I have the honour to transmit herewith a letter dated 20 February 2019 from the Permanent Representatives of France, Germany and the United Kingdom addressed to the Secretary-General (see annex). I would be most grateful if you would circulate the present letter and its annex as a document of the Security Council.
(Signed) Karen Pierce
Annex to the letter dated 22 February 2019 from the Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council
France, Germany and the United Kingdom wish to bring to the attention of the Security Council recent actions taken by Iran which are inconsistent with paragraph 3 of annex B to resolution 2231 (2015).
As the Security Council is aware, in paragraph 3 of annex B to resolution 2231 (2015),
Iran is called upon not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology, until the date eight years after the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action adoption day or until the date on which the International Atomic Energy Agency submits a report confirming the Broader Conclusion, whichever is earlier.
The phrase “ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons” in paragraph 3 includes Missile Technology Control Regime category I systems. By definition, Missile Technology Control Regime category I systems, which are those capable of delivering at least a 500-kilogram payload to a range of at least 300 kilometres, are inherently capable of delivering nuclear weapons.
On 15 January 2019, Iran conducted the third flight test of its Simorgh satellite launch vehicle. The Iranian Government said that the satellite launch vehicle failed to successfully place a satellite in orbit due to a failure of the vehicle ’s final stage, which is used to finalize the satellite’s orbital position. Although the launch failed, the test will have proven the operation of the satellite launch vehicle’s first and second stage propulsion systems, which are based on technologies shared with Iran’s ballistic missile programme. Significantly, the first stage is a cluster of four Shahab-3 mediumrange ballistic missile engines and the second stage incorporates technology of the Khorramshahr medium-range ballistic missile. Both the Shahab-3 and the Khorramshahr meet the criteria of Missile Technology Control Regime category I missile systems and are therefore inherently capable of delivering nuclear weapons.
Furthermore, the technologies necessary for the conception, fabrication and launch of a satellite launch vehicle are closely related to those required for the development of a long-range ballistic missile or an intercontinental ballistic missile. Actual launches of satellite launch vehicles provide Iran with empirical results that can be used to optimize capabilities related to the development of such missile systems.
We therefore re-emphasize our assessment that Iran’s programme to develop ballistic missiles continues to be inconsistent with paragraph 3 of annex B to resolution 2231 (2015). Iran’s ballistic missile activity, including the launch of the Simorgh satellite launch vehicle, is a matter of deep concern, as it has a destabilizing effect on the region and increases existing tensions.
We trust that this imformation will assist the Security Council in promoting the implementation of resolution 2231 (2015) by all States. In light of the requests made of the Secretary-General in resolution 2231 (2015), we therefore respectfully request that the Secretary-General report fully and thoroughly Iran’s ballistic missile activity inconsistent with resolution 2231 (2015) in his next report.
(Signed) François Delattre
Permanent Representative of France
(Signed) Christoph Heusgen
Permanent Representative of Germany
(Signed) Karen Pierce
Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom