Thanks to the briefers for their contributions in this meeting. I would also like to thank Ireland for the work as facilitator over the last two years. Finally, let me express our appreciation for the key role played by the UN Secretariat in supporting the implementation of UNSCR 2231.
In his fourteenth report, the Secretary General renewed his support for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA). We fully agree that Iran’s nuclear escalation must be stopped and reversed by diplomatic means. We regret that Iran has rejected viable compromise proposals, in March and again in August, and stalled the Vienna talks. The prospects for a sustainable diplomatic solution have unfortunately been fading in recent months.
Instead, Iran has chosen a path that further diminishes the prospects for a restoration and full implementation of the JCPoA.
Since we last met in this format, we have been observing clear evidence of Iran’s covert support of Russia’s brutal and unprovoked war of aggression against Ukraine. Iran has transferred hundreds of UAVs to Russia. This is a deeply concerning violation of UNSCR 2231. We encourage the Secretariat to accept Ukraine’s repeated invitations to examine the evidence, following copious precedence and in line with its mandate.
Iranian combat drones have given Russia additional means to target civilian infrastructure and terrorize Ukrainian civilians. Reports that Russia is attempting to obtain even more weapons from Iran, including ballistic missiles, are deeply alarming.
The SG reported that missile parts seized by the United Kingdom in January and February of this year are consistent with cruise missiles previously assessed to be of Iranian origin. This provides important evidence of Iran’s misuse of its missile programme.
Iran’s development of its missile capabilities, and transfers to state and non-state actors, are violating UNSCR 2231 and destabilizing the region. Iraq is in the frontline, with Iran using its missiles and drones against its neighbor as well, but reports about threats against Saudia-Arabia are also worrying. This aggressive regional behavior by Iran is not acceptable.
Iran continues to further escalate its nuclear programme, thereby undermining essential aspects of the global non-proliferation system. Iran’s accelerated production of up to 60-percent-enriched uranium, including at the fortified underground facility of Fordow, is unprecedented and lacks any plausible civilian justification.
Iran’s nuclear programme is more advanced than ever before and is more than ever becoming a threat to international peace and security.
Iran has suspended its implementation of JCPoA-related verification and monitoring activities. If Iran’s nuclear activities were purely benign, why make it continuously harder, if not impossible, for the IAEA to provide assurance of the programme’s alleged peaceful nature?
Iran is further eroding trust by failing to address concerns related to the implementation of its Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement concluded under the Nonproliferation Treaty.
We reject Iran’s attempts to evade clear safeguards obligations by linking them to the JCPoA negotiations. Iran’s refusal of substantive compromise proposals, including sanctions relief, fuels doubts as to its true intentions. This is just another example of the Islamic Republic acting against the vital interests of its own people.
Let me close by calling upon the Government of Iran to reverse course: Iran must stop its nuclear escalation. Iran must end its support for the Russian war against Ukraine. Iran must stop destabilizing regional activities, especially its proliferation of missile technology, in its own region. It must stop gross human rights violations and repression of its own populations.