VIENNA, 17 SEPTEMBER 2021 (IAEA)—IAEA director general Rafael Mariano Grossi has been informed by Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States of an 18-month trilateral effort between these three countries “to identify the optimal pathway to support Australia’s acquisition of a conventionally armed, nuclear-powered submarine capability for the Royal Australian Navy”.
The trilateral effort was announced in a joint statement on 15 September by Scott Morrison, Prime Minister of Australia, Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and Joseph Biden, President of the United States of America.
The director general has also been informed by the three countries that a critical objective of this cooperation will be to maintain “the strength of both the nuclear non-proliferation regime and Australia’s exemplary non-proliferation credentials” and that they will be “engaging with the IAEA throughout the coming months”.
The director general notes that the three countries have informed the IAEA at an early stage on this development. The IAEA will engage with them on this matter in line with its statutory mandate, and in accordance with their respective safeguards agreements with the Agency….PACNEWS