Let me first echo previous speakers by thanking all three briefers not only for today’s interventions, but also for their continuing support to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA).
We also welcome the support expressed by the Secretary General for the Vienna talks and for our efforts to restore the JCPoA.
Despite all the difficulties encountered, we still believe that restoring the JCPoA is both urgently required and possible.
Unfortunately, we have not been able to move closer to this goal since the last Security Council meeting in June. To the contrary: During the past six months, Iran has further escalated its nuclear programme by taking extremely far-reaching steps that are incompatible with its commitments under the JCPoA, some of which also do not have plausible civilian use.
These worrying steps include the development and use of advanced centrifuges way beyond JCPoA limits, uranium enrichment of up to 60%, ever growing stockpiles of enriched uranium, and the ongoing Research & Development activities on uranium metal production, including enriched uranium metal.
Another point of great concern is lack of transparency: the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) plays a vital role in monitoring and verifying Iran’s nuclear-related commitments. The IAEA’s mandate is enshrined in resolution 2231 and serves the goal of assuring the continuity of knowledge about the peaceful nature of the Iranian nuclear programme. To our deep concern, Iran has curtailed monitoring activities by the Agency. We strongly support the IAEA’s continued efforts in keeping up the continuity of knowledge, and we urge Iran to fully cooperate with the IAEA and to restore JCPoA monitoring and transparency measures in full.
I echo the sentiments expressed by my E3 colleagues:
We are at a crossroads: if Iran engages seriously in the diplomatic process, a good deal for Iran and for all of us can be reached rapidly. If Iran does not engage constructively, crisis will be inevitable and will be costly for us all.
We do not want this outcome, which is no more in our interest or in the interest of the international community than it is in the Iranian interest. It is also entirely avoidable. But: the window of opportunity is closing rapidly.
Turning to Annex B of the resolution, let me reiterate our well-known position: we continue to consider Iran’s development of ballistic missiles designed to deliver a nuclear weapon, including launches using such ballistic missile technology, as inconsistent with paragraph 3 of Annex B to Security Council resolution 2231. We are very concerned about Iran’s development of relevant ballistic missile types and continued tests. Clearly, such activities are not conducive to fostering stability and security in the region.
Moreover, we reaffirm the need to ensure compliance by all states, in particular by Iran, with the prohibition of transfers of MTCR-listed items to and from Iran (Annex B, paragraph 4). The delivery of missile technology to non-state actors is destabilising the region and must end immediately.
Let me finish by noting the following: on resolution 2231 and the JCPoA, the Security Council has reached again a level of unity rarely seen. Almost all of us here have stressed again the huge importance of the JCPoA as a key contribution to the non-proliferation and security architecture in the region and beyond.
We will do everything in our power to see the JCPoA talks in Vienna succeed; we count on all parties to return with a mandate suitable to put this important agreement fully back in place.