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20 September 2012 - Iran - Statement by Mr Gérard Araud, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations

I would like to thank Ambassador Osorio for his quarterly report on the activities of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1737 (2006) and his awareness-raising activities in Member States, particularly the open meeting of the Committee held on 9 July. That allowed for many delegations to learn about their obligations under the Security Council resolutions on the topic.

This quarterly report shows once again that Iran continues to violate its international obligations. It recalls that Iran continues to attempt to bypass the sanctions regime established by Council resolutions and seeks to acquire sensitive materials and to export weapons. I would highlight Iran’s arms embargo violations that benefit the Syrian regime, brought to light by the recent report of the Panel of Experts. As the Damascus regime has been massacring its own people for over a year now, it is increasingly urgent to strictly apply sanctions in order to stop Iran from providing the Al-Assad regime with weapons that enable it to go about its sinister task.

I would also like to note my country’s concern regarding the Iranian missile programme, in particular Iran’s revelation that the Islamic Revolutionary Guards tested Shahab-3 missiles in July 2012. That was a violation of resolution 1929 (2010) and the Committee must assume up its responsibilities.

Finally, the Committee must also ensure the full implementation of the recommendations contained in the report of the Panel of Experts. That means pursuing designations and updating the lists of property, people and individuals subject to sanctions, as recommended by the report of the Panel of Experts, in order to counter Iran’s attempts at dissimulation and to bypass sanctions. We must therefore designate without delay the entities YasAir Cargo Airlines and SAD Import-Export Company that are accused of transferring weapons and military equipment to Iran, as I noted earlier.

The Council is aware of the 30 August report of the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The report once again highlights Islamic Republic of Iran’s refusal to act in compliance with its obligations and international commitments under Security Council resolutions and the Board of Governors of the IAEA. The report of the Director General underscores Iran’s failure to cooperate with the IAEA on pending items related to a possible military dimension of Iran’s nuclear programme, which explains why the discussions between the Agency and Iran have led to no concrete results.

The report also underscores the concealment and demolition activities conducted by Iran at the Parchin military site, where the Agency suspects Iran of having conducted concept testing for a nuclear device. This significantly undermines the Agency’s ability to verify the nature of activities conducted on that site. The report also adds that there is ongoing development of enrichment activities, in particular in the Fordow site, where the uranium enrichment capacity has been doubled. Uranium stocks enriched to 3.5 per cent and 20 per cent continue to grow without the possibility of having a civil explanation for these activities.

In the face of repeated violations of Security Council and IAEA resolutions, the Agency adopted by an overwhelming majority a new resolution firmly condemning Iran’s attitude, calls upon it to uphold its international obligations without delay and notes that its cooperation is necessary and urgent to restoring the international community’s trust in the exclusively peaceful use of the Iranian nuclear programme. That trust is lacking today.

France welcomes that resolution. It is absolutely crucial for Iran to swiftly and unreservedly cooperate with the IAEA so as to shed full light on all pending matters and to cease those activities that undermine the Agency’s work. Iran must suspend all of its sensitive activities conducted in violation of its international obligations. The adoption of the resolution by an overwhelming majority once again demonstrates the unity and determination of the international community on the Iranian nuclear issue. The current stand-off pits Iran against the international community as a whole and not just against some of its members.

We remain open to dialogue. Indeed, for some 10 years now we have spent hundreds of hours in discussions with Iran. We would nevertheless note that these discussions have been in vain. The many meetings that have taken place in Istanbul, Baghdad and Moscow between the E3+3 and Iran bear witness to that. The E3+3 have offered balanced proposals to Iran, but that country has not demonstrated a readiness to negotiate and has instead accelerated its sensitive and prohibited activities. This has been the case for almost 10 years now. We are trying to negotiate, but Iran unf linchingly continues its nuclear activities. Thus, as long as Iran will not uphold its obligations, we must shoulder our responsibilities and increase pressure on that country to convince it that it dialogue, rather than isolation and provocation, is in its best interests. As a consequence, together with those countries willing to do so, we shall strengthen sanctions against Iran so long as it continues to refuse to uphold its obligations. We are only asking Iran for one thing — that is, to negotiate. Iran is not doing so.

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Organisation des Nations Unies Présidence de la République France Diplomatie La France à l'Office des Nations Unies à Genève Union Européenne Première réunion de l'ONU