Statement by Ambassador Alejandro Wolff, U.S. Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations, to the Committee Established Pursuant to Resolution 1737

December 10, 2008

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear

Thank you, Mr. President. The United States welcomes Ambassador Grauls' briefing on the activities of the Iran Sanctions Committee. Today, I would to focus on three points. First, I note that the IAEA Director General's most recent report on Iran contains troubling findings that deserve the Council's attention.

The report documents Iran's continued failure to comply with the Council's demands to suspend all uranium enrichment-related, reprocessing, and heavy-water activities. The report also elaborates on the IAEA's concerns about Iran's past weaponization-related activities, as well as Iran's refusal to permit the IAEA to have the access necessary to establish the international community's confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of its nuclear activities.

Iran's failure to cooperate with the IAEA has indeed gotten worse, in that Iran is once again refusing to permit the IAEA access to conduct a special kind of verification inspection at the Arak reactor, which is essential to monitor the ongoing construction of the facility; which itself is a violation of the Council's resolutions.

The report chillingly notes that Iran's stockpile of low enriched uranium has reached 630 kilograms, which is over half the amount needed for a nuclear weapon. I hope the Council will take serious note of these findings and support the IAEA Secretariat in continuing its investigation.

Second, Mr. President, in light of this evidence of Iran's non-compliance, the Iran Sanctions Committee should redouble efforts to ensure full and robust implementation of Council resolutions 1737, 1747, and 1803. The Committee's efforts are essential to our broader two-track approach, which includes both targeted sanctions and generous incentives for Iran.

As Ambassador Grauls noted, the Iran Sanctions Committee has endeavored to share best practices among Member States and encourage greater transparency in the international community's nuclear dealings with Iran. We particularly welcome Norway's decision to brief the Committee on its nuclear training program in Iran and the safeguards put in place to ensure these activities do not violate existing Security Council resolutions. We urge the Committee to continue its efforts and to consider new, more effective ways to carry out its mandate.

And finally, I would like to thank Ambassador Grauls for his excellent work in leading the 1737 Committee and his dedication to ensuring that the Committee carry on its mandate. He has set a high bar for excellence and professionalism to any successor.

Thank you, Mr. President.