Thank you Mr President. And thank you to Jeff, Sebastiano, and Joao for sharing your analysis with the Council today.
I’m glad that my last open session in this Council is focusing on one of the most important diplomatic achievements in recent memory.
As the third Secretary-General’s report on resolution 2231 shows, at its core this is a diplomatic achievement that does endure. Earlier this month, the International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed Iran’s continued full compliance with its nuclear-related commitments. Iran’s total stockpile of uranium remains within agreed limits, and Iran has continued to permit and facilitate monitoring of its nuclear sites.
I reiterate in this Chamber today the United Kingdom’s commitment to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and our support for its full and equitable implementation.
To ensure the deal’s continued success, Mr President, all parties must fully uphold their commitments and improve mutual trust and cooperation across a full range of issues. Sadly the latest report of the Secretary-General does highlight some less than positive issues which must be addressed in relation to the provisions of Annex B as set out in Resolution 2231.
The first of these relates to the 29th of January launch this year by Iran of a Khorramshahr medium-range ballistic missile. Since we’ve already had several Council sessions on this important issue and further consideration in the “2231 format” of the Council, I won’t dwell on it. But just for the sake of clarity, I want to reiterate our position that this launch was inconsistent with the provisions of Resolution 2231. We reiterate too, the Secretary-General’s call on Iran to refrain from any future launches which contribute to regional instability.
We are also concerned by the continued reported violations of restrictions prohibiting conventional arms transfers as set out in the Secretary-General’s latest report, including new evidence of an attempted arms shipment from Iran to Somalia.
Furthermore, the widespread reports of multiple violations of travel ban provisions, including new infringements by Major General Qasem Soleimani, are particularly worrying given the regional sensitivities.
So putting all these issues together, it is clear that these activities are having a detrimental impact on regional security. Yes, we agree with Iran that the biggest threat to the region is a shared threat to us all; we all need to combat ISIL and defeat terrorism. Yes, we want the international community to work with Iran to encourage it to play a more transparent and constructive role in regional affairs. But we cannot turn a blind eye to activities undertaken by Iran which violate Security Council resolutions and sponsor proxy forces in regional conflicts. This further complicates efforts to reach peaceful settlements and undermines Iran’s future prosperity and security.
Finally, it is important that we remember the inherent reciprocity of the JCPOA. So, we encourage all Member States and parties to the agreement to uphold their commitments, including ensuring that the Iranian people gain further tangible benefits from sanctions relief. We are encouraged by the progress being made to promote trade and investment opportunities in Iran, and we hope that the next 6 months will build on these successes. Full implementation of the provisions of Resolution 2231 by all parties is the only way to ensure the continued success of this important deal.
As this is my last session in the open Chamber, I did also just want to say a very brief word of thanks to the interpreters for making me comprehensible in 6 languages, it’s not easy – my aunt used to do it. Secondly, to all of you for the cooperation that you’ve shown me and for the work that you do in what is a massively important institution that is very important for the most vulnerable of all people on this planet.