The Vienna agreement is the best demonstration of what diplomacy is capable of today - 15 September 2015 [fr]
Iran / Nuclear- Statement by Mr Philippe Bertoux, Political Counsellor of the Permanent Mission of France to the United Nations - Security Council - 15 September 2015
I, too, would like to the Spanish Ambassador for his briefing on the quarterly activities of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1737 (2006).
The Vienna agreement of 14 July between Iran and the E3+3, and the adoption a week later of resolution 2231 (2015) by the Council were historic steps in re-establishing confidence with regard to the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme. For 12 years, this question has occupied and worried the international community. The alarming expansion of Iran’s nuclear programme for over a decade led us to establish a significant sanctions regime, while keeping the door open to dialogue for starting serious negotiations.
We support the Vienna agreement, as it attained all the objectives that my country had set for itself during the negotiations, namely, a 98 per cent reduction in Iranian uranium stocks, a two-thirds reduction in the number of centrifuges, a limit to the rate of uranium enrichment and a ban on enrichment activities in the underground site of Fordow. All of those things have significantly lengthened the time necessary for Iran’s swift access to nuclear weapons. By obliging Iran to modify the Arak reactor, we blocked access to a plutonium-based nuclear bomb. Finally, by guaranteeing International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) oversight not only over Iranian nuclear facilities and over the integrity of the fuel cycle, but also, where appropriate, to non-declared sites, we are ensuring that the agreement will be strictly verified in the field.
This agreement is based on a thorough verification on the ground of the commitments made by Iran. We have also taken requisite steps to restore sanctions should it be necessary if there are significant violations. Everything has been done to deter any violation of the agreement by the Iranian side.
We shall judge based on evidence: the success of the agreement depends in large part on Iran, which will have to implement all measures provided for. In exchange, the nuclear-related sanctions will be progressively eased as Iran concretely honours its commitments and the IAEA is able to verify it.
The Security Council, having endorsed it, is today the guarantor of the implementation of the Vienna agreement. We will take part in this exercise in good faith, of course, but also with necessary vigilance — and for the entire duration of the agreement. We will particularly ensure that the timetable set forth by the Vienna agreement and the resolution will be scrupulously upheld.
In that respect, I think it would probably be useful to recall that just until implementation day — that is, until the IAEA confirms to us that Iran has implemented all the initial measures of the agreement — all existing measures of Security Council resolutions remain fully in force. The Vienna agreement and resolution 2231 (2015) explicitly state this. That means that the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1737 (2006) and the Panel of Experts supporting it must continue their activities, including as pertains to incidents already reported as well as those that may be reported by Member States.
Furthermore, I hope, as indicated by the Ambassador of Spain, that the Committee, with the Panel’s support, can provide Member States with all the necessary support for the implementation of Security Council resolutions on Iran.
The Vienna agreement is the best demonstration of what diplomacy is capable of today. While there was an accumulation of uncertainties, the agreement today provides a lasting foundation for a resolution of the Iranian nuclear issue. It is along those lines that we hope that all the national procedures needed for the full implementation of the agreement will be swiftly concluded.