|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
6280th Meeting (AM)
Committee on Iran Sanctions Continuing Quest for Effective Response
To Pattern of Violations, Security Council Told
Briefing Members, Chair Describes Follow-up Efforts during Past 90 Days
The Security Council committee monitoring the implementation of sanctions on Iran was continuing to explore options for an effective response to a pattern of repeated violations, its Chairman told the Council this morning.
Yukio Takasu (Japan), Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1737 (2006), described that body’s follow-up to violations of the export ban on arms and related materiel involving Iran, on which he had previously reported. He was briefing Council members on the Committee’s thirteenth 90-day report, covering the period 11 December 2009 to 4 March 2010.
He said that, during that time, the Committee had received a response from one of two States from which it had invited explanations for arms-related materiel from Iran found on board the MV Hansa India and the MV Francop. The response rejected the allegations against that State, designated in the bill of lading as the destination of the sanctioned goods, he said, adding, however, that there had been no response from the other State, the reported origin of the materiel.
The Committee had approved a second “implementation assistance notice” in regard to those violations, he said, providing a summary of the facts involved in the Hansa India incident and urging all Member States to be especially alert for similar violations. The note also stressed that entities involved in evading sanctions were themselves subject to targeted financial measures.
He said the Committee had also received three notifications from a Member State concerning the delivery of items for use in the nuclear power plant at Bushehr, Iran, as well as one notification in connection with the unfreezing of funds for contracts entered into prior to the listing of two entities. To date, 91 reports had been received from Member States under resolution 1737 (2007), 78 under resolution 1747 (2007) and 67 under resolution 1803 (2008), he said, citing two subsequent resolutions on the Iran sanctions regime.
Following the briefing, Susan Rice ( United States) said the concerns about Iran’s nuclear programme had unfortunately only deepened since the last report. Moreover, the latest report of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) concluded once more that Iran was not complying with IAEA and Council obligations, and that there was a possible military dimension to its nuclear programme. Iran’s actions failed to provide confidence and had caused the IAEA to declare that it could not confirm that all its activities were for peaceful purposes.
Iran’s ongoing violations showed a continuing pattern of disregard for the serious concerns expressed by the international community and for the measures imposed by the Council, she said, welcoming the Committee’s issuance of a second implementation notice urging alertness on the part of Member States. The Committee had the authority to impose additional targeted sanctions, she said, stressing that the effectiveness of Council resolutions depended on follow-up and enforcement by the Committee, the Council and Member States. It was crucial to ensure that thorough investigations were conducted when violations were suspected, she added.
Emphasizing that her country continued to seek a peaceful resolution, she said the United States had reached out to Iran in unprecedented ways, on the basis of mutual respect, but Iran had yet to honour its commitments. The United States remained committed to the dual-track approach of the “P-5 plus one” ( China, France, Russian Federation, United Kingdom, United States and Germany) so that Iran could choose a better way forward. However, the Council must consider further measures to hold Iran accountable, she said.
Mark Lyall Grant ( United Kingdom) noted that, while the sanctions previously imposed had had an effect, leading to the seizure of illegal arms exports and making it harder for Iranian banks to finance illicit activities, they had not caused Iran to change course. The latest IAEA report reinforced fears that the country was acting in a duplicitous and illicit way, he said, adding that Iran’s true intentions were demonstrated by its failure to respond positively to a proposal that would ensure the provision of fuel for its reactor, despite initial signals that it would do so.
He warned that, without IAEA reassurances that Iran’s programme was non-military in nature, proliferation could increase in the region. However, that was not an inevitable scenario, he said, stressing that Iran could still be made to comply with its obligations by making the cost of continuing its activities too great to bear. Adopting additional measures offered the best prospect for resolving the IAEA’s concerns, he said, adding that they should target areas that would have an impact on the Iranian regime’s political calculations and show that the costs of continuing its nuclear activities would outweigh any benefits.
While the United Kingdom had never denied Iran’s right to pursue a peaceful civilian nuclear programme, it must restore the trust of the international community, he said, pointing out that Iran’s revelation of secret enrichment sites, as well as its rhetoric, added to international concerns. The United Kingdom and the European Union remained committed to the dual-track strategy, he said.
Nicholas de Rivière (France) said the Committee’s report clearly showed Iran’s efforts to circumvent the sanctions, and it was particularly worrying that it was pursuing its enrichment programme beyond what it could use for energy purposes. Iran was beginning to enrich uranium to a level dangerously close to military quality, he warned, citing its heavy-water activities at Arak. Iran’s clandestine construction of the enrichment site at Qom, without reporting to the IAEA or a credible explanation, and its ballistic missile programme underscored the gravity of the situation.
The lack of information on crucial developments for nearly two years sounded a further alarm, he said, recalling that Iran had rejected all offers and spurned diplomatic efforts. While France was resolved to extend the widest possible use of nuclear energy, that could not be done if it was possible to reject transparency with impunity, he warned. France remained open to a diplomatic solution, but could not remain idly by in the current situation. There was no choice but to seek new measures, in keeping with the dual-track approach which left the door open for diplomacy.
Vitaly Churkin (Russian Federation) said it was important to continue to apply political and diplomatic means in order to resolve the situation. It was indeed a complex scenario, but there was still a horizon for negotiations, including pursuit of the fuel-exchange model, which would best meet the humanitarian needs of the Iranian people. Dialogue was still crucial, he said, calling on Iran to make the accommodations necessary for progress in talks leading to a negotiated settlement.
Liu Zhenmin ( China) said his country supported the dual-track strategy and had strictly observed the measures imposed. However, the application of sanctions was not an end in itself, he said, stressing that diplomatic negotiations and a peaceful settlement still remained the best option. Although diplomacy had encountered some obstacles, international efforts had not been exhausted, he added, expressing hope that Iran would strengthen its cooperation with the IAEA in order to remove doubts about its nuclear programme.
The meeting began at 10:12 a.m. and ended at 10:50 a.m.
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