Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations, Mr. Vladimir Safronkov, at the Security Council Meeting on Non-proliferation (JCPOA)

December 20, 2017

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear
  • Missile

We are grateful to the Secretary-General for preparing the new semi-annual report (S/2017/1030) on the implementation of resolution 2231 (2015), and we would like to thank Mr. Feltman for his briefing.

We note the effective work done by Ambassador Cardi, the Permanent Representative of Italy, the Council’s facilitator for the implementation of the resolution, and since he is speaking before the Council in that capacity for the last time, we would like to thank him and the Italian delegation for their effective efforts in this important area of the Council’s work.

He and the Italian team have made a constructive contribution to our work. In our view, preserving the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) for regulating the Iranian nuclear programme is one of the international community’s major tasks. The Plan of Action is a foundational achievement of the work of the past few years in nuclear non-proliferation and diplomatic efforts for regional and international peace and security.

It was the outcome of a joint and collective effort. The Secretary-General’s report is a clear testament to Iran’s unconditional compliance with its commitments under the JCPOA. That has been consistently confirmed by both the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Secretariat of the United Nations, which, as the report indicates, has no reason to believe that Iran has made transfers either of goods or technology, whether nuclear or dual-use, which would be in violation of paragraph 2 of annex B of resolution 2231 (2015).

Unfortunately, despite this positive evidence for the implementation of the JCPOA, we are obliged to note that some countries are attempting to torpedo this breakthrough collective agreement. We hope that reason will nonetheless ultimately prevail, that issues of international security and stability will cease to be held hostage to domestic political processes and that JCPOA will finally be allowed to function at full force and demonstrate its unique potential. The best guarantee of that is every State party’s good-faith fulfilment of its voluntary commitments.

We support the Secretary-General’s call to the JCPOA participants to comply fully with its provisions, including the importance of ensuring that Iran’s compliance with the agreement brings it concrete dividends, as well as the appeal to all countries and organizations to act in full accord with the JCPOA and to support its implementation in every possible way.

We feel once again compelled to draw attention to the Secretariat’s continued practice of conducting investigations for which it has neither the authority nor the expertise. Such actions, undertaken without the Security Council’s prior consent, are not legitimate, and any information obtained through them cannot be considered reliable and should not be included in the report. Information based on such visits should not be considered equivalent to normal consultations conducted with Member States. Since we are worrying about budgets, I would like to point out that such trips are paid for with budget resources allocated under resolution 2231 (2015) exclusively for the implementation of its mandate.

We continue to believe that the report should not include information obtained from open sources or references to information provided by individual countries that is unverified or clearly unverifiable. Such information must first be submitted to the Security Council, which has the authority to take decisions on further steps, including on conducting investigations. Independent action in that regard cannot be considered legitimate. Similarly, without the Council’s unanimous agreement it is impermissible to hold 2231 format meetings jointly with subsidiary bodies of the Security Council and expert groups.

We would also like to recall paragraph 3 of annex B to resolution 2231 (2015), which states in black and white that Iran is called upon not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons. We would like to draw the attention of Council members to the fact that regional issues and the situation in the Middle and Near East do not generally have to be discussed in the context of the JCPOA and resolution 2231 (2015). Discussions on those topics should be held in other formats and should be conducted on a basis of mutual respect with the aim of eliminating existing differences and suspicions exclusively through direct, political dialogue. A few years ago, the Russian Federation developed an initiative aimed at establishing a collective security system and confidence-building measures in the region that is still relevant.

We should also be implementing resolution 598 (1987), which asked the Secretary-General to present to the Security Council measures to enhance the security and stability of the region. That request was not implemented and the time has come to do so, since this type of methodology would be more effective than the recent, punitive decisions. Two years of the JCPOA in action have demonstrated its effectiveness and that it is fully capable of carrying out its tasks. We believe firmly that there can be no alternative to the Plan of Action nor any justification for revising it.

The Russian Federation is committed to the unconditional and comprehensive implementation of the provisions of resolution 2231 (2015) and the JCPOA, which represents an outstanding accomplishment for global diplomacy and has enabled us to resolve a crucial regional issue. The importance of the nuclear deal is recognized by an overwhelming majority of the members of the international community.

We can use it as a model for dealing with other current problems and serious regional crises. We have the power to ensure its successful implementation, but we must first refrain from the language of threats and sanctions, instead using instruments of dialogue and concentrating on broadening cooperation and mutual trust. In that regard, we note that during the Joint Commission’s most recent meeting, on 13 December in Vienna, all the participants — I repeat, all the participants — affirmed their commitment to implementing their obligations under the JCPOA. That creates a solid foundation for the future, and we hope that our countries will continue sticking to this line in strict accord with the letter and spirit of this historic agreement.