Statement of Germany in the meeting of the UN Security Council on the implementation of Resolution 2231 (2015) [Non-proliferation], 18 December 2023

18.12.2023 - Speech

The statement was delivered by Ambassador Thomas Zahneisen (Chargé d'affaires)

Mr. President,

Allow me to express my sincere gratitude to Under-Secretary-General DiCarlo, to Ambassador Frazier, as Facilitators of Resolution 2231, and to Ambassador Skoog, as Coordinator of the JCPoA Joint Commission. I want to thank all three for their briefings today.

Madam Under-Secretary-General, you said in the beginning of your briefing, back in 2015, Resolution 2231 and the associated Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action were hailed as a historic breakthrough toward resolving the dispute over Iran's nuclear program. And we concur with the Secretary General that the JCPoA remains the best way forward.

If fully implemented, the JCPoA would offer a clear path towards resolving international concerns with regard to the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme, it would lead to a comprehensive lifting of sanctions and it would contribute positively to regional and international peace and security.

Regrettably, 8 years later, we find ourselves once again gathered in this Council chamber, addressing not only Iran's escalating nuclear activities but also its missile development and continuous weapons proliferation, all three in stark contrast to the spirit of the resolution.

The extent of Iran’s violations against the JCPoA is clearly outlined in the recent report of the IAEA Director-General.

Just one striking statistic to underscore the alarming situation: Iran now holds a stockpile of enriched uranium that exceeds by more than 22 times the limit agreed in the JCPoA.

For us, Iran's actions raise serious questions and concerns, and they have direct implications for international peace and security.

Allow me to emphasize just three of them:

1. If Iran's nuclear program is genuinely civilian, why has Iran enriched so much uranium, now to an enrichment level of up to 60 percent? If this amount of highly enriched uranium is further processed, it would be largely enough for three nuclear weapons.

2. And, if Iran's program is indeed completely peaceful, as Iran maintains, why does Iran obstruct cooperation with the IAEA, that very organization, that is not only best suited but specifically mandated to confirm Iran’s claim of the peaceful nature of its program?

3. If Iran asserts acting in good faith, why does Iran transfer hundreds of UAVs to Russia, knowingly supporting Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine, and by doing so, yet again is violating Resolution 2231?

Mr President

I would like to make one point very clear, and reiterate it here yet again.

Despite Iran’s sustained violations and despite the mistrust they created, Germany will remain fully committed to seeking a diplomatic resolution to the Iranian nuclear crisis.

As an immediate step to reestablish confidence and to reopen avenues for a diplomatic solution, we call on Iran to:

1. Cease its weapons proliferation, including to non-state actors, which endanger not only the region but the entire international community.

2. And, we ask Iran to heed the repeated call by the IAEA Director-General to honor its commitments as well as its legal obligations under the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement and enable the necessary cooperation with the Agency, without an further delay.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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