Thank you, Madam President, and thank you, Ambassador Quinlan, for your briefing and for your able leadership of this Committee.
Ambassador, your work on this issue has particular value at this time. Today I’d like to touch on three reasons why. The first relates to the ongoing P5+1 talks. Second, to troubling signs of sanctions violations. And the third, to the important roles of the Committee and the Panel of Experts – which is set to begin work on its next report, the details of which will be essential.
On the nuclear talks with Iran, the Security Council has a clear stake in the outcome. The Council has imposed four rounds of sanctions in response to Iran's failure to adhere to its nuclear obligations.
Any deal with Iran must address squarely the Security Council's multiple resolutions on this matter, a key principle of the Joint Plan of Action.
It is critical that all Member States continue to fully implement sanctions on Iran. Full implementation of sanctions will support the diplomacy, as well as limit Iran's illicit smuggling of arms, funds and technology.
In this regard, we find the recent indications of serious violations of the UN sanctions troubling. Earlier this month, Israel announced that it had stopped a massive shipment of rockets, mortars and ammunition that Iran was smuggling to Gaza militants. We call on the Committee, with the support of the Panel, to investigate all aspects of this incident. The Committee should also be prepared to impose real consequences, such as possible sanctions designations, on those responsible.
At the same time, reports that Iran sought to transfer arms to Iraq in violation of Security Council resolution 1737 are alarming.
We note that the Iraqi authorities have committed publicly to respect fully all relevant Security Council resolutions – which is welcome. In this connection, we encourage the Committee and the Panel, in cooperation with the Iraqi authorities, to investigate these reports and confirm full compliance with resolution 1737.
This leads me to my last point, about the important role of the Committee and the Panel. As a rule, if and when violations like this occur, the Security Council's Iran Sanctions Committee has a responsibility to tighten enforcement. We look to the Committee to step up efforts to help states implement the sanctions – and to be poised to respond to all reports of sanctions non-compliance.
In addition, it is essential that the Panel continue its aggressive travel schedule and continue to raise awareness about sanctions. In this context, as the Panel begins work to draft its next annual report, we encourage the Panel to present as much information as possible regarding sanctions compliance.
We commend the Panel for its independent reporting and urge it to continue its cooperation with Member States and the Committee. The Committee needs to know the names of violators and their methods. We also encourage the Panel to ensure that its report has specific, implementable recommendations that can tangibly improve sanctions implementation. The Panel’s recent recommendations, which were specific in nature, enabled the Committee to engage in productive discussions on how best to move forward.
Madam President, the United States looks forward to continuing our work with the Committee as we address the challenges and issues raised here today. Monitoring implementation, quickly responding to violations, and cooperating with the Panel are fundamental to the success of these sanctions and to supporting our negotiators as they seek a comprehensive solution.