BBC News 24 Interview with Sir Emyr Jones Parry, British Ambassador to the U.N.

March 15, 2007

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear

BBC: Six major powers have reached agreement on a draft resolution imposing sanctions on Iran for its nuclear programmes and submitted the plan to the UN Security Council. We can speak now to the British Ambassador to the United Nations, Sir Emyr Jones Parry. Sir Jones how did we get to this stage then? What kind of sanctions are we talking about?

SIR EMYR JONES PARRY (British Ambassador to the United Nations): What I've done is introduce in the Security Council, in the last hour, the text of a draft resolution on behalf of the Permanent Members of the Council and Germany. This will now be considered by the Council over the next week. What it does is incrementally increase the pressure on Iran. We're looking at financial sanctions, measures of loans which will benefit the Government of Iran, an arms embargo on arms from Iran, a tightening up on arms sales to Iran and the names of individuals and entities (indistinct) be much lengthened compared to what was in the previous resolution.

So what we're seeing is a proportionate but incremental response to the failure of Iran to comply with what we asked it to do.

BBC: It's all in the language isn't it, proportionate but incremental? Anyone looking at this would say any agreement which includes Russia, includes China who will always be outsiders, can't actually be very strong, can't actually mean very much.

EJP: Well you may say that but that reflects the fact you've obviously not had time to read the text. This is a toughening in a very considerable way, but proportionate because the policy is based on trying to get Iran back in to negotiations. That's what we're trying to do, but that requires Iran to stop its enrichment and its research and development. If it does that then we can look forward to a better future.

But there's no question that this resolution if it's adopted in this form will be a significant increase in the measures against Iran precisely because it's failed to comply with the wishes of the Security Council... a legally binding requirement it has not met.

BBC: You would agree that the package is modest. You would agree that there are already sanctions in place against Iran. So this is as you say incremental, we're not actually looking at any great change here.

EJP: Well we are seeing a significant change and with it a clear political message to Iran that the Council as a whole is being asked to say well you didn't comply and therefore we will maintain this pressure, albeit it's reversible. If Iran actually meets the conditions of the International Atomic Energy Agency and of the Security Council we can be back in business. But unless it does, yes, we will ratchet up the pressure. But the policy's intended deliberately to be incremental. They're not draconian, it's not a total arms (indistinct), a total trade embargo with Iran. It's something which is calibrated to create an effect and that's what we're hoping.

BBC: Sir Emyr many thanks for your time this afternoon.

EJP: Pleasure.