I, too, thank Ambassador Gary Quinlan for presenting the quarterly report on the activities of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1737 (2006) and for all the work he has done with his team as its Chair.
The rapid development of the Iranian nuclear programme has been a matter of grave concern to the international community for more than a decade. The uncertainties over the exclusively peaceful purposes of that programme and Iran’s refusal to negotiate have led the Council to establish a sanctions regime. However, we have always kept the door for dialogue open.
The adoption of the Joint Plan of Action of 24 November 2013, which got Iran to suspend the most sensitive activities of its nuclear programme for six months, opened a new page in the discussions between the P5+1 and Tehran. Those discussions will resume on 2 July in Vienna and should continue until the deadline provided for by the joint plan of action, that is to say, 20 July.
To date, the negotiations have been difficult. The positions of the P5+1 and Iran remain apart on several key aspects of the discussion. With our partners of the E3+3, we are committed to reaching a long-term solution that makes it possible to establish and to ensure over time the exclusively peaceful purposes of the Iranian nuclear programme. However, to that end, Iran must commit to taking the technical steps to assure the international community that it will not seek to acquire a nuclear weapon in the future.
Moreover, it remains essential that Iran engage with the International Atomic Energy (IAEA) in a fruitful dialogue on the possible military dimension, past and present, of its nuclear programme. The slight progress at this stage on that aspect must be followed by specific actions on the part of the Iranians. The resolution of all outstanding issues with the IAEA is crucial to achieving a long-term solution. I also wish to recall that the Security Council resolutions on Iran remain fully in force pending a comprehensive settlement of the proliferation crisis. The Joint Plan of Action explicitly states that.
It is therefore with concern that we learned the conclusions of the investigation conducted by the Committee’s Panel of Experts on the interception of the ship Klos C by the Israeli authorities. The report affirms that the transfer of missiles, possibly Syrian, and of ammunition are a clear violation of the arms embargo provided for under resolution 1747 (2007). That incident is worrying on several respects. Not only does it confirm that weapons coming from Iran continue to be spread throughout the Middle East and feed the spiral of violence in the region, but it could also call into question Iran’s good faith in its express willingness to respond to the concerns of the Security Council.
It is now up to the 1737 Committee to take appropriate measures to respond to the incident. A first useful response would be to transmit to the Member States the lessons that the Committee might learn from the violation.
We welcome the publication of the final report of the Panel of Experts (S/2014/394, annex). That document is a precious source of information related to Iran’s illicit programme and the means used by Tehran to circumvent the sanctions. It also makes simple operational recommendations that the Committee should implement. We hope that all States Members of the United Nations will take note of the final report and use it to improve as much as possible the implementation of resolutions of the Security Council on Iran.
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