Chairman of Body Monitoring Sanctions on Iran Reports ‘Pattern of Violations’ concerning Arms Embargo, in Briefing to Security Council

10 December 2009

Chairman of Body Monitoring Sanctions on Iran Reports ‘Pattern of Violations’ concerning Arms Embargo, in Briefing to Security Council

10 December 2009
Security Council
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Security Council

6235th Meeting (AM)

Chairman of Body Monitoring Sanctions on Iran Reports ‘Pattern of Violations’

concerning Arms Embargo, in Briefing to Security Council


The Security Council committee monitoring the implementation of sanctions imposed on Iran had received reports of further violations of a ban on the export of arms and related materiel to Iran, its Chairman told the Council today.

Yukio Takasu (Japan), Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1737 (2006), said the body had also taken note with grave concern of an apparent pattern of sanctions violations involving prohibited arms transfers from Iran.

In both instances, he said, the Committee had received letters from Member States regarding suspicious cargo originating from Iran and destined for another State, aboard two vessels by the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL).  In both instances, arms-related materiel had been found and the cargo had been unloaded, retained and stored.  The relevant States had ensured that the items would neither be allowed to reach their intended destination nor returned to their place of origin.

The Committee monitors implementation of sanctions and measures imposed on Iran by Security Council resolutions 1737 (2006), 1747 (2007) and 1803 (2008).  The ban on arm exports to Iran was imposed under paragraph 5 of resolution 1747 (2007).

Briefing the Council on the Committee’s twelfth 90-day report, which covers the period from 10 September to 10 December, Mr. Takasu said that, in response to those events, the Committee had sent letters to the two States involved in the transfer of the arms-related materiel, inviting them to provide an explanation for the transactions, and on the origin, final destination and ownership of the goods.  It had requested that both States respond within 15 days.

He said the Committee had also written to States with reported links to one of the vessels, inviting them to provide any relevant additional information.  Noting the involvement of IRISL in multiple incidents involving the transport of items in violation of resolution 1747 (2007), the Committee had urged Member States to exercise extra vigilance regarding the shipping line.

During the reporting period, he continued, the Committee had also received three notifications from a Member State, pursuant to resolution 1737 (2006), in connection with the unfreezing of funds to make payments due under contracts entered into prior to the listing of the entity.  As for reporting by States on the implementation of measures set out in the relevant resolutions, no new reports had been received, he said.

The representative of the United States said that the latest report of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Iran had underscored that country’s refusal to comply with its international obligations and cooperate fully with the Agency.  Iran had conducted a multi-year effort to construct an illicit nuclear facility at Qum, and had failed to keep the Agency informed, which was inconsistent with its obligations and further reduced confidence in its nuclear programme.

She recalled that the IAEA Board of Governors had adopted a resolution on 27 November, urging Iran to suspend immediately construction of the installation at Qum and to cooperate fully with the Agency.  The resolution also condemned the violations of sanction measures imposed by the Council.

Noting that three incidents of arms materiel shipped from Iran to Syria had been reported over the past year, she said:  “ Iran has now been caught breaking the rules repeatedly.”  Moreover, the illicit smuggling of weapons to Syria was an important factor in the destabilization of an already fragile Middle East, she added, describing the scope of the violations as alarming.

She called on all States to give extra scrutiny to all shipping between Iran and Syria and to report any information on violations to the Committee.  The recent events at Qum, Iran’s announced intention to build new plants, and the prohibited arms transfers underscored the new urgency of robust implementation of the three relevant resolutions, she added.

In the framework of the “P-5 plus one” (China, France, Russian Federation United Kingdom, United States and Germany), she said, her country had pursued its two-track approach to induce Iran to cooperate, noting that the United States would prefer to resolve concerns through diplomacy and to build confidence.  The IAEA had proposed to respond positively to Iran’s request for fuel for its research reactor despite its non-compliance with agency requirements.  Iran’s failure to take advantage of that offer raised serious questions about its nuclear intentions.

Affirming her country’s firm commitment to a peaceful resolution of the issue and its willingness to engage Iran, she cautioned, however, that engagement could not be a one-way street.  Iran must demonstrate a willingness to engage constructively and the international community must stand firm in its insistence that it comply with its international obligations.  If Iran failed to address the international community’s concerns, further actions would have to be considered.

France’s representative said Iran had placed itself in a dangerous stalemate despite the diplomatic initiatives of the international community.  The country had not responded to any recent proposals, including the one on IAEA-guaranteed fuel enrichment abroad.  The revelation of another enrichment site in September was another violation of the safeguard agreement and a new, major attack on the confidence of the international community, which was wondering how many other sites existed.

He noted that Iran’s reaction to the latest resolution of the IAEA Board of Governors was to announce that it would build 10 more sites, which made absolutely no sense for civilian purposes.  If Iran persisted in its violation of five Council resolutions and its refusal to make the minimum effort to comply, France was prepared to move into a new stage, he said, adding that there was simply no alternative.

The representative of the United Kingdom pointed out that the latest IAEA report made clear that the Agency again could not confirm the purpose of Iran’s nuclear programme, and that the discovery of the latest site was not consistent with its obligations.

It was crucial for Iran to suspend all enrichment work, including that occurring at Qum, he stressed.  The country’s refusal to accept arrangements for fuel for its nuclear reactor -– arrangements which indicated the international community’s willingness to accept a civil nuclear programme –- showed that it took every opportunity to delay, with the intention of buying time and dividing the international community.

Urging Iran to realize that its behaviour would only increase its isolation, he warned that nuclear proliferation in the Middle East would be disastrous.  If Iran was unwilling to engage, new sanctions would have to be sought while the dual track continued.  The United Kingdom was 100 per cent committed to solving the issue diplomatically and hoped Iran’s leaders were, as well.

The representative of the Russian Federation said the situation was not simple and substantive negotiations with Iran had still not been possible.  Nevertheless, there was hope that the work of the “P-5 plus one” could yield results.  There was a need to be patient and calm, and not to become emotional.  The Russian Federation believed that Iran was taking the IAEA resolution seriously and hoped it would cooperate fully with the Agency.

China’s representative said the situation should be resolved through diplomacy.  Although Iran had expressed different views on the means by which nuclear fuel should be supplied, the way to settle the issue was not blocked.  There was still space for a diplomatic solution.  China supported a bigger and more constructive role for the IAEA so that negotiations could be set in motion, and hoped that the concerned parties would strengthen cooperation with the Agency.  It was important that they exercise patience and restraint.

Libya’s representative reaffirmed the importance of intensifying international diplomatic efforts in order to achieve an appropriate, long-term solution that would open the way for wide-scale cooperation on the basis of mutual respect.  What had happened in Iraq should not be allowed to occur anywhere else in the world, particularly when based on groundless information.

All States without exception must subject their nuclear activities to IAEA inspection, he said, noting with disapproval that the Council had refused to take note of Israel’s nuclear weapons, even though that State had refused to join the nuclear non-proliferation regime.  According to General Assembly resolutions, the IAEA must be able to inspect Israel’s Dimona installations, or else all States in the Middle East would develop such weapons with impunity.

He said the international community should look into bilateral reductions in order to achieve the ultimate goal, which was the total elimination of nuclear arsenals.  Peace could not be achieved by the threat of using nuclear weapons, but through dialogue, mutual respect, justice and cooperation among States.  Libya hoped that those States which possessed nuclear weapons would fulfil their responsibilities in that regard.

The meeting started at 10:10 a.m. and ended at 10:50 a.m.

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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.