Statement by Ambassador Christoph Heusgen in the Security Council VTC meeting on Non-Proliferation, December 22

23.12.2020 - Speech

Check Against Delivery

Let me start by first thanking the briefers: Olof [Skoog, EU Permanent Representative], for reminding us of the important role of the EU High Representative on the JCPoA file. I would like to pay special tribute to Helga Schmid, who was the Secretary General of the European External Action Service and somewhat of a godmother to the JCPoA. After so many years, she has now become the Secretary General of the OSCE. I would also like to thank Philippe [Kridelka, BEL Permanent Representative] and your predecessor Marc [Pecsteen, former BEL Permanent Representative] and your teams for the dedicated work as facilitator over the last couple of years. Last, but not least, many thanks as always to Rosemary [DiCarlo, USG DPPA]. Not only for your briefing, but also for the continuing and ongoing support of the Secretariat to the implementation of resolution 2231. Our thanks also go to the Secretary General personally for his continuing support to the JCPoA. In this context, I would like to pick up a point that was made by our Russian colleague, which has to do with the discussions that are running in the fifth committee. I support the point that he made. We should stand united in blocking the attempts of our US partners to cut funds to the Secretariat for tasks related to 2231.

Our position on the JCPoA has not changed: as E3 we have worked tirelessly to preserve the agreement. And just yesterday, at an informal virtual meeting of JCPoA participants at ministerial level, all remaining participants have reaffirmed their commitment. They have equally acknowledged the prospect of a return of the US to the agreement and underlined their readiness to positively address this in a joint effort.

However, the Foreign Ministers have also discussed the implementation challenges that we currently face. There is a pressing need for Iran to stop all actions contrary to its nuclear-related commitments and refrain from any further action that might violate and hollow out the JCPoA. Iran needs to return to full compliance with the JCPoA. We are deeply concerned about Iran’s installation of advanced centrifuges at the Fuel Enrichment Plant in Natanz. This would be in clear violation of the JCPoA. We are also concerned that – if implemented – the recent law passed by the Iranian Parliament would substantially expand Iran’s nuclear programme, in violation of the JCPoA, and limit IAEA monitoring access.

With regard to annex B of the resolution, let me just briefly reiterate that we continue to consider Iran’s development of nuclear-capable ballistic missiles, and related technologies, as inconsistent with paragraph 3 of Annex B to Resolution 2231 (2015). We reaffirm the need to ensure compliance by all states with the provisions in Annex B, including the prohibition on transfers of MTCR-listed items to and from Iran.

With many files on the agenda of the Security Council, the situation is bleak. The Iran nuclear file is not necessarily so. Resolution 2231 survived four years of frontal attacks. 2231 remains a cornerstone of the nonproliferation and security architecture in the region. I would like to thank everyone around the table who contributed to preserving the JCPoA and give a special tribute to the Ambassadors from Indonesia and Niger during their presidencies. Once JCPoA implementation is fully back in place, we should also jointly address the wider challenges in the region. We also have to continue to react to the dismal human rights record of Iran.


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