France is determined to reach a good agreement before the end of the month - 23 June 2015 [fr]
Non proliferation - Statement by Mr. Tanguy Stehelin, Counsellor of the Permanent Mission of France to the United Nations - Security Council - 23 June 2015
I, too, would like to thank the Ambassador of Spain for his briefing on the quarterly activities of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1737 (2006), which established sanctions with regard to the Iranian nuclear programme.
Almost 20 months have passed since the adoption of the Joint Action Plan in November 2013. We have been involved with our partners in the E3+3 in intensive discussions with Iran.
The interim agreement in April this year in Lausanne marked an important step towards reestablishing the confidence of the international community in the exclusively peaceful purposes of Iran’s nuclear programme. But now those negotiations are entering a crucial phase, since in principle an agreement is supposed to be reached before the end of the month, and it is undeniable that a lot remains to be done.
From the beginning, France has had a constant and consistent position: Iran has every right to develop nuclear energy for civilian purposes, but by no means should it be able to obtain a nuclear weapon. All our demands during the negotiations have been derived from that stance. The aim of the negotiations is to reach a robust agreement. That involves a long-term limitation on Iran’s ability to carry out research and development, and a rigorous verification regime, which includes, when necessary, military sites, as has already been indicated by the Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). That also involves the possibility of an automatic return to sanctions in the event of a violation of Iran’s commitments.
That is the position of France: a simple one that is consistent with our rejection of nuclear proliferation and our wish to preserve the security of the region. We are therefore determined with our partners in the group of six to reach a good agreement before the end of the month, one that is robust and verifiable and that would make it possible to ensure the exclusively peaceful purposes of the Iranian nuclear programme. But Iran must take courageous steps forward.
Such an agreement also includes renewed cooperation with the IAEA, especially on the possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear programme. In that regard, we regret the lack of substantial progress on that front since 2014. The latest report of the Director-General of the IAEA on the implementation of Iran’s guarantees notes that no new practical measures have been proposed by Iran. The resolution of all issues on the potential military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear programme is a key element for the re-establishment of confidence and, therefore, for the long-term agreement that we all want.
I wish to recall here that the Council’s resolutions on Iran remain fully in force, pending a comprehensive solution to the proliferation crisis, as explicitly stated in the Joint Plan of Action.
We were therefore concerned to read in the final report of the Panel of Experts (S/2015/401, annex) that several attempts were made by Iran to bypass the sanctions, particularly the arms embargo that is burdening the country. Such attempts are contrary to the Council’s resolutions and represent a destabilizing factor in the Middle East. This makes clear that vigilance remains necessary and that it would be irresponsible to lower our guard in terms of Iran’s actions.
We thank the Panel of Experts for its tireless work and welcome the report, which is a valuable source of information in assisting Member States to strengthen implementation of the resolutions.