Let me join others in thanking all three briefers not only for today’s excellent presentations, but also for their continued support to the efforts of restoring the the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA).
We also welcome the support expressed by the Secretary General for the JCPoA and share his assessment that it still is the best possible instrument to ensure the peaceful nature of the Iranian nuclear program and that its restoration would therefore contribute to peace and stability in the region and beyond.
We also concur with USG Di Carlo’s analysis that we are now at a critical junction. Despite our strong belief that restoring the JCPoA is both urgently required and possible, prospects unfortunately have become very tenuous at this point. This is all the more regrettable since a viable deal to restore the JCPoA has been on the table since the beginning of March. It is the result of months of intense negotiations and would return Iran to compliance with its JCPoA commitments and the USA to the deal.
We have been ready to conclude the Vienna agreement since the beginning of March – and we still are. It is a fair and comprehensive package. Since time for its conclusion is rapidly diminishing, we welcome the recent good offices of the EU High Representative. The proximity talks between the USA and Iran in Doha during the last days would have provided yet another chance for Iran to agree to the deal. Unfortunately, also in Doha, Iran has not seized the occasion for compliance with the JCPoA in return for sanctions relief, but has instead insisted once again on demands that go well beyond the scope of the JCPoA.
At the same time – and also since our last meeting here 6 months ago – Iran has continued its nuclear escalation unabatedly and taken even more far-reaching steps that are incompatible with its commitments under the JCPoA.
Iran’s worrisome nuclear escalation includes the extensive use of advanced centrifuges for industrial purposes on nuclear enrichment way beyond JCPoA limits. We are equally gravely concerned that Iran has continued to curtail the verification and monitoring activities of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
We urge Iran to fully cooperate with the IAEA and to restore all JCPoA surveillance and monitoring measures in full. This also extends to the clarification of open safeguards issues in Iran: the resolution adopted with an overwhelming majority by the IAEO Board of Governors in June clearly demonstrates that our grave concern is shared by the vast majority of Governors of the IAEA.
On Annex B of the resolution, let me reiterate our well-known position: we continue to consider Iran’s development of ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology, as inconsistent with paragraph 3 of Annex B to Security Council resolution 2231.
There also is a need to ensure better compliance with the prohibition of transfers of so-called MTCR-listed items to and from Iran (Annex B, paragraph 4). The delivery of missile technology or related services or knowhow to armed groups by Iran is destabilising the region and must end immediately.
We are ready to conclude the deal that has been negotiated in Vienna. We urge Iran to seize the diplomatic opportunity to restore the JCPoA while it is still possible.