Mixed Response as Members Criticize Non-Compliance Amid Calls for Transparency, End to 'Selectivity', Double Standards
There were ongoing investigations into previously reported violations of sanctions related to Iran's nuclear programme, as well as new complaints about its launching of ballistic missiles, the Chair of the Security Council Committee created to monitor implementation of those measures said today.
Council members continued to express concern over the lack of progress towards a negotiated settlement regarding the transparency of Iran's nuclear activities following a briefing by NÃ©stor Osorio (Colombia), Chair of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1737 (2006).
Presenting his latest 90-day report, he said that, during the review period - 24 June to 1 September - the Committee had received additional information from a Member State on alleged violations of paragraph 5 of resolution 1747 (2007), which banned Iran from exporting and procuring arms and related material. It had also received a joint communication from four Member States, reporting a violation of resolution 1929 (2010), which banned the country from carrying out launches involving ballistic technology.
In addition to examining that alleged violation with the assistance of its year-old Panel of Experts, he said, the Committee had answered three written queries from Member States, including one whereby it had been able to confirm, with the Panel's support, that an inquiring State was not involved in an incident of illegal arms trans-shipment previously reported by another Member State.
Following the briefing, Council members welcomed the Committee's continuing work to ensure the implementation of relevant resolutions. However, some speakers criticized the delay in publishing the Expert Panel's latest report, calling for its publication without further delay. Several speakers expressed also heightened concern following the release of the most recent report of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), saying that it showed Iran's continued flouting of its obligations under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and related Council resolutions.
In that vein, the representative of the United States condemned Iran's continuing uranium-enrichment and heavy-water-related activities, including recently discovered activities at Qom. She expressed support, however, for a two-track approach - encompassing both pressure and negotiations - to dissuading Iran from "its dangerous course".
Other speakers, while supporting the Committee's work and the full implementation of all Council resolutions, emphasized the need for greater progress through dialogue and negotiation. The Russian Federation's representative stressed that compromise solutions must be found through dialogue in order to reach the stated objectives - eradicating any doubt as to the peaceful nature of the Iranian nuclear programme. To ensure the sanctions regime's maximum effectiveness, all Member States should be strictly guided by the relevant resolutions, he emphasized, adding that the Committee and Expert Panel should continue their work in an impartial and independent manner, only using verifiable sources and information.
Council President Nawaf Salam ( Lebanon), speaking in his national capacity, reiterated the right of all States parties to the NPT to research and use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. He also called for an end to "selectivity" and double standards in regard to nuclear non-proliferation in that region and for a nuclear-weapon-free Middle East.
South Africa's representative reiterated his country's concerns about the threats posed by nuclear weapons, wherever they were located, saying it would, therefore, not accept a nuclear Iran. Deeply concerned that Iran was still not cooperating fully with the IAEA, the only agency that could confirm the peaceful nature of its nuclear activities, South Africa hoped that constructive political dialogue would continue so as to resolve the impasse.
Also speaking were representatives of France, Germany, China, Brazil, Portugal, Nigeria, India, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Gabon and the United Kingdom.
The meeting began at 10:10 a.m. and ended at 11:15 a.m.
Meeting this morning, Council members heard a briefing by the Chairman of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1737 (2006), known as the 1737 Committee, on his latest 90-day report.
NÃ‰STOR OSORIO ( Colombia), Chair of the 1737 Committee, presented that body's nineteenth 90-day report, saying that its Panel of Experts had provided it with a second quarterly assessment of implementation by Member States of the relevant resolutions. The Panel had also visited Brazil to hold consultations with Government agencies.
During the reporting period, he said, the Committee had received additional information from a Member State on a previously reported incident of alleged sanctions violation, encouraging that State to invite the Panel to undertake a country visit in support of its inquiry. The Committee had also received a joint communication from four Member States reporting a violation of the provision of resolution 1929 (2010) banning Iran from carrying out launches involving ballistic technology, he said. It was currently examining that alleged violation, with the Panel's assistance.
He said the Committee had received a notification from a Member State confirming that none of the individuals and entities designated by the Consolidated List had been found to own companies or shares under its jurisdiction. It had received another notification informing about the successful disposal of cargo confiscated from the vessel Hansa India. A third notification indicated that a Member State intended to authorize the release of funds in order to make a payment due under a contract entered into prior to the listing of an individual or entity. Additionally, the Committee had answered three written queries from Member States, including one that had enabled it to confirm, with the Panel's support, that an inquiring State was not involved in an incident of illegal arms transhipment previously reported by another Member State.
SUSAN RICE ( United States) said that the latest report from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) showed once again Iran's failure to comply with its obligations, as well as its violations of Security Council resolutions, by continuing its uranium-enrichment and heavy-water-related activities, among others, including recently discovered activities at Qom. Condemning Iran's refusal to comply with its international obligations, she called for full enforcement of the international sanctions against the country. She also urged the Committee to implement the Expert Panel's recommendations and make its report available to Member States as soon as possible, and promptly to find a solution to the impasse that had kept the report from being posted.
She said her country stood ready to investigate, with others, reported launches using ballistic missile technology. The United States remained dedicated to preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons and committed to a dual-track policy of applying pressure while working with partners on the important issue. Joint efforts would demonstrate the international community's resolve while encouraging Iran to abandon its dangerous course, she said.
MARTIN BRIENS ( France) said Iran remained at the heart of his country's concerns and it worried that, while the eyes of the international community were diverted elsewhere - the unrest in the Middle East and North Africa - Iran might feel it could profit from such a distraction. Its nuclear and ballistic ambitions continued to pose a major threat, he said, adding that, after having amassed a clandestine nuclear programme over more than 20 years, Iran maintained its refusal to comply with IAEA requests for information. "The alarming signs have only increased," he stressed.
It had been revealed in February 2010 that Iran continued to carry out uranium-enrichment to new thresholds, he recalled, noting that the country had also announced plans to increase its activities three-fold. New facilities had also been revealed only recently, and Iran persisted in its refusal to provide the IAEA with all the information it sought. Moreover, it was now enriching uranium to 20 per cent, beyond the limits necessary for peaceful purposes, which raised fundamental questions, he said, noting in that context that the Agency's latest report created serious concern since it indicated that it was unable to confirm that all nuclear material in Iran was intended for peaceful purposes.
Noting that the report also suggested that secret nuclear activities might be taking place, and emphasizing that the document was widely considered to be credible, he said the sanctions that the Council had imposed on Iran had already had an impact on the ground, and their rigorous implementation must continue. That would require a firm response to Iran's multiple violations, especially with regard to the arms embargo. Among other violations, Iran was involved in an arms trade with Syria, which was contributing to violence in the region, he said. In view of Iran's serious violations, the international community should take action, not simply issue "empty words or empty promises", he concluded.
PETER WITTIG ( Germany) said Iran was in continued violation of its international obligations, and new violations had occurred, stressing that nuclear centrifuges were clearly being transported within the country. Together with France, the United Kingdom and the United States, Germany had reported yet another violation - the 2011 launch of Iran's Rassad-1 satellite, which required ballistic capabilities and was, therefore, in breach of Council resolution 1929 (2010).
Expressing concern that the IAEA continued to receive new information about possible nuclear "weaponization", he called on Iran to engage meaningfully with the international community and adhere to the relevant resolutions, saying the dual-track strategy offered two options. The first was meaningful negotiations within the framework of the "engagement track", which was the preferred option. However, since Iran continued to avoid engaging, there was no option but to pursue the second course of action, the "pressure track", he said, stressing that it was vital to maintain the pressure so as to bring Iran back to the negotiating table.
VITALY CHURKIN ( Russian Federation) said the Committee and Panel should continue to work in an impartial and independent manner, using only verifiable sources and information. To ensure the maximum effectiveness of the sanctions regime, all Member States should be strictly guided by the relevant resolution. In settling the question of Iran's nuclear programmes, compromise solutions must be found through dialogue aimed at reaching the stated aims - eradicating any doubts about the peaceful nature of the Iranian nuclear programme.
LI BAODONG ( China) said his country expected the Committee to act in an objective and prudent manner in facilitating effective implementation of the resolution. The only effective way to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue was through dialogue and negotiation, he stressed, expressing hope that diplomatic efforts, backed by creative thinking, would result in a settlement. Iran enjoyed the right to the peaceful use of nuclear energy while carrying out its international obligations and satisfying international doubts about the peaceful nature of its programme, he said.
MARIA LUIZA RIBEIRO VIOTTI ( Brazil) noted that the Panel of Experts had visited her country last week and had gained detailed knowledge of Brazil's regulations relating to the sanctions. Expressing regret that there had been no progress in the negotiations on Iran's nuclear programmes, she cautioned that there could be no progress without mutual trust. She affirmed Iran's right to a peaceful nuclear programme, as well as the necessity of meeting its international obligations, saying her country had been active in trying to help move the necessary negotiations forward.
JOSÃ‰ FILIPE MORAES CABRAL ( Portugal), expressing hope that the experts' recommendations would soon be translated into concrete measures, stressed that their report should be published and made available to all Member States. Concerns about Iran's nuclear programme had not diminished in the last three months, he said, adding that, while the Director General of the IAEA had recently visited Iran - a positive development - the country's engagement must go beyond a single visit. Iran had indicated that 10 new enrichment facilities would be built in the near future, but had still to provide access to existing facilities, he said, noting that it was also withholding other information that would enable the agency to confirm that its enrichment activities were for peaceful purposes.
ZAHEER LAHER (South Africa), reiterating his country's concerns about the threats posed by nuclear weapons, no matter where in the world they were located, said it would, therefore, not accept a nuclear Iran. South Africa was deeply concerned that Iran was still not cooperating fully with the IAEA, the only agency that could confirm the peaceful nature of its nuclear activities, he said, expressing hope that constructive political dialogue would continue in order to resolve the impasse.
RAFF BUKUN-OLU WOLE ONEMOLA (Nigeria) said his country and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) had consistently voiced concerns about the movement of small arms within the subregion, which was also in violation of international resolutions and, therefore, represented non-compliance with resolution 1737 (2006). Such conventional weapons posed a major threat, he stressed, encouraging the Expert Panel to continue to examine their proliferation. He also agreed with other speakers that Iran was not in full compliance with its nuclear obligations, and urged that country to engage in constructive dialogue that would be an indicator of its support for a peaceful solution to the nuclear question.
MANJEEV SINGH PURI ( India) encouraged the Panel to continue its work impartially, using only verifiable information. India supported the right of all States to the peaceful use of nuclear energy while also abiding by their international obligations, he said, urging Iran to cooperate fully with the IAEA, stressing his country's support for a peaceful resolution of the issue through dialogue. At the same time, the sanctions regime should be implemented in accordance with resolution 1737 (2006), he added.
IVAN BARBALIÄ† ( Bosnia and Herzegovina) affirmed that only the full implementation of non-proliferation safeguards could ensure that nuclear energy was used exclusively for peaceful purposes. All States must submit their nuclear facilities to inspection, he stressed, urging Iran to comply with all relevant Council resolutions, as well as measures requested by the IAEA to ensure that its nuclear activities were solely for peaceful aims. Renewed negotiations were necessary to bring that about, he added.
MICHEL RÃ‰GIS ONANGA NDIAYE ( Gabon), calling for publication of the Expert Panel's report, expressed concern about reports of Iran's continued uranium enrichment and other activities. He urged that country to comply with the IAEA's requests so as to establish trust, and to return to the negotiating table. Deploring reported violations of resolution 1737 (2006), he urged the Committee to do its utmost to ensure implementations of the Panel's recommendations.
MARK LYALL GRANT ( United Kingdom) said the IAEA report had made it clear that Iran remained in violation of the Council's sanctions, in terms of both conventional and nuclear weapons. Uranium was being enriched at a level that violated six such resolutions that required Iran to reduce its enrichment activities. The report also highlighted increasing concerns about the military nature of the country's nuclear programme. Along with other States, the United Kingdom was concerned about, and had reported as a violation, Iran's launch earlier this year of its Rassad-1 satellite, which was dependent upon nuclear ballistic technology, he said.
Emphasizing the importance of equipping Member States with the knowledge and expertise to recognize such violations and understand the actions they could take to prevent further violations, he said his country was, therefore, grateful for the work of the Panel of Experts, and looked forward to the publication of its report as matter of urgency. Iran had given no reason to believe that any dialogue on its nuclear programme would be reciprocated in a meaningful way, he said. For that reason, continued vigilance and the implementation of sanctions remained essential.
Council President NAWAF SALAM ( Lebanon), speaking in his national capacity, stressed that his country supported all initiatives seeking the resumption of peaceful dialogue on outstanding questions concerning the nature of Iran's nuclear programmes. Nonetheless, a balanced view was needed of the three pillars of nuclear non-proliferation - disarmament, non-proliferation and the peaceful use of nuclear energy. In that vein, Lebanon reiterated the right of all States parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) to research and use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. It called for an end to "selectivity" or "double standards" with regard to nuclear non-proliferation in the region, and for the creation of a nuclear-weapon-free Middle East.
Mr. OSORIO (Colombia) said he had taken due note of all comments and concerns raised today, including the need for the 1737 Committee's work to be as clear and transparent as possible, and the body would continue to work in accordance with its mandate.