Sanctions imposed on Iran under successive Security Council resolutions remained in full effect until the 15-member body received confirmation from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that the country had taken a set of nuclear-related actions in accordance with resolution 2231 (2015), the head of the designated sanctions committee said today.
Member States remained obliged to duly implement measures imposed through resolutions 1737 (2006), 1747 (2007), 1803 (2008) and 1929 (2010) in full with due respect to exemptions set out in resolution 2231 (2015), Román Oyarzun Marchesi (Spain) told the Council in his quarterly briefing as Chair of the 1737 Iran Sanctions Committee.
He welcomed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action agreed by Iran, the P5+1 (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States and Germany) and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy on 14 July, and noted that Council resolution 2231 (2015) of 20 July affirmed that the accord marked a fundamental shift in that body’s consideration of the issue.
The report covered the period from 23 June to 14 September, Mr. Oyarzun Marchesi said, during which time the Committee held an informal meeting on 1 September and conducted additional work using the no-objection procedure envisioned by paragraph 15 of the guidelines for the conduct of its work.
On past incidents investigated by the Panel of Experts, the Committee had reached out to Iran on several occasions but had failed to receive comment, he said, reiterating the Committee’s call for a response. The Committee continued to assist international organizations in implementing the relevant Council measures and, in that regard, had received additional information in relation to a proposal for technical assistance to Iran by an international organization, which was under consideration.
The Committee had received one notification from a Member State informing it of its delivery of equipment intended for use in a light-water reactor to the Bushehr nuclear power plant, Mr. Oyarzun Marchesi said. Similarly, it had received notification from a Member State by which it had allowed for payments owed by a designated entity under a contract entered into force prior to its designation to be made from that entity’s frozen funds. In addition, one Member State submitted two reports in accordance with paragraph 17 of resolution 1929 (2010).
Following the adoption of resolution 2231 (2015), the Committee was continuing its constructive dialogue on the steps ahead, he said. In that connection, it had received notification from a Member State informing it of preparatory steps towards establishing stable isotope production at the Fordow facility and removing stockpiles of Iranian low-enriched uranium in return for natural uranium. He encouraged States that had not yet submitted implementation reports to do so as soon as possible.
Following the adoption of resolution 2224 (2015) extending the mandate of the Panel of Experts, the Secretary-General had appointed seven experts. On 28 August, the Panel submitted its programme of work for the new mandate.
Recalling that the primary responsibility for implementing the provisions of the Council’s resolutions rested with Member States, Mr. Oyarzun said the Committee stood ready to facilitate the implementation of those measures.
During the ensuing debate, speakers hailed the agreement as a milestone while emphasizing the need for continuing vigilance by the international community. The Council must play an active role in fully enforcing the accord, which marked an initial stage of the process, the representative of the United States said.
In a similar vein, the representative of New Zealand said Member States had a responsibility to adhere to all sanctions regimes and urged Council members, in particular, to demonstrate leadership in that regard.
Describing the Council as the guarantor of the agreement, which was predicated on scrupulous verification on the ground, the representative of France stressed that it was the best demonstration of what diplomacy was capable of achieving.
Expressing concern that Iran continued to disregard provisions of Council resolutions related to its ballistic missile programme and transfers of conventional weapons and related material, the representative of Lithuania urged that country to provide information requested by the Panel of Experts without delay.
The representative of the Russian Federation said that on the adoption day of the nuclear accord, concerned parties should lift unilateral sanctions in good faith.
Also making statements today were the representatives of China, United Kingdom, Jordan, Malaysia, Venezuela, Nigeria, Angola, Chile and Chad. .
The meeting started at 4:01 p.m. and adjourned at 4:58 p.m.
MICHELE J. SISON (United States) said the Council’s consideration of the Iranian nuclear issue had entered a period of transition, welcoming the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action agreed two months ago between Iran and concerned parties. If fully implemented, the accord would prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and also deter the spread of those weapons in the Middle East. The Council must play an active role in fully enforcing the accord. Its implementation was still in an initial stage, as it would enter into force 90 days after the adoption of Council resolution 2231 (2015). Under the accord, Iran must reduce its stockpile of enriched uranium by 98 per cent and remove thousands of centrifuges, among other obligations. The Panel of Experts should carry out its duties as before. Resolution 2231 (2015) would bring a significant change to the Council’s sanctions regime upon IAEA’s verification of Iran’s compliance. However, binding Chapter VII restrictions, including on transfer of ballistic missiles, would remain.
WANG MIN (China) said it was important for the Committee to conduct its activities in a balanced manner. China would fulfil its obligations responsibly. The accord provided a good plan to promote peace in the Middle East, and all parties must implement it in a concerted manner. Follow-up to the pact was more important as the issue was extremely complicated, with no precedent to draw on. Many challenges would arise along the way, but all parties must stick to the principle of compromise and reciprocity. He urged further cooperation between the IAEA and Iran to resolve all outstanding issues. His Government would continue to play an active mediation role.
MATTHEW RYCROFT (United Kingdom) welcomed the action plan and Council resolution 2231 (2015) as “significant achievements of diplomacy” based on unity, which could be drawn upon in the coming months to deal with other issues, including Syria. Swift implementation of the accord would give Iran the confidence of the international community. As binding restrictions would remain, it was vital to set up a Council mechanism to monitor any non-compliance. He commended the work of the sanctions Committee and expert Panel, especially their assistance and guidance to Member States, and he urged Iran to respond to their requests. With the nuclear accord, Iran could reset its relations, trade freely around the world, and begin a new era of cooperation.
PHILIPPE BERTOUX (France) said the Vienna agreement and Council resolution 2231 (2015) were historic steps towards resolving a long-standing international issue through dialogue. The agreement contained all of the objectives his country had sought and had significantly constrained Iran’s ability to build a bomb. It was predicated on scrupulous verification on the ground. Its success and the progressive lifting of sanctions would depend on Iran. The Council was the guarantor of the agreement, which was negotiated in good faith and relied on continued vigilance. Until the IAEA confirmed Iran’s compliance, the sanctions on Iran remained in full force, he said, stressing that the accord was the best demonstration of what diplomacy was capable of achieving.
DINA KAWAR (Jordan) said her country had always supported a diplomatic settlement of the Iranian nuclear file as well as steps to establish regional peace and security. She called on the 1737 Committee to carry out its mandated tasks until the Council received IAEA confirmation of Iran’s compliance with its obligations. All States that had not yet submitted reports to the Committee must do so at the earliest as implementation of the sanctions depended on them.
PHILLIP TAULA (New Zealand), stressing that the international community was at a critical juncture in addressing the Iranian nuclear issue, stated that it was essential for the credibility of the Council and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action that the integrity of the sanctions regime against Iran remained intact. Urging the 1737 Committee and its Panel of Experts to continue their programme of work until the Iranian obligations were met, he added that with “adoption day” approaching, the Committee had a significant role to play in authorizing exemptions to current sanctions. However, only transactions formally exempted through the appropriate process would be considered legitimate. Further, Member States had a responsibility to adhere to all sanctions regimes, and Council members, in particular, must demonstrate leadership in that regard.
RAMLAN BIN IBRAHIM (Malaysia) expressed his full support for the Plan of Action and subsequent Council resolution. With the accord, Iran could alleviate the stigma attached to the country with regard to its nuclear programme. At this juncture, the Panel of Experts should continue to play an important role in investigating possible violations. He also stressed, among other points, the centrality of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Pursuit of non-proliferation must be matched by nuclear disarmament — a process that had been stalled. That trend must be reversed.
RAFAEL DARÍO RAMÍREZ CARREÑO (Venezuela) said that the nuclear accord was a triumph of diplomacy, noting that where there was political commitment, there was a solution in line with the United Nations Charter. All parties should uphold the provisions of the new agreement. He urged further strengthening of cooperation between the IAEA and Iran, expressing hope that all outstanding issues would be resolved by year-end. The nuclear accord would ensure the greater well-being of the Iranian people. The sanctions Committee must reorient its work based on the new dynamics, providing guidance to Member States on implementation of the nuclear deal. He also recalled the proposal in the 1995 NPT review to establish a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East.
ABIODUN RICHARDS ADEJOLA (Nigeria) reiterated his country’s support for the nuclear accord, which he said presented a clear road map. He expressed hope that all outstanding issues between the IAEA and Iran would be resolved, while thanking the Committee Chair for his leadership.
RAIMONDA MURMOKAITÉ (Lithuania), recalling that all Council sanctions remained in effect and must be robustly implemented, expressed concern that Iran continued to disregard provisions of Council resolutions related to a ballistic missile programme and transfers of conventional weapons and related material. Iran should, without delay, cooperate with the 1737 Committee by providing information requested by the Panel of Experts. For its part, the Panel should continue its investigations, particularly on new reported episodes of non-compliance. Iran also must cooperate with the IAEA to restore trust with the international community, she said, calling on that Government to provide verifiable guarantees of the exclusively peaceful nature of its nuclear programme.
JULIO HELDER DE MOURA LUCAS (Angola) said the Vienna agreement and resolution 2231 (2015) endorsing it represented the first success of diplomacy in the Middle East. They also provided the basis for resolving a long-running international challenge. During the transitional period, Iran needed to fully comply with the agreement’s provisions in order to facilitate the easing of sanctions, he said.
CARLOS OLGUÍN CIGARROA (Chile) said implementation and verification of the agreement would preserve the integrity of the international non-proliferation regime. The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the cornerstone of that regime, comprised three pillars that needed to be sustained in a balanced way. Accordingly, the establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones was a legal and political commitment that would bring the world closer to nuclear disarmament. The international community must redouble its efforts towards establishing such a zone in the Middle East. Implementation of the Vienna agreement would also
require moderation in statements by all parties. As a member of the IAEA Board of Governors, Chile would provide its full support.
GOMBO TCHOULI (Chad) said that Iran had the right to research and produce nuclear energy for peaceful use. To resolve nuclear non-proliferation, nuclear-weapon States must stop their arms race and make a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East a reality. Regarding the activities of the sanctions regime, he welcomed the appointments of the expert Panel and its programme of work.
VITALY I. CHURKIN (Russian Federation), Council President for September, speaking in his national capacity, welcomed the nuclear accord and the relevant resolution. With the accord entering into force in the coming weeks, active preparations were under way for its implementation. Citing a recent meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors, he noted the importance of setting future verification parameters as well as the Agency’s full participation in the implementation. Expressing hope for the successful conclusion of the agreement, he also looked forward to implementation of bilateral projects with Iran. On the adoption day of the nuclear accord, concerned parties should lift unilateral sanctions in good faith.