Remarks by Ambassador Christoph Heusgen in the Security Council VTC Meeting on Non-proliferation, June 30, 2020

30.06.2020 - Speech

Check Against Delivery

Our friend from the Dominican Republic, José [Singer], reminded us in his intervention that from tomorrow onwards, Germany will have the presidency of the UN Security Council. At the same time, Germany will start its presidency of the European Union. Both are very important for us. They are the cornerstones of our post Second World War policy. The foundation of both organizations is the rule of law and rules-based international order. For us, the Charter of the UN and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are key for our policy.

When I talk about the rule of law today, it has to do with this very foundation of German foreign policy. I will take the opportunity of the presence of the Iranian Foreign Minister to talk about the rule of law and Iran. Unfortunately, Iran is violating the very basis of what we are discussing here at the UN: The Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The human rights situation in Iran is appalling. Human rights activists are persecuted. There are political prisoners. There is no press freedom, no right of assembly, and there is aggressive foreign policy meddling in the region. Iran not only does not recognize Israel, but also displays missiles with “death to Israel” written on them. This is all very appalling.

With regard to the rule of law, I come to Resolution 2231: a part of the rule of law and one of the most important resolutions that we have. I would like to thank the Secretary-General and his team for the thorough investigation, which found developments that are contrary and inconsistent with 2231.

To respond to my colleague from China, we believe that the Secretariat is absolutely mandated to pursue this work. The Secretary-General has the task to combat threats to peace and security, and therefore has to do everything to preserve this. With regard to the position on 2231, we would like to align ourselves with what U.K. and France as the other E3 members are going to say. Since China also is a signatory, I would also align myself with what my Chinese colleague just said about the snapback mechanism. The overarching goal for us is the preservation, continuation, and full implementation of Resolution 2231 of the JCPOA, which has been described in some media as a masterpiece of diplomacy. Thanks to the JCPOA, it was possible to have Iran step back from its moves towards the acquisition of a nuclear bomb.

It is very unfortunate that the United States left the JCPOA. By doing this, it actually violated international law because the JCPOA is enshrined in the binding resolution 2231. We are very concerned to now be seeing Iran stepping away from the JCPOA, as was also mentioned in the report. To illustrate this, imagine somebody running a red traffic light, which is no justification for another driver also to run over a red light.

Iran should engage constructively with the remaining JCPOA signatories. Because of these steps away from the agreement by Iran, the E3 have invoked the dispute resolution mechanism, a measure within the framework of the JCPOA.

Just as we continue to uphold our commitments as the E3, and even go beyond our commitments when it comes to the INSTEX mechanism, we are concerned about the U.S. not only leaving the JCPOA, but also ending the waivers for key JCPOA projects. The E3 remain committed to these projects, including the Arak Modernisation Project.

We are concerned about Iran's missile activities in the Secretary-General's report. They are inconsistent with the resolution 2231. As the E3, we have informed the Secretary-General and Security Council about those concerns.

On the Conventional Arms Embargo, we share the concerns on the implications of the expiration of these limitations. On the other hand, we remind that the sanctions on MTCR-listed items will remain in place, and the transfer of arms by Iran to non-state actors will remain prohibited according to other UN Security Council resolutions.

We can build on these provisions when we consider how best to address the expiry of the arms embargo. We are ready to engage with the JCPOA members and the UNSC to determine how to best do that.

We just celebrated the 75th anniversary of the United Nations Charter. This is the basis for our rules-based international order. Multilateralism is about commitments and reliability. I would like to appeal to everybody to return to Resolution 2231 and to the JCPOA and implement it.

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