Iran: the Comprehensive Plan of Action, a key step [fr]
Security Council – Iran/Non-proliferation - Intervention by Mr. François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations - 19 December 2017
"The Council deals regularly with the North Korean and Syrian dossiers and the immense and serious challenges of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The case of Iran represents confirmation that the will of the international community, expressed through pragmatic and realistic multilateralism, can lead to solutions.", François Delattre, 19 December 2017
Let me first thank the Japanese presidency for convening this meeting. I also thank Under-Secretary-General JeffreyFeltman and the observer of the European Union for their very enlightening briefings. I would also like to particularly thank the Italian Facilitator and his team, whose work I warmly commend.
The Council has worked for years with the rest of the international community to build a strong and sustainable system of collective security, at the heart of which is the current non-proliferation architecture to which each of us has contributed. Today, that architecture is based on robust international instruments, to which we are all committed and of which the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons is the cornerstone. The nuclear agreement reached with Iran on 14 July 2015 in Vienna is part of that framework and must reinforce it.
The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) entered into force two years ago. Its adoption, endorsed by the Security Council in resolution 2231 (2015), has enabled us to respond robustly to a major proliferation crisis. It ensures that the Iranian nuclear programme will not be used for military purposes for more than 10 years. It is a key step both for our international non-proliferation efforts and for international peace and security. The JCPOA is well established, and the decision by the United States not to proceed to the certification that its domestic legislation envisages does not change the situation. The JCPOA remains in place and must be fully implemented. Nevertheless, the decision has created uncertainty, as the Secretary-General’s report indicates (S/2017/1030). All the parties to the agreement must abide by it in the interests of the international community, which has other proliferation crises to deal with, and because respect for commitments voluntarily entered into is a fundamental element of international relations.
The JCPOA and resolution 2231 (2015) are closely linked. In that regard, France welcomes the Secretary-General’s solid, balanced report on the implementation of the resolution. Ensuring the ongoing monitoring of Iranian commitments under the resolution is essential if the international community is to follow the situation as carefully it should. France was an active participant in the negotiations for the robust agreement reached on Iran’s nuclear programme and endorsed in resolution 2231 (2015). We have frequently expressed our firm commitment to both documents and to their full and effective implementation by all parties. In October, President Macron of France, together with the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and the Chancellor of Germany, reaffirmed that commitment. Iran has not violated its nuclear commitments under the JCPOA. I would like to point out that in its report of 13 November, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) did not identify any violations by Iran of its nuclear commitments for the reporting period. France fully supports the IAEA’s excellent monitoring and verification efforts, and we also welcome the reports that the Procurement Channel is functioning well.
However, it should be clear to all that the commitments undertaken more than two years ago are not limited to the framework of the JCPOA or to the nuclear sector generally. Just as it would be a mistake to denounce the JCPOA, it would also be irresponsible to selectively implement the provisions of the resolution endorsing it. Iran must respect the totality of its commitments under resolution 2231 (2015), and which it voluntarily committed to implementing. The long list in the Secretary-General’s report of the cases of Iran’s ongoing non-compliance with several of its important provisions is very worrying.
First, there is Iran’s pursuit of its ballistic-missile programme and its transfers of ballistic-missile capabilities in the region, activities that are a growing cause for concern for my country. They contribute to the destabilization of the region and are a threat to the security interests of countries there. The recent tests and launches of missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads, such as those on 18 June and 4 July, as well as the space launch on 27 July, are in violation of resolution 2231 (2015). Make no mistake, these missiles are technically capable of carrying nuclear weapons, which Iran has agreed not to develop. Therefore, those activities must stop. The stability of the region and international security depend on it.
With regard to the allegations of transfers of ballistic technology to the Houthis in Yemen, it will be important to ensure that the relevant information is rigorously examined by the Secretariat. In that regard, France supports the holding of a joint meeting with the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolut ion 2140 (2014).
We are also gravely concerned about the reports, suspected or confirmed, of seizures of arms originating in or destined for Iran, and which have been reported or confirmed by the Secretariat. Such transfers are violations of resolution 2231 (2015) and foment mistrust in a delicate regional context.
Finally, we are also worried by the reports that General Soleimani has been abroad, when he is still subject to a travel ban. All States Members of the United Nations must comply with their obligations, which in this case are an assets freeze and a travel ban.
The Council deals regularly with the North Korean and Syrian dossiers and the immense and serious challenges of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The case of Iran represents confirmation that the will of the international community, expressed through pragmatic and realistic multilateralism, can lead to solutions. The sustainability of such a solution, as with the other instruments I mentioned, requires a joint and sincere commitment to rigorously implementing the agreed provisions. I would like to assure the Council of France’s commitment in that regard.