France remains determined to ensure JCPoA implementation and to preserve it [fr]
Non-proliferation / Iran
Statement by Mr François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations
Security Council - 27 June 2018
Let me begin by thanking the Russian presidency of the Council for convening this important meeting. I also thank Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo, our colleague of the Netherlands and the observer of the European Union for their very informative briefings.
I would also like to commend the factual and balanced nature of the Secretary-General’s report (S/2018/602), which has been submitted to us and whose scope fully corresponds to his mandate.
The Security Council’s responsibilities are measured by the variety and complexity of international peace and security issues it has to deal with, including non-proliferation. We spoke briefly about this issue two days ago during the debate on North Africa and the Middle East (see S/PV.8293), where the challenges are immense. In this context, the Iranian nuclear issue is a textbook case; it confirms the role of impetus and monitoring that the Security Council can and must play. This was demonstrated by the unanimous adoption of resolution 2231 (2015), on 20 July 2015, which sealed the agreement reached in Vienna, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), of which the Council is the guarantor.
The JCPOA is the result of the perseverance of the international community and a common will to provide a robust response to our shared security interests. The JPCOA also embodies the pragmatic and demanding multilateralism to which my country is deeply committed. The collapse of this major achievement would mark a serious step backwards for the region, for the non-proliferation regime, and for all of our security, which would potentially have serious consequences. This is why I want now to renew with force the commitment reaffirmed by President Macron alongside his British and German partners, and supported by the other Europeans, on 8 May. France, which has worked tirelessly throughout the negotiations to ensure the robust nature of this agreement, remains determined to ensure its implementation and preserve it.
In this regard, we have noted with regret and concern the decision of the United States to withdraw from the JCPOA. However, the agreement remains in place, and this decision should not affect the implementation by the parties to this agreement of their commitments. France will continue to work with the parties involved in this collective framework. Let us be clear — as long as Iran fulfils its nuclear commitments under the JCPOA, France will meet its own. We are therefore determined to ensure as far as possible the maintenance of the economic relations with Iran permitted by the agreement. The agreement was designed specifically to ensure that Iran’s nuclear programme is not diverted for military purposes. That founding goal continues to be met, as the Secretary-General recalls in his report. In accordance with its mandate, the International Atomic Energy Agency reconfirmed in its report of 24 May that Iran is in compliance with its commitments under the JCPOA.I now come to my third point, which concerns resolution 2231 (2015) and the report before us. Our collective commitments do not end with the JCPOA framework. For its part, Iran must respect all its commitments under the resolution, including those under annex B. However, the Secretary-General’s report identifies various elements of Iran’s continued non-compliance with several of its provisions, which are sources of significant concern. I would refer to Iran’s ballistic activities and the transfer of ballistic capabilities and technologies, in particular to the Houthis, as documented in the report of the Secretary-General. The Security Council has on several occasions condemned the firing of ballistic missiles against Saudi Arabia. This aspect is in addition to the information reported on seizures of weapons of probable Iranian origin and elements relating to violations of asset freezes and travel bans. However, I recall that all States, first and foremost Iran, must comply with those provisions of resolution 2231 (2015). In particular, any activity involving the transfer of assistance, missiles, technologies and ballistic capabilities to State or non-State actors is contrary to Security Council resolutions and must cease immediately.
In conclusion, I recall the importance of the JCPOA, which is both an essential instrument of the international non-proliferation regime and one of the cornerstones of stability in the region as a whole. Anything that weakens it therefore poses a direct risk to our collective security. The assurances given to us by the JCPOA in the nuclear field should enable us to address other issues of concern for regional security. This is the thrust of President Macron’s proposal to engage in discussions towards a broader four-pillar agreement that preserves the JCPOA, provides a long-term framework for Iran’s nuclear programme, constrains the most destabilizing developments in Iran’s ballistic activities, and ensures that Iran ceases to play a destabilizing role in the region. I would assure Council members of France’s full and clear commitment, alongside our partners, on these points, as well as on the implementation of all our commitments.