Remarks at a UN Security Council Briefing on Non-Proliferation and Iran

June 30, 2022

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear

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Richard Mills

Author's Title: 

Deputy U.S. Representative to the United Nations

Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you, Under-Secretary DiCarlo, for the Secretariat’s work on the report it issued today and your briefing to the Council today. And I want to thank my colleagues Ambassador Skoog and Ambassador Byrne Nason for their statements as well.

The United States remains committed to a mutual return to full implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the JCPOA. We have been prepared for months to conclude a deal based on the understandings negotiated in Vienna. Such a deal has been available since March, but we can only conclude a deal, and implement it, if Iran drops its additional demands that are outside the scope of the JCPOA. In this regard, we would like to thank the EEAS and High Representative Borrell for going, quite literally, the extra miles in support of concluding an understanding on mutual return to full implementation of the JCPOA.

In light of these efforts, we were all the more disappointed that, in High Representative Borrell’s visit to Tehran on Saturday, and in the indirect discussions the EEAS conducted in Doha this week, Iran continued to make demands that go well beyond the JCPOA. Iran has yet to demonstrate any real urgency to conclude a deal, end the current nuclear crisis, and achieve important sanctions lifting.

We remain concerned by steps Iran has taken recently that undermine the International Atomic Energy Agency’s verification and monitoring of JCPOA commitments, including the removal of JCPOA-related cameras and monitoring equipment. Such steps make a mutual return to full implementation of the JCPOA more difficult.

The IAEA has our full support in carrying out its critical verification and monitoring responsibilities in Iran for both safeguards and JCPOA purposes. On June 8, the IAEA Board of Governors expressed profound concern that safeguards issues in Iran remain outstanding due to insufficient cooperation from Iran. The Board called on Iran to act on an urgent basis to fulfil its safeguards obligations. Iran must provide the required cooperation necessary to resolve the IAEA’s concerns without further delay.

It is also important that Member States continue to fully implement the relevant measures in Annex B of UN Security Council Resolution 2231. For instance, restrictions remain in place on transfers to and from Iran of certain ballistic missile- and nuclear-related items and technology, and individuals and entities on the 2231 list remain subject to an asset freeze.

We appreciate the Secretariat’s continued reporting on the implementation of these measures. The report’s findings that ballistic missiles and cruise missiles launched at Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, or their component parts, are of Iranian origin underscores the destabilizing nature of Iran’s continued development and proliferation of missile technology. Furthermore, the Secretary-General’s report finds that UAVs used in attacks on Saudi Arabia and the UAE contained components that the Secretariat previously assessed to be of Iranian origin.

The United States strongly condemns these attacks on Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Iran’s continued proliferation of weapons to its proxies and partners in the region must stop. Iran also continues to carry out activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons in defiance of Annex B of Resolution 2231. Launches of space launch vehicles on December 30 and March 8 relied on technology virtually identical to, and interchangeable with, those used in ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons.

Iran’s determination to continue to engage in such activities is evident in its announcement on June 26 that it conducted a launch of its Zuljanah Space launch vehicle. Launches using such technology are the exact type of activity that the Security Council clearly called upon Iran not to undertake in Annex B of Resolution 2231.

The Security Council must be clear and united in condemning this activity. When Iran defies the Security Council repeatedly – without consequence – it undermines the fundamental credibility of this Council.

In the meantime, Mr. President, the United States remains ready for a mutual return to full implementation of the JCPOA, which we are confident would significantly advance international security. The ball is in Iran’s court and the choice to move back towards full implementation of the JCPOA rests with Iran. Thank you, Mr. President.