|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
7265th Meeting (PM)
Security Council Hears Briefing on Activities of Iran Sanctions Committee,
as Members Welcome Continued Talks on Nature of Nuclear Programme
As negotiations on Iran’s nuclear programme continued, the 1737 Committee on Iran sanctions would continue its work of monitoring implementation, investigating alleged violations and responding to requests for guidance from Member States, its Chair told the Security Council this afternoon.
“The Committee remains fully committed to Member States’ implementation of all relevant obligations, as P5+1 negotiations continue,” Ambassador Gary Quinlan of Australia said in his quarterly briefing to the Council on the Committee’s work, referring to the group negotiating on the nuclear issue — China, France, Germany, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States. It is also sometimes referred to as the E3+3.
Among other activities, the Committee, he noted, continued to consider its response to its Panel of Experts’ report concerning the interdiction in the Red Sea by a Member State on 31 March of a cargo of conventional arms, which was allegedly loaded onto a vessel in the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas. Iran had not yet responded to the Committee’s letter of 9 July on the Panel’s “clear conclusions” on the matter.
In other areas, he described communications with Member States on assisting their implementation of obligations under the sanctions regime and called on States that had not yet done so to submit reports as soon as possible.
Following the briefing, Member States welcomed the Committee’s ongoing work and expressed hope that the negotiations, another round of which was planned for next week, would resolve outstanding differences on the Iranian nuclear programme. Many called on Member States to ensure the sanctions remained in place while the talks continued. Also welcome was agreement by Iran on some Panel recommendations concerning the Framework of Cooperation Agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
The representative of the United Kingdom underscored the commitment of the E3+3 to an agreement this year on the status of Iran’s programme and elimination of sanctions. He noted that the sanctions relief had been carried out by individual Member States as part of the negotiations, but that the United Nations sanctions remained in place. Their robust implementation must continue pending a comprehensive agreement. In that vein, the representative of the United States stressed that the sanctions regime could only be altered by Council action.
China’s representative, agreeing that the Committee’s work must continue, cautioned, however, that it along with the Panel of Experts must strictly adhere to their mandates in an impartial way and, in that way, assist achievement of a fair, comprehensive negotiated solution to the issue.
Also emphasizing fairness and the importance of a negotiated solution, the representative of the Russian Federation, however, criticized the imposition of any new sanctions on Iran as negotiations progressed. While most speakers called for response to allegations of the arms embargo’s violations in the 31 March incident, he said that the expert panel’s report on culpability was inconclusive.
The meeting began at 3:02 p.m. and ended at 3:50 p.m.
Also speaking today were representatives of Nigeria, France, Luxembourg, Jordan, Lithuania, Republic of Korea, Chile, Chad, Argentina, and Rwanda.
KAYODE LARO (Nigeria) noted that the Committee had continued its investigation of the interdiction of a ship laden with conventional arms in the Red Sea and had requested Iran’s cooperation with the probe.
MICHAEL TATHAM ( United Kingdom) said negotiations between the E3+3 and Iran for a comprehensive agreement were at a decisive stage. A deal was possible with continued commitment to the talks, but Iran had to show greater flexibility on the future scope of its nuclear programme, particularly on enrichment. Compromise would also be necessary over the possible military dimension. With negotiations ongoing, the bulk of sanctions would remain in place and should be implemented, as those served as an incentive for proper negotiation by Iran. He remained concerned, however, by the country’s breaches of its international obligations and its unwillingness to respond. The interdiction in the Red Sea of a conventional arms shipment had been cited by the Panel of Experts as a violation of paragraph 5 of Iran’s obligations, and he urged the country to reply to that and other international accusations.
WANG MIN (China) pledged his continued active engagement with the Committee while hoping that it would remain pragmatic and balanced. Sanctions were a means and not an end. Nor were they the criteria by which to measure the resolution’s effectiveness. The panel should fulfil its mandate in a neutral manner, he stressed, adding that intensive negotiations had brought positive developments on the Iranian nuclear issue, with progress on some items despite disagreements. It was wise to extend the talks as they offered a path to a comprehensive agreement. The parties concerned should intensify their diplomatic efforts and meet halfway, working for an equitable, win-win agreement, he said, urging Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to deepen their cooperation.
ALEXANDER A. PANKIN (Russian Federation) said all activities of experts, including their data and analysis, were confidential and should not be automatically included in the Committee’s documents, which were widely distributed. Additionally, the views expressed by experts were their own and not those of the Committee. Their opinions were not guidelines for actions, at least not until the Committee had agreed on the subject. Turning to the interdiction of a conventional arms shipment, the experts’ allegations of Iran’s direct involvement were inconclusive and based on secondary evidence. As for the violation committed, it was unclear exactly what the violation was. Some misinterpretation of the sanctions regime meant unilateral sanctions had been added, despite their lack of international legal basis. At the current stage of the negotiations, it was vital that the Committee act within its prerogatives.
FRANÇOIS DELATTRE (France), recalling the history of the sanctions and the “new page” turned by the current negotiations, said that there were still significant differences between the discussants. Further talks would be approached with an open mind but, at the same time, with vigilance. It was critical that Iran’s cooperation with the IAEA be complete. It was also crucial that the sanctions regime be implemented while negotiations continued and that the violations reported in the 31 March incident be fully acted upon.
OLIVIER MAES (Luxembourg) said that the sanctions had been put in place because of fear of Iran’s ambitions. It was critical to continue to build trust through progress in the negotiations and their implementation. There were encouraging signs, but until a comprehensive agreement was reached, the sanctions remained in full force. The 31 March incident must be investigated and acted upon, he said, pledging his country’s full support for the E3+3 negotiations.
DINA KAWAR (Jordan) welcomed the renewal of the Committee’s Panel of Experts and called for investigation into all reported violations. She underscored the importance for Member States to complete their national reports in order to facilitate the Committee’s work, and she called for clarifications on all matters, including dual-use items. She supported the E3+3 efforts as well as a negotiated solution to the issue.
RAIMONDA MURMOKAITĖ (Lithuania) welcomed progress in implementation of the Joint Plan of Action by the E3+3 and Iran, calling for continued engagement to resolve all outstanding issues. She welcomed continued dialogue and cooperation between Iran and the IAEA under the Framework for Cooperation, adding that unimpeded access to information and facilities was vital to help the Agency build a clear understanding of the nuclear programme. Pending a comprehensive agreement, sanctions would remain in effect and their full implementation by all parties was obligatory. The Panel’s recommendations needed immediate implementation, she said, stressing that the pattern of arms embargo violations was of concern and required a timely response.
JOON OH (Republic of Korea) reiterated his firm support for the ongoing diplomatic process, hoping that agreement would come within the extended timeframe and produce a joint comprehensive action plan that addressed all concerns. Iran should cooperate with the IAEA to clarify and resolve outstanding issues, while sanctions should remain in effect. The interdiction of a conventional arms shipment was a reminder of the need for continued vigilance over Iran’s prohibited activities; measures should be taken in response where necessary. The Committee also should discuss ways to effectively implement the Panel’s recommendations on proliferation financing and dual-use goods trading.
CARLOS OLGUÍN CIGARROA (Chile) said negotiations offered a historic opportunity to show the value of diplomacy in the conduct of international relations. He welcomed the Panel’s report, particularly progress by Iran on the Framework of Cooperation with the IAEA. The country was in discussions, he noted, on measures concerning explosive detonation experiments and neutron calculations. The work was not taking place within a political vacuum, however, and it was thus important not to hamper the dialogue.
MAHAMAT ZENE CHERIF (Chad) encouraged the Committee to continue its engagement with Iran on the interdiction incident of 31 March.
MARIO OYARZÁBAL (Argentina) said the report recognized Iran’s agreement on some of the measures proposed under the Framework of Cooperation with the IAEA in May, as well as additional steps agreed after the deadline. In the reporting period, Iran had not enriched uranium above five per cent and no longer possessed uranium enriched to 20 per cent. He was closely following the negotiations between the P5+1 and Iran, encouraged by the willingness shown to continue the talks. He hoped for a final agreement and stressed that Iran must meet its obligations and cooperate with the United Nations and the IAEA in all outstanding matters.
OLIVIER NDUHUNGIREHE (Rwanda) called on all Member States to comply with their obligations under the 1737 sanctions regime, and on Iran to clarify the 31 March event and satisfy all remaining issues in its reporting to the IAEA. He hoped that the ongoing negotiations would bring about a comprehensive and equitable agreement, he said, adding that his country considered the Committee’s work to be integral to the talk’s success.
ROSEMARY DICARLO (United States) welcomed the assurance that the Committee remained active in fulfilling its mandate. She wished the negotiators well in their pursuit of a solution to the Iranian nuclear issues, while stressing that the United Nations sanctions regime remained fully in effect. Only a decision by the Security Council could change that, she said, adding that more must be done to help States understand that fact and continue to fulfil their obligations. She urged follow-up action by the Committee on the 31 March interdiction, maintaining that Iran’s arm smuggling to Gaza was an obstacle to peace there.
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