Iran: concerted response needed to rising nuclear tensions [fr]
Iran - non-proliferation
Statement by Ms Anne Gueguen, Deputy Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations
Security Council - 19 December 2019
At the outset, I wish to thank the briefers for their statements and the Secretariat for its thorough and detailed report and for its commitment and professionalism. It may rest assured of our full support.We are meeting today for the eighth time in this format since the entry into force of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), on 16 January 2016. Its adoption was the outcome of the tireless efforts undertaken by the international community to achieve the common goal of ending the serious nuclear-proliferation crisis in the region. The merits of the agreement in terms of non-proliferation have been established and verified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which confirmed that up until July 2019, Iran had complied with its nuclear commitments. The E3 and the European Union (EU), for their part, fully complied with their commitments, including the lifting of sanctions set out under the agreement, and went beyond that by making efforts to facilitate legitimate trade between Europe and Iran.Today’s meeting is being held amid alarming uncertainty.
Like the Secretary-General, France deplored the decision by the United States to withdraw from the JCPOA and to reinstate national sanctions against Iran. We are deeply concerned by the nuclear measures taken by Iran since July last, which the IAEA has described in its various reports. These recurrent actions are at variance with the provisions of the JCPOA and indicate a regrettable departure from the agreement on the part of Iran and a serious threat of nuclear proliferation. Iran must immediately return to full compliance with its commitments under the JCPOA and refrain from taking any additional measures at variance with the agreement.The commitments that have been undertaken do not stop with the JCPOA but extend to cover the whole of resolution 2231 (2015).
We are especially troubled by the information highlighted by the Secretary-General in his report vis-à-vis the ongoing non-compliance by Iran with several of the agreement’s provisions. I am referring here to various arms transfers to two other actors in the Middle East, which must end. We have taken note of the information in the report regarding the dual attack conducted on 14 September last targeting Saudi oil facilities. It is clear for us that Iran bears responsibility therefor, as we established last September with our British and German partners.Furthermore, Iran continues to carry out particularly destabilizing missile-related activities. I would mention its efforts to develop a ballistic programme that is at variance with resolution 2231 (2015).
Iran is deploying efforts, which France has flagged in the Council on a number of occasions along with its British and German partners, to improve the precision, reach and lethality of those missiles. Beyond the development of a domestic programme, Iran continues to engage in ballistic material and technology transfers to State and non-State actors in the Middle East, which attests to its non-compliance with several Council resolutions; these transfers are particularly destabilizing. It is vital that Iran put an end to such activities and fully abide by the resolutions adopted by the Council.
Given the mounting nuclear and regional tensions in the Middle East, there is a vital need to de-escalate and reach a political settlement through ongoing diplomatic efforts and a commitment by all parties. France, alongside its partners, stands ready to engage to create the necessary conditions, promote the achievement of a political settlement and foster a de-escalation of tensions. Our commitment to the JCPOA remains intact, as does our determination to pursue our efforts on the basis of a broad and long-term approach to its preservation. As the Foreign Ministers of France, Germany and the United Kingdom and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy underlined on 11 November, we remain ready to consider all mechanisms of the JCPOA, including the dispute resolution mechanism, to resolve issues related to Iran’s compliance with its commitments under the JCPOA.
All stakeholders must do their part to preserve our leeway to act and make progress. It is our collective responsibility, and in the interest of all parties, to work together to preserve the nuclear agreement and reach a diplomatic settlement within the existing framework. France calls on everyone around this table to rally around that objective in the interest of preserving international peace and security, of which the Council is the guarantor