5 September 2013 – Security Council - Non-proliferation / Iran – Statement by Mr. Philippe Bertoux, Political Counsellor of France to the United Nations
At the outset, I would like to join others, Mr. President, in wishing you every success in your presidency of the Security Council and thank you for the quarterly report of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1737 (2006), which you have just presented. The report shows, if anyone still doubted it, that Iran continues to refuse to comply with its international obligations. It continues its prohibited nuclear and missile activities and its arms transfers, which are illicit under Council resolutions.
We are particularly concerned by Iran’s repeated violations, especially in the Middle East, of the arms embargo set out in resolution 1747 (2007). Those violations contribute to weakening a region that is already plagued by violence and instability.
During our most recent debate on the subject (see S/PV.6999), held in July, I stressed that the seizure of a large shipment of Iranian weapons off the coast of Yemen last February was worrying. The report of the Panel of Experts on that incident noted that the quantity and quality of the weapons seized — man-portable air defence systems, rocket launchers and explosives — could seriously undermine the political process under way in Yemen.
The Committee’s Panel of Experts, whose work should be welcomed, also continued its research on shipments of Iranian weapons to non-State groups in Gaza. It provided the Committee with an additional document containing information that was also very worrying, showing that the weapons used by those non-State groups against Israel were indeed of Iranian origin.
Similarly, the Committee has repeatedly looked into incidents of arms shipments from Iran to Syria, where Iranian agents help the regime of Bashar Al-Assad in committing atrocities, as we are all well aware.
Iran is also pursuing its ballistic missile programme, in violation of resolution 1929 (2010). In July 2012, it fired Shahab-1 and — 3 ballistic missiles during the Great Prophet VII military exercise. The Panel of Experts investigated the matter, and its report confirmed without a doubt that there had been a violation of paragraph 9 of resolution 1929 (2010). We call on the Committee, which has all the information necessary to declare this an infringement, to draw the necessary conclusions.
Faced with all those provocations, the Committee has sought to establish a dialogue with Iran by sending letters, if only to hear its side of the story. Iran has never responded. The Committee also has a report by the Experts that includes a series of operational recommendations to improve the implementation of the sanctions that we have agreed on. The Committee must now take concrete measures to that effect, be it by helping countries to better target materials that could be used by Iran for its nuclear programme or by naming the entities involved in violations.
All of the incidents that I have just mentioned have taken place within the larger context of Iran’s lack of cooperation with the international community. On 28 August 2013, the Director General of the IAEA presented a report (GOV/2013/40)on the implementation of safeguards in Iran. The report once again shows that Tehran is continuing to choose the path of defiance rather than dialogue, and confirms the continuation of the overall direction of Iran’s nuclear programme. The enrichment of uranium to 3.5 per cent and 20 per cent at the Natanz and Fordow sites continues in an alarming manner, with an ever-increasing number of increasingly sophisticated centrifuges. The accelerated construction of a heavy-water reactor at Arak that will be capable of producing plutonium also continues, in violation of Security Council resolutions. The reactor vessel is now in place, and Iran has a sufficient amount of heavy water for it to begin operating.
Finally, the dialogue on the possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear programme has not made any progress. November will be the second anniversary of the report of the Director General of the IAEA on the subject. Eighteen months after discussions were launched, no agreement has been reached with Iran. The work done on the Parchin site, to which IAEA has been requesting access for 18 months, poses a real obstacle to the Agency’s verification work.
The group of six remains united in its efforts to find a diplomatic solution to the Iranian proliferation crisis. We also agree on the strategy to be adopted based on the balanced proposals that we made to Iran in Almaty. We will meet again in New York on the sidelines of the General Assembly on 26 September to continue our dialogue.
We understand the expectations that have been generated by the establishment of a new Government in Tehran. We also have expectations, and we remain open to constructive dialogue that will allow us to resolve this serious proliferation crisis. But given such a serious threat, we cannot be satisfied by the declarations of intent by the new authorities in Iran. In order to be sincere, the Iranian declarations must be translated into action; otherwise, our international pressure on Iran will be maintained. Respect for the international regime on the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the maintenance of international peace and security are at stake.
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