsibility of each country. What we can do is to assist them. In this regard, some years ago we have sent a mission to provide for the peer review of the regulatory body of Iran, and we have given our recommendations, including issues related to safety. And we hope that Iran would implement these recommendations, which will improve the safety, among others.

MR. PERKOVICH: Thank you. Yes, Deepti, and then we'll go back to this gentleman here, and then I see somebody in the way back. Yes.

Q: Thank you, Director-General. Good to see you again. Deepti Choubey with the Nuclear Threat Initiative.

I wanted to come back to the Additional Protocol, which I understand the IAEA says is an essential tool for verifying the non-diversion of nuclear material. When the U.S.-India deal was approved, we heard from Brazilian officials that the first victim of the U.S.-India deal was Brazil's non-acceptance of the Additional Protocol, and the argument, essentially, was that if we were going to – that if the United States was going to give the benefits that were promised to non-nuclear weapon states, meaning access to peaceful uses of nuclear energy to those who stand outside of the NPT, yet we are asking non-nuclear weapons states to take on additional nonproliferation obligations such as the additional protocol that they weren't – they felt that that was very unfair and that was going to be a barrier to them taking on the additional protocol.

It's been a few years now. Do you in your efforts to get states to sign on to the AP (ph), do you still hear that argument either from Brazil or from other states? Is there still that resentment and that concern?

MR. AMANO: We hear various argument to be against, and there's some issue of discriminatory nature or inequality is one of the arguments. One typical argument is that one country in the Middle East region is not even a member of the NPT, and why other countries should be asked to – (inaudible). This is – that may not be exact, but this is the main thrust of the argument.

And my argument is that additional protocol is a benefit for the country itself. If they implement the additional protocol, we can provide assurance that all the activities in that country is in peaceful purpose, and that will facilitate their nuclear activities. Especially when the activities of – nuclear activities of a country is not very extensive, it is not difficult to ratify and implement the additional protocol, and then they can get their (assurance ?) from us. We call it a broad conclusion. And they are better off in cooperating with the other countries. And almost all the countries in the world are using nuclear power only for energy, only for peaceful purpose. But the golden rule here is trust but verify. And additional protocol is very effective to give that assurance.

Yes, I hear this argument, but there was another strong argument that additional protocol is not for the benefit of others but for the benefit of that country. And the fact that 119 countries are now implementing additional – (inaudible) – is the evidence that this view is gradually and more widely accepted by the international community.

MR. PERKOVICH: Ah, yes, this gentleman right here.

Q: Hi. Tom Gjelten from NPR. I understand that some of your computer servers were hacked last month, and there's been some speculation that this was Iran, the work of Iran, perhaps in retaliation for the cyberattacks against its own facilities. Do you have any comment on that, on that specific incident, or whether there have been any other incidents where Iran may have attempted to penetrate your computer networks?

MR. AMANO: Regarding this incident of hacking, it is true that there was an attempt to enter into our computer system some months ago – to – some information has been stolen and posted onto – on their website. And the group claims that they have – looks like an Iranian name, but it does not mean that the origin is Iran. We are now – what we have done is that we have shut down – we did shut down the server in question on some of the information that was stolen when the personal information related to the scientists are working in – on the peaceful application area, like – (inaudible) – or water management or these type of things. We have taken the measure to shut down on the server and to – we checked our computer system dealing with the – our safeguards of confidential informations. And we don't – we didn't find that type of information has been stolen. But computer hacking is a complicated issue. And we are continuing our investigation and assessment, and we are prepared to take any measure needed to further protect our computer system. If you ask me, this (isn't ?) the only case. I would say there have been some other tries. But we are doing our best to protect our system.

MR. PERKOVICH: Thank you. Yes, in the back. That Steve back there – he's coming to. Hold on. There he is.

Q: Thanks. Thank you. Steven Dolley with Platts. Director General, has IAEA received pledges of sufficient funding to implement fully the post-Fukushima action plan? And if not, do you expect that additional pledges of funding will be received at the ministerial? If there's not going to be sufficient funding, what aspects of the plan might need to be slowed or curtailed?

MR. AMANO: The current priority for us related to safety is the implementation of the additional action plan for the nuclear safety. And it requires resources. One is financial resource, and another is human resource. So far a number of countries generously made their nationals available as cost-free experts, and Japan made a financial contribution and made some experts available for us.

There are areas where we need, frankly, that we have to send peer review missions. Peer review missions means we need people and some fund to send people. We need to review the safety standards – again, we need the fund. And we are convening international expert to our meetings, and that requires some fund.

So our – so far we have been financing these activities by the fund mainly contributed by Japan. But that fund is running out. On top of that, we cannot use the Japanese fund for – on the activities like making a report on Japan's accident, using Japan's money to make a report on Japan is a conflict of interest, and I don't want to do. And Japanese government doesn't want to do either. So we need funds.

In addition to that, another scarce resource is human resource. When we send missions, we need very good international experts. And again, this is a very scarce resource. Good experts are in demand everywhere nowadays. We need to compete with other companies and other sectors. United States has been generously made their experts available for us, as well as some other countries. And we keep counting on them, and we keep on appealing other countries which are in a position to do so to provide us more extrabudgetary contribution to support the activities, to enhance safety after Fukushima Daiichi accident.

MR. PERKOVICH: May I take two questions at a time? Is that OK with you?

MR. AMANO: Yes.

MR. PERKOVICH: Because we – I want to – I guess Michael and then over here to David, yeah. And we'll work our way back. She's right there, yeah. And then you can load up David – there you go, yeah. Go ahead.

Q: Hello, Mr. Amano. Welcome to Washington. I have a question. There is a technical process where the IAEA is intensively trying to make progress with Iran. There was the political process where the P-5 plus one is negotiating with Iran. Theoretically, the two should be separate. But do you feel that the process in Vienna and Tehran for the IAEA is being held hostage to progress in the political sector and that Iran both – will only give something when they can influence what's going on with the P-5 plus one? And how do you feel about that?

MR. PERKOVICH: Before you answer that, we're going to take a question from David Sanger as well, and then –

Q: Amano, good to see you again. Thank you very much for coming to do this. I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about the follow-up from the November of 2011 report, which was the one where you laid out most of the details that you've made public so far about suspected weapons-related activity. First of all, have you been allowed by the suppliers of any of that data, including the United States, to provide Iran with any of the documentation that they've long demanded with that?

And secondly, tell us about your efforts to interview Mr. Fakhrizadeh, who has been, of course, at the core of so many of the – of these activities that you wrote about a year ago and whether Iran has indicated any willingness to let you interview any of the central figures in the – in the suspected weapons side of the program.

MR. AMANO: For the first question, I – the agency's – IAEA's position is that P-5 plus one process and IAEA Iran process are different. The Iran IAEA process is different, independent and separate from the P-5 plus one process, and the reason is obvious. The people who are participating in these dialogues are different. The scope is different. Some – there should – these two process should be separated. In reality, these issues have some relations.

On some – on some – completely separating is not that easy, but despite this, we would like to make progress in our process. And that is why we are sending another mission to Tehran on the 13th of December, high-level mission, and discuss some other – negotiate the structure of the approach and, if possible, have access now to Parchin site.

The follow-up of the November 2011 report – but regarding the suppliers of the information, I cannot say which information, but in general, we can provide the information to Iran when appropriate. We are now negotiating the approach as a whole, and the sharing of information is a part of it. Our position is that we can share the information. We can provide information when appropriate.

For the interviews of the central figures in Iran, I said there has been no concrete progress. No concrete progress means – includes the interview with Mohsen Fakhrizadeh. It was not possible.

MR. PERKOVICH: OK. Let's – Norm Wulf here, and then Gareth in the back, and we should have time to come to you.

MR. AMANO: (Inaudible) – let me – let me correct. To be more precise, what we are asking includes the access to people, information and site. We have not yet identified special – particular name. That is why I corrected. What we are asking in the negotiation of the structured approach is to have access to site information and people. And when we come to the place of implementation, we will discuss more in details. But we haven't discussed this issue mentioning specific name.

Q: My name is Norman Wulf. I'm an independent consult. And my question is it's been roughly 15 years now since the additional protocol was negotiated, and I wondered whether you and your staff have identified measures to strengthen the additional protocol.

MR. PERKOVICH: And then in the back there. Yep.

Q: Gareth Porter from Inter Press Service. Mr. Amano, the last couple of weeks there has been a new development in regard to the November 11th report. The AP has published a couple of stories which have resulted in the apparent supplier of the information on the alleged graphing – computer simulation and graphing of nuclear explosions by Iran. And it now appears that it has admitted that the graph was altered in some way from an original of some sort, that it was not a genuine – fully genuine documentation. And this begs the question, because it has been reported in the AP stories, that this was indeed one of the series of such graphs that the IAEA was referring to in its November 11th – November 2011 report. It appears now that this documentation is being challenged; the authenticity of it is being challenged. And I wonder if you can confirm, first of all, that this was indeed part of the documentation to which you – your report in November 2011 was referring; and secondly, do you stand by the authenticity of that documentation despite the reports that have come out now?

MR. AMANO: First, regarding the strengthening of additional protocol, theoretically or in the future, that can be discussed. But for us, the focus for us for now is to encourage more countries bring additional protocol into force. And I said that we have now 115 countries that have brought the – (inaudible) – into force. It means that tens of countries have not yet brought additional protocol into force. Now, this is not the right time to further strengthen the additional protocol, but to widen the application of additional protocol.

Second question is about the graphs. In – on the November 2011 report, I said I have identified that a computer modeling is one of the areas that we need clarification. We also said in the – on the following reports that we are receiving new informations. But on this specific issue, on whether the graphs reported by AP are – is the authentic one or not, I hope you understand that I cannot discuss this specific information.

MR. PERKOVICH: I promised the young lady in the back there, the very back, and then this young lady here in the middle.

Q: Mr. Amano, my name is – (name inaudible). I am from BBC Persian TV. My question is regarding the (December 13 ?) meeting. You said from the beginning when you joined the IAEA as the director-general, things have changed quite dramatically. Have you seen any change in the approach of Iranian delegation, Iranian representative that you deal with? And do you have any indication that this time this meeting may produce some result and may show us that we can hope to resolve the issue?

MR. PERKOVICH: And then Corey right here, yep.

Q: Thanks. Corey Hinderstein with the Nuclear Threat Initiative. My question is about the broader mission of the IAEA. And it hasn't remained static. It has changed in its role. And I'm wondering if you could say something about your thoughts about the future role of the agency in the area, for example, of nuclear security, and particularly in the context of the progress that's been made with the nuclear security summit and then other areas such as fuel cycle and potential verification activities related to nonproliferation or disarmament measures like the FMCT. Thank you.

MR. AMANO: (Inaudible) – first, regarding the behaviors from Iranians negotiators or representative, there are ups and downs on – sometimes they are in – (inaudible) – other times they're not so good involved. But we have – we have maintained good contact. We are continuously talking with the permanent representative of Iran in Vienna. I meet – I met with Vice President Abbasi just after the general conference in September. Some of – I visited Tehran and had a meeting with Mr. – (inaudible). So we maintain political, high-level channels. We maintain a high senior management and representative of – from Vienna. So we have good channel of dialogue with them.

On some – regarding the perspective for the upcoming meeting, we would like to produce concrete results. This is other objective. A process is not the only objective. We should not go around in process without producing any concrete result. This is – this will even undermine the credibility of foreign dialogue. So we – so we are committed for dialogue. We will continue our dialogue. But the purpose is to produce concrete result.

Can we be optimistic? That is another issue. We are determined – we are firmly committed to dialogue. And I hope that is the same on the part of Iran. What we can do is do our best efforts. For the few – for other activities, like nuclear security, yes, our nuclear security is a very important mandate of the IAEA. To be very honest and frank, the activities of us in this field have been strengthened rather in – rather recently compared to other activities.

But I would say that our nuclear safety and security is one of the two priorities of the agency. We are committed to function as a global platform to strengthen nuclear security activities. And next year, we are hosting, as I stated in my introductive statement, international conference on nuclear security in international levels. We can – we can establish nuclear security guidance, we can help countries to implement it. We can provide concrete assistance, like – (inaudible) – of nuclear detectors. We can provide training and we have a quite extensive – (inaudible) – database.

So the IAEA is the – a unique and only organization in the IAEA that have extensive, broad competence and capacity and tradition of doing these things. Of course, other organizations are working in this field of nuclear security, but someone should be at the center. And we are prepared to function at the global platform. Other activities for FMCT and others, if there is a request we can use our experience in safeguards to support the implementation of a nuclear disarmament agreements.

MR. PERKOVICH: OK. Thank you. Well, remember when I began I said the instructions for the moderators were idiot proof? Well, they're not because I've just proven that one idiot anyway cannot do what I'm supposed to do, which is to say that we had time for one more question, because that time has expired. (Laughter.) I apologize for that. I am to remind you, which I can do because I can read this, that says this was on the record thanks to the graciousness of the director general.

And so let me ask you to join me in applauding the director general for a fascinating presentation. Thank you very much. (Applause.)

MR. AMANO: Thank you very much.

(END)

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