15 September 2014 - Security Council - Trimestrial Debate on Iran - Statement by Philippe Bertoux, Political Counsellor of the Permanent Mission of France to the United Nations
I thank the Australian Ambassador for his presentation of the quarterly report of the activities of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1737 (2006), and for all the work he has accomplished with his team for nearly two years.
The Iranian nuclear programme has for more than a decade now been a serious threat to international peace and security and a constant cause for concern for the Security Council. Uncertainties about the exclusively peaceful purpose of the programme and Iran’s years-long refusal to engage in dialogue have led us to develop a sanctions regime.
However, the Council has always been careful to keep the door to dialogue open. On 24 November last year, Iran and the E3+3 reached agreement on a Joint Plan of Action, providing for the suspension by Iran of the most sensitive activities in its nuclear programme for six months. The Plan has allowed for the turning of a new page in the discussions between the E3+3 and Iran with a view to finding a long-term solution. After six months of intense discussion, the P5+1 and Iran were unfortunately unable to reach an agreement; still, they have decided to extend the deadline for discussions until next 24 November.
Significant differences remain between Iran and the E3+3 with respect to several key aspects. Negotiations will resume in a few days here in New York on the sidelines of the general debate of the General Assembly. We approach them with an open mind, but we are not complacent. With our partners in the P5+1, we are determined to achieve a long-term solution that would allow us to establish and ensure in the long term the exclusively peaceful purpose of Iran’s nuclear programme. Iran must assume all the technical consequences of its commitment to not developing nuclear weapons, and it is only on that condition that we can obtain an acceptable agreement.
It is also essential that the dialogue undertaken by Iran with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) produce concrete results, particularly with regard to the possible military dimension, past and present, of its nuclear programme. It is with concern that we read the latest report of the Director General of the IAEA citing Iran’s lack of cooperation with the Agency, including on issues related to the possible military dimensions of the nuclear programme. Mr. Amano reiterated his concerns today to the press on the sidelines of a meeting of the Board of Governors.
We also note that this is the first time the Agency has publicly reported a lack of economic cooperation on the part of Iran since President Rohani’s assumption of power. That is not a positive development. The resolution of all issues related to the possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear programme is a key element in restoring confidence and thus for the long-term agreement that we all seek.
Finally, I recall that the Security Council’s resolutions on Iran remain fully in force pending a comprehensive settlement of the proliferation crisis, as the Joint Plan of Action explicitly sets forth. A few months ago, we became aware of the disturbing findings of the inquiry by the Committee’s Panel of Experts on the interception of the vessel Klos C by the Israeli authorities. The Experts’ report confirmed that the cargo shipment of arms from Iran containing rockets, mortar shells and ammunition was a violation of the arms embargo decided by the Council. It is up to the Sanctions Committee to take appropriate action to respond to the incident.
In conclusion, we hope that the Committee will be able to make rapid progress in the implementation of the recommendations contained in the final report of the Panel of Experts (S/2014/394, annex). They are simple and operational and would allow for great improvement in the implementation of the resolutions.