Statement by Martin Briens, Deputy Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations, on Iran

June 23, 2011

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear
  • Missile

Mr. President,

I would like to thank Ambassador Osorio for his quarterly report. The final report by the Panel of Experts delivered last month to the Council painted an alarming picture of Iran's violations of its obligations.

These violations are systematic and deliberate.

They involve all spheres of measures adopted by the Security Council: nuclear, ballistic, arms embargo, transportation, financial and commercial domain.

These violations involve increasingly more complex methods: use of shadow companies and aliases, use of multiple financial intermediaries and currency exchange offices, physical concealment, false declarations, forged documents, etc. The Panel sheds light on the recurrent involvement of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and the maritime company IRISL in these violations.

I wish to stress in particular one aspect of the report: Iran's violations of the arms embargo. The arms transfers were at the center of most cases of violations reported to the Committee. Three new cases were brought to our attention since our last meeting in March. These arms transfers are a threat for the security of us all.

We are particularly concerned about the active role of Syria in these illegal arms transfers. Syria is involved in most of these cases of the arms embargo violation reported to the Committee. Syria refuses to cooperate with the Panel and the Committee. It is a serious violation by the latter of its obligations under Security Council resolutions. I would also like to recall that the IAEA's Board of Governors has, in accordance with the Agency's Statute, notified the Security Council of Syria's violation of its nuclear non-proliferation obligations.

Mr. President,

We are also greatly concerned about the recent Iranian announcements. Iran has stated its intention to produce 20-percent enriched uranium at its Fordo site and to triple its production capacity. I recall that this is the site which was concealed by Iran until its existence was revealed by the international community in September 2009. I also recall that the background and the original purpose of this site are still not precisely known, given Iran's refusal to provide the Agency with all the requested clarifications.

Moreover, Iran announced on June 15 the launch of a satellite into space. Space launchers and ballistic missiles use similar technology, and the resolution 1929 prohibits Iran from undertaking "launches using ballistic missile technology." We call upon the Committee and the Panel of Experts to inquire about this launch and the space and ballistic program developed by Iran.

Mr. President,

The Panel of independent experts created last year by the resolution 1929 plays a key role in ensuring the implementation of the measures adopted by the Council and their continued effectiveness, while Iran multiplies its efforts to violate them.

In a short time, the Panel has done an excellent job. I would like to express to the Panel our appreciation of its professionalism. We fully endorse the recommendations contained in its final report. In particular, I am thinking of those recommendations concerning the updating of the lists of goods, individuals and entities; the use of international registration numbers by ships for precise identification of IRISL ships; or still, the publication of the information on group registration of companies, in order to better fight against shadow or dummy companies which constitute the first means of circumvention of sanctions.

The Panel's work is far from complete. We therefore welcome the renewal of the experts' mandate for another year. This is an additional signal to Iran by the international community of its determination to achieve full respect for the Council's resolution.

The Committee must also fulfill its share of responsibility. We welcome monitoring of the Panel's recommendations to ensure continued effectiveness and call on the Committee to adopt the necessary measures, specifically the updating of the lists of goods, individuals and entities, in accordance with the mandate conferred by the Council through resolutions 1737 and 1929. This is in particular the case of individuals and entities involved in the cases of violation. It would be inconceivable that the Committee not proceed with their identification. The credibility of the measures adopted by the Council and the work of the Committee 1737 is at stake.

We also hope that the Expert Panel's final report will be published swiftly as an official document of the Security Council, in accordance with the usual practice of the sanction Committees. Transparency is essential to ensuring that all UN Member States are made aware of the important issues and to improving the implementation of sanctions. Mr. President,

The IAEA Director General's last report of May 24 is very troubling. It shows Iran's continued refusal to respect its international obligations. The report particularly elaborates on the serious issues concerning the possible military dimension of the Iranian program and the development of a nuclear payload for a ballistic missile. The Agency is more than ever concerned about the possible existence in Iran of past or current secret activities in this area.

The Director General stresses in particular the seven research areas for which Iran is yet to provide explanations to the Agency - for example, the warhead design studies on the Shahab-3 missile, whose objective is to replace a conventional payload with a spherical nuclear payload. These developments, in addition to Iran's pursuit of a ballistic and space program, are very worrisome. We call on the IAEA Director General to continue the effort of investigating these questions, and we call on Iran to answer all of their requests.

Mr. President,

Iran states that its nuclear program is civil in nature; but for nine years Iran has not been able to provide the IAEA with a guarantee that its nuclear activities are exclusively for peaceful purposes.

In this context, we regret, together with our partners of the Six, that Iran did not wish to seriously study our offers for cooperation, as well as our concrete proposals aiming to create trust and to facilitate dialogue. Iran has, on the contrary, formulated preconditions that are contrary to the Security Council's resolutions and unacceptable, as the Iran-Six have recently recalled in Vienna.

The Iranian regime is heading down a one-way street of violations of international obligations, isolation and repression, at a time when the youths in the Middle East are aspiring to freedom.

The doors for negotiation remain open, but it is up to Iran to demonstrate, through actions, its willingness to enter into sincere negotiations. It is up to Iran to show proof that it can be recognized as a responsible actor of the international community.

As the G8 Heads of State and government have recently highlighted in Deauville at the end of May, we will determine, in accordance with Iran's actions, if there is a need to take further measures, in line with the dual- track approach.

Thank you.