Iran : A long-term agreement must include guarantees necessary to establish the peaceful purpose of the Iranian nuclear programme (12/18/2014)
Statement by Mr Philippe Bertoux, Political Counsellor of the Permanent Mission of France to the United Nations– Security Council –18 December 2014
First, I would like to thank Ambassador Gary Quinlan for his briefing and forf the unstinting work he accomplished with his team over the past two years at the head of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1737 (2006). The dynamism, vigour and high professionalism were the essential characteristics of the Australian delegation in carrying out that important task, and we are particularly grateful to them for that. We should also like to wish to every success to Spain taking up the chairmanship of the Committee in 2015.
As underscored by Ambassador Quinlan in his briefing and, as is explicitly stated in the Joint Action Plan, Security Council resolutions remain in full force in the framework of the negotiations under way, as well as in the period preceding a comprehensive settlement to the proliferation crisis in Iran. It was therefore with concern that we welcomed the midterm report of the Panel of Experts of the Committee, which was provided to the Council a few days ago. The information in the report on Iran’s attempts to acquire proscribed sensitive materials and the possible movements of individuals on the sanctions list reminds us that it is essential to continue to exercise vigilance regarding Iran’s activities.
The Committee is indeed still waiting for Iran’s response regarding the weapons intercepted on board the Klos C ship coming from Iran, which the Panel has confirmed were illegal and in violation of Security Council resolutions.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Panel for it tireless work, and necessary to the work of the 1737 Committee.
Since the adoption of the Joint Plan of Action, a little over a year ago, the E3+3 have been negotiating with Iran along clear lines : Iran has every right to develop nuclear energy for civilian purposes, but it should not develop nuclear weapons. A long-term agreement must therefore include all the guarantees necessary to establish the exclusively peaceful purpose of the Iranian nuclear programme.
The most recent negotiations have resulted in extensive and useful exchanges among members of the group of six and Iran. Despite the lack of flexibility demonstrated at this stage by Iranian negotiators, we want to believe in Tehran’s political will to reach a long-term agreement. We therefore expect it to make the strategic choices and take the courageous decisions that are necessary.
During the series of negotiations in Vienna in November, new ideas were presented that deserved careful consideration by the members of the Panel. It is in that context that the E3+3 and Iran have agreed to an extension of discussions and negotiations, under the terms of the Joint Plan of Action, until 30 June 2015. During that period, Iran must continue to meet its commitments under the interim agreement of 24 November 2013, which has been implemented thus far.
In that respect, the crucial role of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in verifying Iran’s compliance with these commitments should be welcomed. It is a significant effort on its part, and France will play its full role by making an extrabudgetary financial contribution to support the IAEA monitoring and verification activities.
We remain fully engaged and committed to reaching a credible, robust and durable agreement that serves the goal of peace and security and restores confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme.
An improvement in the cooperation between Iran and the IAEA is also needed, in particular regarding the possible military dimension, both past and present, of its nuclear programme. While Iran had complied until August 2014 with the cooperation framework approved last year with the Agency, the Agency reported in its most recent report the lack of any progress on the issues that had been identified, and this situation is very worrying. The settlement of all issues related to the possible military dimension of Iran’s nuclear programme is indeed a key element for restoring confidence, and therefore for achieving the long-term agreement that we all want.