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6 March 2013 - Security Council - Iran/Sanctions Committee - Statement by Mr Martin Briens, Deputy Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations

(UN translation)



I, too, would like to thank Ambassador Quinlan for his 90-day report and to take this opportunity to wish him the greatest of success in his task as Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1737 (2006).

I would also like to thank the Panel of Experts for its work in support of the Committee. The Council has taken note of the 21 February report (see S/2013/103) of the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). That report once again drew attention to Iran’s refusal to meet its international obligations and commitments under the resolutions of the Security Council and the IAEA Board of Governors. The report underscores several elements of concern, including the absence of substantive discussions between the IAEA and Iran on unresolved issues and the possible military dimension of the Iranian nuclear programme. Iran, as we know, resorts to making objections on methods so as not to respond substantively. The Agency has still not had access to the Parchin military site.

Another element of concern is the continuation of enrichment activities at Natanz and Fordow, with no credible civilian aim. Twenty-per cent-enriched uranium continues to be accumulated. Enrichment capacity is also being stepped up, in both quantity and quality. That is what we have concluded from the announcement, on 23 January, of the installation of new generation centrifuges at the Natanz enrichment facility. The deployment and use of centrifuges on such an industrial scale represents a significant development in Iranian capacity to produce enriched uranium. It is without a doubt another violation by Iran of its international obligations.

Finally, let us not forget that other nuclear activities are continuing, including those related to the construction of a heavy water reactor, without Iran allowing the IAEA to carry out verification. The quarterly report of the 1737 Committee also shows that Iran is still not meeting its international obligations, as it continues to pursue its illicit nuclear and ballistic activities as well as its attempts to get around sanctions. France is concerned by the repeated violations by Iran of the arms embargo imposed by the Security Council, which are fuelling the spiral of violence in the Middle East. In particular, we have already expressed our concern regarding the transfer of arms from Iran to Syria. Several such cases were noted by the Experts’ report. We welcome, in that regard, the imposition of sanctions on Yas Air and SAD Export Import Company, which were implicated in attempts to deliver weapons to Syria.

We are also concerned by information relating to the transfer of arms and ballistic material to non-State actors in Gaza. The Panel of Experts provided the Committee with a compilation of statements by Iranian officials on that matter. Iran must explain those deliveries, which represent a violation of the arms embargo imposed by resolution 1747 (2007). Yemen also recently informed the Council of the seizure off its coast of a large quantity of weapons originating in Iran and likely destined for Yemeni insurgents, risking the destabilization of the political transition process in that country.

Developments continued in the Iranian ballistic programme during the reporting period, with contempt for Council resolutions. Iran launched Shaab-1 and Shaab-3 missiles in July 2012 as part of Great Prophet VII military exercises. France, together with Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States, notified the Committee of that new violation of resolution 1929 (2010), following which the Panel of Experts carried out an investigation leading to a report concluding unambiguously that the exercise undeniably constituted a violation of resolution 1929 (2010).

In that case, as in the others I mentioned, the 1737 Committee must remind Iran of its obligations. It must, together with the experts, consider the appropriate measures that must be taken, including the imposition of sanctions against the entities and persons responsible.

We remain open to dialogue, as shown by the numerous meetings held between the E3+3 with Iran in 2012. More recently, during the Almaty meeting held on 26 and 27 February, the E3+3 put new, balanced proposals to Iran, which bear witness once again to the will of the six parties to react positively if Iran undertook the necessary steps to respond to the urgent concerns of the international community. While those discussions allowed for useful first steps to be taken, they did not produce concrete results. The discussions will therefore continue, first between experts in March, then at the political director level in early April to evaluate the situation. We remain, with our partners in the group, fully committed to seeking solutions providing for concrete progress to be made. But nothing will be possible without clear political will on the part of Iran to respond to the concerns of the international community. Unfortunately, Iran has yet to show any such will.


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