Security Council Briefed by Iran Sanctions Committee Chair; Members Voice Concerns About Nuclear Activities, but Underscore Commitment to Negotiated Solution

US Says, From All Reports, Iran Appears Determined to Develop Nuclear Weapons, Urges Council's Speedy Response to Pattern of Sanctions Evasions
September 15, 2010

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear

Related Country: 

  • United States

The Security Council was briefed today by the Chairperson of its Committee to monitor sanctions against Iran, following which several Council members expressed concern at that country's continuation of its nuclear activities and sanctions violations, while underscoring their commitment to a negotiated solution.

In his briefing, Tsuneo Nishida (Japan), Chairperson of the sanctions committee - officially known as the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1737 (2006) - recalled that, by resolution 1929 (2010) of 9 June, the Council had designated 36 additional persons as subject to the travel ban. (See Press Release SC/9948) The Council had also designated 40 additional entities and one person to an assets freeze. Mr. Nishida reported that the Committee had responded to a request by one Member State to certify that certain individuals and entities were not on the list.

He said that in order to intensify efforts to promote the full implementation of resolutions 1737 (2006), 1747 (2007), 1803 (2008) and 1929 (2010), the Committee had submitted on 23 July a work programme covering compliance, investigations, outreach, dialogue, assistance and cooperation. He expected that the panel of experts, as required by resolution 1929 (2010), would be appointed soon.

As that resolution also called upon all States to report to the Committee within 60 days on the steps they had taken to implement various provisions of the text, Mr. Nishida expressed regret that, so far, the Committee had received only 36 reports and he reiterated his call on all Member States that had not already done so to submit their reports.

Mr. Nishida further reported that the Committee had received three notifications from a Member State concerning the delivery of items for use in the nuclear power plant in Bushehr, Iran. The Committee had also received a notification from a Member State regarding the making of payments due under contracts entered into prior to the listing of two entities.

The representative of the United States, Susan Rice, said that three months had passed since the passage of resolution 1929 (2010), but that Iran was still refusing to take any steps to address concerns that it was developing nuclear weapons. Iran's enrichment of uranium, its hampering of the work of inspectors and other actions in violation of Council resolutions continued. It was also not cooperating fully with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), a fundamental benchmark of its peaceful intentions. From all reports, the country appeared determined to develop nuclear weapons. It had also continued to export arms and develop ballistic missiles.

The Council, she said, must continue an appropriate response to serial violations. The Council must also consider a programme to encourage rigorous implementation of sanctions and should move quickly to respond to Iran's well-documented pattern of sanctions evasions. She expressed concern over delays in setting up the expert panel and urged quick action. She also underscored the continued commitment of her country to dialogue and a negotiated solution to the nuclear issue. The goal remained to keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons, and she pledged to continue working with the international community towards that end.

China's representative, Li Baodong, said that his country would continue to support and cooperate with the Committee, expressing appreciation for its effective work. He said that Council resolutions aimed for a peaceful solution to the nuclear issue. Countries had an obligation to implement the resulting measures, but not arbitrarily. Sanctions should in no way impede the development of Iran and its relations with other countries, or the normal life of the Iranian people. Sanctions, moreover, were not an end in themselves, and solving the problem through dialogue was crucial.

China, he affirmed, was opposed to the possession of nuclear weapons by Iran and supported the dual-track strategy of dialogue and pressure. He hoped that all parties would seize current opportunities to restart talks and take a flexible approach. He hoped IAEA would continue to take a proper role and that Iran would take actions to build the trust of the international community. His country would continue to work with the Committee and help build momentum for peaceful dialogue and engagement.

The representative of the United Kingdom, Mark Lyall Grant, said he remained deeply concerned both about Iran's nuclear programme and about its serial violations of Council resolutions, because of which his country had supported resolution 1929 (2010), introducing further sanctions. He highlighted concerns, as well, over Iran's engagement in activities related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons, advocating that the Council and the Committee should consider an appropriate response.

He said that for the dual-track strategy to succeed, the rigorous implementation by all States of all measures on Iran was necessary. For that reason, he welcomed the specific work programme submitted by the Committee on 23 July and looked forward to the early appointment of a professional and dedicated panel of experts. At the same time, his country remained ready to resume talks, showing determination to resolve matters through dialogue and diplomacy, in stark contrast with Iran's repeated refusals to discuss its nuclear programme.

The representative of the Russian Federation, Vitaly Churkin, welcoming the creation of the work programme and the expert panel, said his country's position remained unchanged, prioritizing dialogue, negotiation and a peaceful solution to the issue of Iran's nuclear programme, while ensuring full compliance with IAEA. He called upon Iran to take steps to resume negotiations with the interested "group of six" as soon as possible.

Gérard Araud, France's representative, referring to the 6 September IAEA report, which stressed that Iran continued to refuse to comply with Council and IAEA requirements, stated that "Iran's nuclear programme has no credible civilian applications". He also expressed concern about Iran's activities regarding ballistic missiles with nuclear capacity, which violated the provisions of resolution 1929 (2010). The Council and the Committee must focus on violations of Council resolutions and provide an adequate response. Although the aim of those resolutions was to promote dialogue, it should be acknowledged that Iran had refused offers to establish such dialogue. "The ball is in their court," he said.

Measures adopted by the Council were in themselves not enough, he said, but should be implemented strictly by all in order to support the dual-track approach. He, therefore, encouraged all Member States that had not yet done so to submit their national reports. While welcoming the Committee's submission of its programme of work, he expressed the hope that the expert panel would be appointed shortly.