Adoption of UNSC Resolution 1747 on Iran, Explanation of Vote by Sir Emyr Jones Parry, Permanent Representative of the U.K. to the U.N.

March 27, 2007

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear

Related Country: 

  • China
  • France
  • Germany
  • Russia
  • United States

Mr. President,

I would like to begin by reading the text of a statement which has been agreed by the Foreign Ministers of China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States of America, with the support of the High Representative of the European Union:

The statement reads as follows:

"The unanimous adoption of Security Council Resolution 1747 reflects the international community's profound concerns over Iran's nuclear programme. We deplore Iran's failure to comply with the earlier resolutions of the Security Council and the IAEA, and we call upon Iran once again to comply fully with all its international obligations.

We are committed to seeking a negotiated solution that would address the international community's concerns. The purpose of negotiations would be to reach a comprehensive agreement with Iran, based on mutual respect, that would re-establish international confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear programme and open the way to improving relations and developing wider cooperation between Iran and all our countries

We recognise Iran's rights under the NPT to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes in conformity with its NPT obligations. In this respect, future arrangements, modalities and timing will be dealt with in negotiations.

Full transparency and cooperation by Iran with the IAEA is essential in order to address outstanding concerns We reiterate our full support for the IAEA and its staff.

We stand by our "suspension for suspension" proposal. That means that for the duration of negotiations, which would take place within an agreed timeframe, extendable by mutual agreement, Iran would maintain an IAEA verified suspension as required by Security Council Resolutions 1737 and, now, 1747 and Security Council discussion of Iran's nuclear programme would also be suspended, as would the implementation of the measures adopted under the relevant Security Council Resolutions.

We reconfirm the proposals we presented to Iran in June 2006. They include cooperation with Iran on civil nuclear energy, legally-binding guarantees on the supply of nuclear fuel, and wider political security and economic cooperation. These proposals remain on the table.

We urge Iran to take this opportunity to engage with us all and to find a negotiated way forward. Our proposals would bring far-reaching benefits to Iran and to the region, and they provide a means to address the international community's concerns while taking account of Iran's legitimate interests. In a region that has known too much instability and violence, let us find an agreed way forward that builds confidence and promotes peace and mutual respect. In this spirit, we propose further talks with the Islamic Republic of Iran to see if a mutually acceptable way can be found to open negotiations."

That concludes the statement on behalf of the six Foreign Ministers.

Mr President,

I should like now to make some remarks in my national capacity.

It is just short of a year since this Council first took action on the Iranian nuclear issue, following the referral of the issue to the Council by the IAEA.

Our concern throughout has been two-fold: to promote prospects for a negotiated solution, on which suspension of enrichment by Iran depends; and to reinforce the role of the IAEA, as our resolution today again does.

These concerns led to elaboration of a detailed offer of long-term co-operation from the six nations whose Ministers' statement I have just read. But those Ministers also agreed to seek further Security Council action on Iran should our demands not be met.

Iran's continuing defiance prompted the adoption of SCR 1696 in July 2006, setting the framework of the Council's actions, including a binding Chapter VII decision that Iran should suspend its enrichment-related and reprocessing activities. Despite this, Iran ignored this Council.

This led in turn to further Council action. On 23 December, the Security Council adopted, as today by unanimity, resolution 1737, re-affirming the mandatory requirement for Iran to suspend its enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, and clarifying that Iran must also suspend construction of the heavy water research reactor at Arak. It also introduced a number of measures aimed at restricting Iranian development of sensitive nuclear technologies and its development of ballistic missiles which could deliver them.

The measures were an incremental and proportionate response to Iran's failure to comply with the requirements of Resolution 1696, aimed at persuading Iran that its interests were best served by putting in place the conditions necessary for discussions to seek a negotiated resolution of the issue.

As requested in Resolution 1737, IAEA Director General Mohamed El-Baradei reported on 22 February that Iran had continued to pursue these sensitive technologies, in defiance of its obligations under international law. This was the backdrop to the intensive and constructive deliberations that have led to this resolution today.

By adopting this resolution we have continued our incremental and proportionate approach, increasing gradually the pressure on Iran to address the concerns shared across the international community.

We have strengthened the restrictions on individuals closely associated with Iran's sensitive nuclear activities and with its ballistic missile programme, prohibited arms sales from Iran and urged vigilance over the supply of heavy weapons to Iran. We have also urged restraint in making finance available to the Government of Iran.

I should clarify the United Kingdom's understanding that the new Resolution does not introduce any changes to the provisions in paragraph 15 of Resolution 1737. The asset freeze, therefore, does not prevent a person or entity designated in the annexes to UN Security Council Resolution 1737 and to this Resolution from making payment due under a contract entered into force before that person or entity was listed in cases covered by paragraph 15.

This resolution, building upon SCRs 1696 and 1737, sends a unanimous and unambiguous signal to the government and people of Iran. To both we say that we prefer and are committed to the path of co-operation. But we say also that the path of proliferation by Iran is not one that the international community can accept. We want Iran to make the right choice: co-operation with the international community, which requires the removal of any doubt that Iran could develop nuclear weapons. The resolve of the Council is clear. Iran must make its choice.

Thank you, Mr President