23 June 2011
Security Council
SC/10292

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Security Council

6563rd Meeting (PM)


Security Council Committee on Iran Sanctions Reports New Violations

 

as Members Urge Diplomatic Solution

 


Reports of International Atomic Energy Agency, Expert Panel Win Praise


There had been three new alleged violations of the international sanctions imposed on Iran in relation to its nuclear programme, the Chair of the Committee created to monitor the implementation of those measures reported today, as several concerned Security Council members urged Tehran to scale back the activities in dispute and seek a diplomatic solution.


Briefing the Council, Néstor Osorio (Colombia), Chair of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1737 (2006), said that during the reporting period – 22 March to 23 June – it had been notified of three additional cases of alleged violations of paragraph 5 of resolution 1747 (2007).  That text banned the export and procurement by Iran of arms and related material.


Some of the cases were still being examined by the Committee and its year-old Panel of Experts, he said.  “The Committee commends the readiness of States to report alleged sanctions violations and encourages [them] to cooperate with the Expert Panel’s investigation of incidents on non-compliance.”


He went on to report that the Committee had received five notifications:  two from a Member State concerning authorization of exemptions from financial restrictions; two from a Member State announcing its intention to authorize certain economic resources to the benefit of an entity listed in the annex to resolution 1737 (2006); and one from a Member State relating to the authorization of payments due under a contract entered into before the Council’s imposition of sanctions.


Turning to the work of the Panel of Experts, he said it had submitted its final report in May.  The experts had held a series of consultations in China, Qatar and Azerbaijan to discuss issues relevant to their work; and investigated three reported violations concerning paragraph 9 (banning any activity by Iran related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons) and paragraph 13 (on enrichment-related, reprocessing or heavy-water-related activities or to the development of nuclear-weapon delivery systems), of resolution 1929 (2010).


He said the Panel had also investigated violations of paragraph 5 (prohibiting Iran from supplying, selling or transferring directly or indirectly from its territory or by its nationals or using its flag vessels or aircraft any arms or related materiel) of resolution 1747 (2007), and had conducted an assessment of Member States’ implementation reports under paragraph 31 of resolution 1929 (2010).


Following the briefing, several Council members expressed alarm about Iran’s announcement that it would significantly boost its enrichment activities, and that it had successfully launched a second satellite into orbit.  The United Kingdom’s representative said such actions were clear evidence of Iran’s continued defiance of the Council’s sanctions regime.


He said he was also concerned that, despite repeated assertions that its nuclear programme was peaceful, Iran continued to obstruct, at every level, efforts by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to ascertain the true nature of its atomic activities.  While the United Kingdom remained ready to engage Tehran on all issues, including through the “E3+3” ( China, France, Germany, Russian Federation, United Kingdom and the United States), it was clear that Iran was proliferating nuclear material and unwilling to clarify the matter, he said, reiterating that rigorous implementation of Council resolution 1929 (2011) and previous texts was essential.


Equally concerned by Iran’s recent nuclear-related activities, France’s representative said the Expert Panel’s final report painted an “alarming” picture of Iran’s elaborate deception, aimed at evading the sanctions.  France was particularly alarmed about reported violations of the arms embargo, including three new examples of illegal arms transfers that revealed Syria’s participation.  Moreover, Syria had refused to cooperate with the Panel, which was a serious violation of its obligations under relevant Council resolutions.


By continuing activities that were contrary to its stated intentions, he said, Iran was “heading down a one-way street of violations of international obligations, isolation and repression,” at a time when people across the region were calling for openness and cooperation.  The Expert Panel played a key role in ensuring the implementation and continuing effectiveness of Council-mandated measures.  While France endorsed the recommendations contained in its final report, the Panel’s work was far from complete, he said, expressing support for a renewal of its mandate.  He was also among those who called strongly for the Panel’s final report to be distributed as an official Council document.


While stressing that all members of the international community must comply strictly with Council resolutions, the Russian Federation’s representative said he favoured dialogue and diplomacy to engage Iran fully on non-proliferation.  There was need for a comprehensive solution that would recognize the right to the peaceful use of energy under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).  He recalled that, during recent tripartite consultations on regional cooperation and development involving his own country, Kazakhstan and Iran, the latter had expressed interest in discussing such issues as weakening the sanctions regime.  Hopefully such an approach would not hinder talks among the E3+3, he said.


Also speaking were representatives of the United States, China, Germany, Portugal, South Africa, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Nigeria, Lebanon, Brazil, India and Gabon.


The meeting began at 3:15 p.m. and ended at 4:14 p.m.


Background


Meeting this afternoon to consider the question of non-proliferation, the Council members were expected to hear a briefing by the Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2006).


Briefing


NÉSTOR OSORIO (Colombia), Chair of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1737 (2006), presented the regular 90-day briefing on that body’s work relating to Iran sanctions, saying that during the reporting period – 22 March to 23 June – it had held two informal consultations and concluded additional work using its “no objection” procedure.  During an 8 June consultation, the Coordinator of the Panel of Experts had provided an overview of its main findings, contained in their final report, which had been submitted to the Council on 7 May.  The Committee had discussed the Panel’s recommendations on 16 June.  “The Committee will continue to consider actions to implement the recommendations that enjoy consensus,” he said, adding that, in order to implement some of those recommendations, the Committee had decided to ask the Panel to draft a series of implementation assistance notices based on the five thematic areas of the recommendations.


He went on to say that, in addition to submitting its final report, the Panel had held a series of consultations in China, Qatar and Azerbaijan to discuss issues relevant to its work; investigated three reported violations concerning paragraph 9 (banning any activity by Iran related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons) and paragraph 13 (on enrichment-related, reprocessing or heavy-water-related activities, or to the development of nuclear-weapon delivery systems) of resolution 1929 (2010); and of paragraph 5 (prohibiting Iran from supplying, selling or transferring directly or indirectly from its territory or by its nationals or using its flag vessels or aircraft any arms or related materiel).  It had also conducted an assessment of Member States’ implementation reports under paragraph 31 of resolution 1929 (2010).


Since his last briefing, he said, the Committee had been notified of three additional alleged violations of paragraph 5 of resolution 1747 (2007), which banned the export and procurement by Iran of arms and related material.  Some of those cases were still being examined by the Committee and Panel of Experts, he said, commending the readiness of States to report alleged sanctions violations and encouraging them to cooperate with the Panel’s investigation of non-compliance.  The Committee had also received five notifications:  two from a Member State concerning authorization of exemptions from financial restrictions; two from a Member State announcing its intention to authorize certain economic resources for the benefit of an entity included on the list contained in the annex to resolution 1737 (2006); and one from a Member State relating to the authorization of payments due under a contract entered into before the Council’s imposition of measures against the entity concerned.


He said the Committee had also received a query from a Member State seeking information as to whether Security Council measures had been imposed on an Iranian company or individuals working for it.  In response to a letter from the Committee requesting details of an alleged violation previously reported, a Member State had asked for clarification regarding its involvement in the incident.  “The Committee is still considering appropriate responses to these letters and will provide answers in due course,” he said, adding that the Committee had also received a response to its previous request for clarification from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).


Statements


MARK LYALL GRANT ( United Kingdom) said the Expert Panel’s report made clear that Iran continued to violate the Council’s sanctions and remained a nuclear proliferator.  “The Iranians themselves say as much,” he added, recalling that country’s recent announcement that it intended to scale up its nuclear-enrichment activities significantly.  That in itself was in direct contravention of six Council resolutions requiring Iran to suspend enrichment immediately, he said, adding that it was also incompatible with the country’s repeated statements that its nuclear programmes were for peaceful uses only.


He went on to say that the June report of IAEA showed again that Iran had failed to allow the Agency access to its equipment, facilities and individuals.  The report made clear, as had successive previous ones, that Iran had not suspended enrichment activity, and that the IAEA had been unable to confirm that all materials were used for peaceful purposes.  Against that backdrop, the Panel of Experts was essential as it played a clear role in the implementation of relevant Council resolutions, he said, encouraging the Panel to continue investigating violations and engaging the wider United Nations membership on the issue.


The Committee should take forward the Panel’s recommendations, he said, expressing regret that its final report had not yet been published.  By refusing to issue the report, some Council members were preventing the wider United Nations from participating in crucial ongoing discussions on the matter.  All Council members should ensure that the report was issued as an official document “as a matter of urgency”, he emphasized, expressing concern about reports that Iranian missiles sent to Taliban operatives were directly engaged in the Afghanistan insurgency.  While the United Kingdom remained ready to engage Iran on all issues, it was clear that the country was proliferating nuclear material and was not willing to discuss the matter, he said, reiterating that his country continued to believe that rigorous implementation of Council resolution 1929 (2011) and previous texts was essential.  The measures prescribed therein should be kept under review to ensure they remained up to date.


SUSAN RICE ( United States) said Iran’s continued failure to comply with its nuclear obligations illustrated the importance of enforcing sanctions.  Iran was continuing its enrichment-related activities, and the Expert Panel’s report highlighted its refusal to respond substantially to concerns that its military programme may have nuclear intentions.  That deepened the concerns of the United States, as did Iran’s announcement that it intended to triple its enrichment of uranium, she said, emphasizing that Iran must demonstrate in its next nuclear report that such enrichment was exclusively for peaceful purposes.  The latest report showed why Iran must be held accountable, she said, adding that, in light of its non-compliance, the international community must further strengthen the implementation and enforcement of United Nations sanctions.


Underlining her delegation’s strong support for the Panel of Experts and the Council’s decision to renew its mandate for 12 months, she commended the ability of its experts to uncover so much information on Iran’s efforts to evade sanctions.  Their report contained troubling findings, she said, pointing to its 30 recommendations on the need to more tightly enforce the sanctions.  Their final report must be quickly disseminated to all Member States, she stressed, noting that it highlighted best practices that States could carry out to meet their sanctions-related obligations.  Those practices must be shared in the interest of transparency, she emphasized, reiterating that the United States remained committed to a diplomatic solution.  However, that could only happen if Iran complied with its nuclear obligations, she said.  “Our objective remains clear — to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.”


ALEXANDER PANKIN ( Russian Federation), stressing that unverified or politicized information should not serve as the basis for Council decisions, said his country continued to comply strictly with the sanctions regime.  While all members of the international community must comply strictly with Council resolutions, the Russian Federation favoured dialogue and diplomacy to engage Iran fully on non-proliferation.  There was need for a comprehensive solution that would recognize the right to the peaceful use of energy under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).  He recalled that, during recent tripartite consultations on regional cooperation and development involving his own country, Kazakhstan and Iran, the latter had expressed interest in discussing such issues as weakening the sanctions regime.  Hopefully such an approach would not hinder talks among the “E3+3” ( China, France, Germany, Russian Federation, United Kingdom and the United States), he said.


YANG TAO ( China) said the Committee’s work was continuing in a balanced manner, and expressed hope that the Panel would implement its mandate, and Council resolution 1929 (2011), strictly.  In line with the principle of neutrality, and on the basis of reliable information, it should prepare reports and come up with recommendations, he said, emphasizing that dialogue and negotiations were the only correct means by which to address Iran’s nuclear issues.  China hoped all parties would intensify their diplomatic efforts and start a new round of talks.  As long as they remained patient, adopted a flexible attitude and took proactive measures, they would surely be able to promote substantive progress in the negotiations, he said.


MARTIN BRIENS ( France) said the Panel’s final report painted an “alarming” picture of systematic violations, involving all spheres of the Council-mandated sanctions.  The elaborate ways in which Iran attempted to evade the measures included, among other things, false declarations, disguised modes of shipment and forged documents.  France was particularly alarmed about reported violations of the arms embargo, including three new examples of illegal arms transfers which, shockingly, revealed Syria’s participation.  Moreover, the latter had refused to cooperate with the Panel, which was a serious violation of its obligations under relevant Council resolutions.


He went on to express concern about Iran’s announced intention to scale up enrichment activities and a recent satellite launch.  The latter incident was particularly troubling because satellites used similar technology to that used in ballistic missiles, which were prohibited under the Council sanctions.  The Expert Panel played a key role in ensuring the implementation and continuing effectiveness of Council-mandated measures, he said, noting that, in a very short time, it had done an excellent job.  While France endorsed the recommendations contained in its final report, the Panel’s work was far from complete, he said, expressing support for a renewal of its mandate.


Expressing hope that the final report would be distributed swiftly as an official document, he said transparency in the Council’s work was essential to ensuring that all United Nations Member States were made aware of important issues, and that Council resolutions were implemented effectively.  As for the most recent IAEA report, he said the Agency was still awaiting answers from Iran about its conventional warheads, as well as its ballistic and space programmes.  Iran stated that its nuclear programme was peaceful, but it had not given any statement or direct evidence of that, he said.  By continuing activities that were contrary to its stated intentions, Iran was “heading down a one-way street of violations of international obligations, isolation and repression” at a time when people across the region were calling for openness and cooperation.


MIGUEL BERGER ( Germany) noted that the briefing followed the latest IAEA report on Iran, which gave rise to serious concerns, particularly about the military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear programme.  The report revealed undisclosed activities carried out by military organizations, he said, calling on Iran to answer the IAEA’s outstanding questions and allow access by its officials to individuals and facilities associated with its nuclear activities.  Instead of building confidence, Iran’s actions were eroding it, he said.  Indeed, recent rocket launches had proved once again that Iran was ignoring Council resolutions.


While Germany took the “two-track” strategy to be the agreed path towards addressing the nuclear issue, the negotiators had no choice but to follow up on the “pressure” element of that strategy, given Iran’s unwillingness to participate in talks without preconditions.  Germany welcomed the renewal of the Panel’s mandate, he said, adding that its experts had set the right priorities by investigating thoroughly and reporting violations.  The Panel’s practical recommendations provided guidance to Member States.  As such, Germany regretted that the Panel’s report had not been released as an official document, he said, requesting its issuance, in accordance with procedures for documents detailing the work of expert groups.  He urged the Panel to prepare information on the pattern of violations, especially weapons shipments.


JOÃO MARIA CABRAL (Portugal), stressing that the reports were crucial in shedding light on Council resolutions relating to Iran’s nuclear programme, particularly resolution 1747 (2009), he said he was convinced of the usefulness of making the Panel’s final report public, including by posting it on the Committee’s website.  That must be done as a measure of transparency and accountability, but also as a way to raise awareness among the wider international community.  The Committee’s work was fully significant within the two-track strategy, he said, emphasizing at the same time that it was important not to lose sight of the diplomatic process aimed at solving pending issues, particularly Iran’s new uranium-enrichment facilities.


ZAHEER LAHER ( South Africa) said his country continued to follow developments closely, attaching importance to the IAEA’s role.  South Africa remained concerned about Iran’s lack of compliance with the Agency’s directives, and would continue to encourage Iranian cooperation, he said, adding that the IAEA process should be supported fully.  Urging a peaceful resolution to the matter, he stressed the need for a sustainable, long-term solution, and called on all parties to resume constructive dialogue to that end.


IVAN BARBALIĆ ( Bosnia and Herzegovina) said the role of the experts was essential to full implementation of resolution 1929 (2011), and welcomed the extension of the Panel’s mandate.  Calling on Iran to comply with all provisions of that text, as well as international protocols, he said it was essential that the country restore international confidence that its nuclear programmes were exclusively for peaceful purposes.


KIO SOLOMON AMIEYEOFORI ( Nigeria) said his delegation valued the Committee’s important work and welcomed the work of the Expert Panel.  The latter’s final report should be distributed to the wider United Nations membership, he said, adding that all countries must remain committed to their NPT obligations.  Expressing concern about the information contained in the latest IAEA report, he said Iran had serious obligations under the Treaty to dispel all doubts about the nature of its nuclear programme.


NAWAF SALAM ( Lebanon) said resolution 1929 (2010) and all related texts affirmed the right of all parties to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.  It also reaffirmed the need to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue through dialogue.  Lebanon, therefore, encouraged all parties to pursue the path of negotiation and dialogue in order “to open a new door” of engagement with Iran, he said, adding that his delegation looked forward to the day when a nuclear-weapons-free Middle East would become a reality.  To that end, he called on Israel, the only country in the region that had not yet done so, to accede to the NPT, declare its nuclear weapons and submit to IAEA safeguards.


LEONARDO LUÍS GORGULHO NOGUEIRA FERNANDES (Brazil) said that, while she understood that the Panel must conform strictly to its mandate under resolution 1929 (2010), and that its conclusions and recommendations must be fact-based and firmly grounded in credible evidence, it must also ensure the full implementation of Council-mandated sanctions while allowing trade in other items that were not proscribed to continue.  Brazil regretted that an ongoing mutual lack of trust between the negotiating parties had been blocking talks, she said, adding that a prompt resumption of negotiations was necessary to clarify international concerns and ensure the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme.


HARDEEP SINGH PURI ( India) said that, while his country had consistently supported the right of all States, including Iran, to peaceful nuclear energy, the exercise of that right should be consistent with international obligations.  Iran should cooperate fully with the IAEA in order to restore international confidence in its nuclear programme, he said, adding that the nuclear issue should be addressed by peaceful means.  Calling on all States to implement Council resolutions fully, he expressed support for the Panel’s work in assisting the 1737 Committee in a fair and transparent manner.


Council President NOËL NELSON MESSONE (Gabon), speaking in his national capacity, expressed deep concern about Iran’s sanctions violations and called on the Iranian authorities to respect the relevant Council resolutions, comply with IAEA directives, and return to the negotiations with the E3+3.  He urged the Committee to consider all possible actions to enable full implementation of all the Panel’s recommendations, and to make effective use of visits by weapons inspectors.  He also expressed concern over Iran’s ongoing enrichment activities.


Committee Chair OSORIO ( Colombia), taking the floor for a second time, said it was clear that there had been violations and attempted violations.  The Committee had studied each notification in the Panel’s report, he said, pledging to do everything possible to ensure that it was distributed as soon as possible so as to make the information it contained publicly known.


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For information media • not an official record