E3 Statement after UN Security Council Meeting on Iran: 19 December 2022

The governments of France, Germany and the United Kingdom issued a joint statement on the JCPoA
December 19, 2022

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Good afternoon. Today, the Security Council discussed the implementation of UNSC Resolution 2231, particularly Iran’s nuclear, ballistic and proliferation activities inconsistent with that resolution.

Iran has been in violation of its commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) for three and a half years and continues to escalate its nuclear programme while cutting down significantly on its transparency commitments. Iran has no credible civilian justification for these actions, which carry very significant proliferation-related risks. Today, Iran’s nuclear programme has never been more advanced.

In November, Iran announced it was increasing its enriched uranium production capabilities at Fordow and Natanz well beyond JCPoA limits. These activities provide Iran with irreversible knowledge gains. It also reduces the time needed for Iran to gather enough fissile material for multiple nuclear weapons, should it choose to do so.

Iran also continues to produce unprecedented levels of Low and High Enriched Uranium, enriching up to 60%. This is especially concerning as Iran has suspended the IAEA’s ability to monitor and verify an important part of Iran’s nuclear activities, making it harder for the IAEA to provide assurance of the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme.

Iran’s continued escalation has severe impacts on international security and the non-proliferation regime. Iran refused to take the deal tabled by the JCPoA Coordinator in March and August to return to full compliance with its JCPoA commitments, with continued unacceptable demands beyond the scope of the JCPoA.

The JCPoA and the implementation of IAEA Safeguards are separate. Iran has internationally binding legal obligations to account for all nuclear material and to cooperate with the IAEA.

Today, the Security Council has also discussed key developments regarding Iran’s missile programme and its destabilising transfers of missiles and drones to actors in the region and beyond.

First, Iran continues to undertake ballistic missile activities that are inconsistent with UNSC Resolution 2231, including by testing space launch vehicles, which employ technology applicable to long-range and intercontinental range ballistic missile development.

Second, Iran’s weapons proliferation poses a real and significant threat to the region and the whole international community. We strongly condemn Iran’s destabilising activity in the region and we call upon Iran to stop all ballistic missile activities and proliferation inconsistent with UNSCR 2231 and other UNSC resolutions.

Third, since August, Iran has transferred hundreds of UAVs to Russia, which has used them to kill civilians and target infrastructure, as it did once again today against Kyiv. We strongly condemn such transfers, which violate UN Security Council Resolution 2231. Indiscriminate attacks against civilian populations and infrastructure constitute war crimes. We strongly caution Iran against any further deliveries of weapons to Russia, in particular of any short-range ballistic missiles, which would constitute a serious escalation.

We encourage the Secretary General to examine and report any evidence of transfers of items, materials, equipment, goods and technology or related services inconsistent with UNSCR 2231. We would welcome a visit by competent UN experts to Ukraine as requested by the Government of Ukraine and supported by other member states.

We are discussing our next steps with our partners.

We remain determined that Iran must never develop a nuclear weapon, must refrain from supporting Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine and must stop its proliferation of conventional weaponry to state and non-state actors in the Middle East. Such activities, alongside Iran’s violent repression of peaceful protests will only result in Iran’s further isolation from the international community.

Thank you.