Don’t Allow Missile Programme Concerns, United States Pull-out to Erase Benefits of Iran Nuclear Deal

Non-Proliferation Debate Exposes Rift as Secretary of State, Permanent Representative Exchange Several Accusations
December 12, 2018

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear
  • Missile

Concern over ballistic missile programme and weapons transfers, as well as the re-imposition of sanctions by the United States must not be allowed to erase the benefits of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Iran’s nuclear programme, the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs told the Security Council today.

“Issues not directly related to the Plan should be addressed without prejudice to preserving the agreement and its accomplishments,” said Rosemary DiCarlo, conveying the Secretary-General’s regret over the withdrawal of the United States from the JCPOA, and his call for Iran to address carefully the concerns expressed by Member States about its activities relating to restrictions annexed to resolution 2231 (2015), by which the Security Council endorsed the Joint Plan of Action.

Summarizing the Secretary-General’s latest report on the issue (document S/2018/1089), she affirmed that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has again reported that Iran continues to implement its nuclear-related commitments under the Joint Plan.  She also conveyed reports from Member States and analysis by the Secretariat relating to the transfer of “dual-use” items.  Reporting on Iran’s testing of ballistic missiles, she said that Secretariat investigations of missiles fired by Houthi rebels in Yemen against Saudi Arabia found debris consistent with Iranian components.

Also briefing the Council were Serge Christiane, observer for the European Union delegation — on behalf of the bloc’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy in her capacity as Coordinator of the Joint Commission established under the Joint Plan — and Karel Jan Gustaaf Van Oosterom, the representative of the Netherlands and the Council’s facilitator for implementation of resolution 2231 (2015).

Mr. Christiane said the JCPOA enjoys wide support in the broader international community because it ensures that Iran does not acquire the materials to develop a nuclear weapon.  The European Union deeply regrets the decision by the United States to withdraw from the deal, he added.  Ministerial participants in the Joint Commission reiterated their commitment to preserving financial channels with Iran and continuing trade in its oil and gas.  European signatories to the deal are committed to establishing a vehicle to facilitate trade payments and legitimate business with Iran, he said, emphasizing that the initiative is not directed against any State or meant to circumvent unilateral measures.  At the same time, the European Union and its members called repeatedly upon Iran to refrain from activities that may deepen mistrust and to address the issue of ballistic missiles, he said, while underlining that such issues are distinct from the JCPOA and must be addressed through dialogue.

Mr. Van Oosterom said that communications among all parties — including the open discussion on Iran’s launch of ballistic missiles before the release of the facilitator’s latest report — is key to facilitating resolution 2231 (2015).  He also reported on the functioning of the procurement channel used by States seeking to participate in or permit certain transfers of nuclear and dual-use goods, technology or services to Iran.

Following the briefings, the Secretary of State of the United States said his country withdrew from the JCPOA because Iran used it as cover to develop a robust ballistic missile force and extend its destabilizing activities in the Middle East.  “The United States will never stand for this and no country interested in peace in the Middle East should either,” he declared.  Iran’s ballistic missile activity was prohibited under resolution 1929 (2010), which it violated even before the JCPOA was agreed.  Noting reports of weapons transfers and other threats, he stressed that rewarding such impunity only magnifies the risk of conflict.  The United States will support Iran’s full integration into the world economy, but only after substantial shifts in policy, he stressed.

Other Council members as well as Germany — a non-Council signatory to the JCPOA — supported the Secretary-General’s position that the Joint Plan represents a major achievement for multilateralism and non-proliferation that must be sustained.  At the same time, some speakers called upon Iran to refrain from any actions that could decrease trust, while others, such as the United Kingdom and Kuwait, called for firm determination in addressing the ballistic missile tests.

The Russian Federation and China, on the other hand, pointing to the IAEA’s confirmation of Iran’s compliance on nuclear issues, called for an even-handed consideration of annex B matters, while cautioning that countries must not be coerced into going along with unilateral sanctions.

Iran’s representative said the Council must condemn the withdrawal of the United States from the agreement and its re-imposition of sanctions as a flagrant violation of resolution 2231 (2015), saying it is ironic but not surprising that Washington is accusing his country of being in violation.  “Deception is an inseparable part of the US foreign policy, as is bullying and its addiction to sanctions and war-mongering,” he noted.  Iran’s ballistic missiles are exclusively capable of delivering conventional warheads required to deter foreign threats, he said, adding that other allegations against his country are not relevant to the resolution, and have been addressed through other diplomatic channels.

Also speaking today were representatives of France, Sweden, Peru, Kazakhstan, Poland, Bolivia, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Netherlands and Côte d’Ivoire.

The meeting began at 10:09 a.m. and ended at 12:39 p.m.


ROSEMARY DICARLO, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, described the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) as a major achievement in nuclear non-proliferation, dialogue and diplomacy, noting that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported again last month that Iran continues to implement its nuclear-related commitments.  She conveyed the Secretary-General’s welcoming reaction to the JCPOA participants’ reaffirmation of their commitment to its full and effective implementation as well as his regret over the re-imposition of sanctions by the United States following its withdrawal from the Plan.  He believes, she added, that issues not directly related to the Plan should be addressed without prejudice in order to preserve the agreement.  At the same time, the Secretary-General calls upon Iran to carefully consider and address the concerns expressed by Member States about its activities in relation to the restrictive measures contained in annex B to the relevant resolution, she said, adding that he notes “the Plan remains in effect and that the Security Council has called upon all Member States, regional and international organizations to support implementation of the Plan and to refrain from the actions that undermine it”.

Summarizing the latest report of the Secretary-General (document S/2018/1089), she said the Secretariat has received additional information on two dual-use items destined for Iran that were seized by the United Arab Emirates.  The manufacturing States informed the Secretariat of their assessment that they do not require the Council’s prior approval through the procurement channel process.  The Secretariat continues to examine information related to the possible transfer of other items, undertaken in contravention of the resolution, which were brought to its attention by the United Arab Emirates and the United States, she said.  The Secretary-General encourages all States as well as the private sector to utilize the procurement channel fully, she said, describing it as a vital transparency and confidence-building mechanism that has approved 28 proposals since 2016.

On ballistic missiles, she said the report reflects information provided by France, Germany, Iran, Israel, Russian Federation and the United Kingdom on additional ballistic-missile flight tests reportedly conducted by Iran since January 2018, as well as the launch of several missiles at targets inside Syria on 1 October 2018.  The Council met on 4 December 2018 to consider Iran’s reported test of a further medium-range ballistic missile on 1 December 2018, she recalled, noting in addition that the Secretariat found debris from three more ballistic missiles launched at Riyadh, Saudi Arabia’s capital, by Yemen’s Houthis in March and April 2018 to be consistent with Iran’s Qiam-1 missile.  However, it is not clear whether transfers occurred after the JCPOA’s annex B provisions came into effect.

Other weapons components recovered in Yemen also appear to be consistent with Iranian manufacture, she continued, adding that the Secretariat is still analysing information on unmanned vehicles found there.  However, the Secretariat did not find Iranian production characteristics in a shipment of assault rifles seized by the United States in the Gulf of Aden in August 2018, although it intends to analyse the shipment further should new information become available.  The report also contains information received from Israel and Iran about the alleged transfer of an Iranian air-defence system to Syria in April 2018, as well as information on the participation of Iranian entities in a foreign arms exhibition held in Baku, Azerbaijan, in September 2018.  The report also provides additional information on travel by Major General Qasem Soleimani to Iraq in May 2018, she said.

SERGE CHRISTIANE, European Union delegation, briefed on behalf of the bloc’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy in her capacity as Coordinator of the Joint Commission established by the JCPOA.  Recalling that IAEA confirmed in 13 consecutive reports that Iran continues to implement its nuclear-related commitments, he affirmed that the JCPOA is delivering on its goals.  As long as Iran continues to implement its nuclear-related commitments in full, the European Union will remain committed to the continued, full and effective implementation of the agreement, he said, pointing out that its non-proliferation benefits are clear and based on comprehensive scientific analysis and break-out time calculations.

He went on to state that the JCPOA enjoys wide support in the broader international community because it has significantly rolled back Iran’s nuclear programme and ensures that the country does not acquire the materials to develop a nuclear weapon.  Acknowledging that the JCPOA faces considerable challenges following the withdrawal of the United States and the latter’s re-imposition of sanctions against Iran, he said the European Union deeply regrets those decisions, emphasizing that there is no credible peaceful alternative.  Dismantling the agreement would destroy years of diplomatic efforts supported by Security Council resolution 2231 (2015) and undermine other key multilateral negotiations in the nuclear field, he cautioned.  It is essential that the agreement continue to work for all parties involved, including by delivering tangible economic benefits to the Iranian people, he emphasized.

Recalling that JCPOA participants acknowledged the importance of lifting sanctions in recent ministerial meetings of the Joint Commission, he said they reiterated their commitment to preserving effective financial channels with Iran and continuing its export of oil and gas.  Noting that the current situation leads to a difficult domestic debate on the agreement inside Iran, he expressed concern about the economic challenges faced by that country’s people and impediments to their access to basic goods, including vital medicines.  He recalled that High Representative Federica Mogherini as well as ministers from France, Germany and the United Kingdom recently committed to advancing the establishment of a special purpose vehicle intended to facilitate trade payments and provide sovereign reassurances to market participants engaged in legitimate business with Iran.  He emphasized that this European initiative is not directed against any State or meant to circumvent unilateral measures.  Rather, it seeks to respect the nuclear deal, in full accordance with resolution 2231 (2015) and European law, he explained.

The European Union notes with concern the findings in the Secretary General’s report on Iran’s activities in relation to the restrictive measures contained in annex B of the resolution, he said, citing those pertaining to ballistic missile-related activities.  Such actions feed tensions and threaten regional safety and stability, he added.  Citing the European Union’s long-standing track record of expressing its concern about regional military build-ups, he recalled that the bloc called repeatedly upon Iran to refrain from activities that may deepen mistrust.  The situation in the region, including the proliferation of ballistic missiles, must be addressed, he stressed, noting that the European Union put restrictive measures in place to that end and welcomes further examination by the Secretariat.  Yet, these issues are distinct from the JCPOA, he pointed out, adding that they should be addressed through dialogue.

Giving assurances that the European Union’s dialogue with Iran is yielding results, he spotlighted the recent European Union-E4 discussions with that country that focused on Yemen and Syria, saying they led both sides to acknowledge publicly the importance of the talks in Sweden and to work on confidence-building measures in support of the United Nations Special Envoy.  The JCPOA is not only about constraining Iran’s nuclear programme, but also broader, long-term re-engagement, he said, emphasizing the positive nature of every step towards implementation of Annex III of the agreement, which addresses civil nuclear cooperation with Iran.  The bloc launched several projects in support of Annex III, including the third European Union-Iran High-level Seminar on International Nuclear Cooperation, he added.  The Procurement Channel established under Annex IV remains a unique non-proliferation and confidence-building instrument which can help to prevent the misuse of nuclear or dual-use items, he said, stressing that the bloc expects that all Security Council members will continue to support the Channel, in accordance with resolution 2231 (2015).  Noting that the Joint Commission reports to the Security Council every six months on the status of the Procurement Working Group’s decisions and any implementation issues, he assured that transparency is a cornerstone of the JCPOA.

KAREL JAN GUSTAAF VAN OOSTEROM (Netherlands), speaking in his capacity as facilitator for the implementation of resolution 2231 (2015), highlighted talks, transparency and trade as the three key elements of his facilitation.  Talks entails communicating with all parties, Council discussions in the “2231 format”, and smooth correspondence within that format, he added.  Recalling the Council’s 10 December “2231 format” meeting on the findings and recommendations contained in the sixth report of the Secretary-General on Council resolution 2231 (2015), he said that before its public release, the facilitation held an open discussion on Iran’s launch of ballistic missiles.

During the reporting period, several Member States sent communications to the Council alleging transfers and activities by Iran, he continued.  That country also sent several letters in which it laid out its concerns over the United States withdrawal from the JCPOA.  He added that his report provides a comprehensive overview of the facilitation’s work in 2018, the IAEA’s continued monitoring activities and the key aspects of the procurement channel’s functioning.  As for the facilitation of trade, he said the procurement channel reviews proposals by States seeking to participate in or permit certain transfers of nuclear and dual-use goods, technology or services to Iran.  Noting that 42 proposals have been submitted by Member States from three different regional groups since the beginning of 2016, he said they include States that are not participants in the JCPOA, and proposals were processed in fewer than 50 calendar days on average.


MICHAEL R. POMPEO, Secretary of State of the United States, recalled that an Iranian official boasted two days ago about his country’s ability to build missiles with a range exceeding 2,000 kilometres.  Iran has exploited the good will of the international community in its quest for a robust ballistic missile force, he said, declaring:  “The United States will never stand for this and no country interested in peace in the Middle East should either.”  The country has already violated resolution 1929 (2010), which already prohibited ballistic missile activity by Iran when the JCPOA was agreed, and its accountability has decreased dramatically.  Today, Iran has the largest missile force in the Middle East, he stressed, noting that it has hundreds of missiles that pose a threat to civilians in the region and, if the officials are accurate, can also reach Athens, Sofia, Bucharest and other major European cities.

He went on to note reports of Iran’s testing of space-launch vehicles and missiles with multiple-warhead capability, as well as its supplying of weapons to the Houthis in Yemen and other militants.  “No nation can dispute that Iran is in open defiance of resolution 2231,” he emphasized.  Thanking all partners that have provided evidence, he cautioned that rewarding such impunity only magnifies the risk of conflict.  The United States will work with all other Council members to re-impose restrictions instituted by resolution 1929 (2010), he pledged.  The United States will also continue to unite nations in efforts for the security of their own people and that of the international community, and to offer its unwavering support to the Iranian people, he vowed.  If the Government of Iran meets the demands of the United States in that light, Washington will support Tehran’s full integration into the world economy, he vowed, while underlining that such support will require substantial and sustained shifts in Iran’s policies.

FRANÇOIS DELATTRE (France) called the JCPOA a product of international perseverance, saying it is a major compromise reached after years of negotiations and an “embodiment of the unity of the international community”.  Reiterating his delegation’s regret over the withdrawal of the United States and its re-imposition of sanctions on Iran, he emphasized that “today there is no credible alternative” to the Joint Plan.  Iran continues to honour the conditions of the agreement, he noted, calling upon all Member States to honour their commitments as well.  France will continue its active support for the agreement as long as Iran continues to fulfil its obligations, he pledged.  However, certain elements of Iran’s activities are not in line with provisions of resolution 2231 (2015), he said, expressing concern over the ballistic issue and calling for firm and frank dialogue with Iran.

KAREN PIERCE (United Kingdom), stressing that “the world is an unpredictable place right now”, said that, throughout the negotiations on resolution 2231 (2015), the Council was not simply addressing nuclear issues.  Member States in the region are deeply concerned about instability, she noted, emphasizing that her country’s policy towards Iran is motivated by the need to uphold the non-proliferation regime, constrain the country’s destabilizing actions in the region, and encourage it to normalize relations with the international community.  Noting that Iran has been abiding by its obligations under the JCPOA, she said the United Kingdom has been working to ensure that it continues to receive the economic benefits agreed upon as part of that deal.  However, work remains to be done regarding Iran’s destabilizing behaviour, she said, underlining that compliance with the Plan of Action is not a licence to engage in such behaviour elsewhere.

VASSILY A. NEBENZIA (Russian Federation) agreed that the decision by the United States to withdraw from the Plan of Action is not conducive to the goals of Council resolution 2231 (2015), adding his voice to the “global appeal to ensure that we preserve this unique agreement”.  Recalling that his delegation cautioned against attempts to torpedo the JCPOA, he said reason did not prevail.  One member not only openly refuses to comply with a Council resolution, it is also trying to punish other Member States for implementing that resolution, he noted.  The report shows clear evidence of Iran’s unconditional implementation of its obligations, as confirmed by the Secretariat and IAEA, he said, pointing out that Iran’s behaviour in the region is being presented as the “source of all woes”.  He called upon the international community to create the conditions for improving trust among Arab States, Israel and Iran.

OLOF SKOOG (Sweden) called the JCPOA a successful multilateral solution to collectively shared challenges, noting that it has effectively ensured a peaceful Iranian nuclear programme.  Emphasizing the importance of respecting both sides of the Joint Plan, he said the Procurement Channel must function and the Joint Commission must discuss outstanding issues.  The withdrawal of the United States and its re-imposition of sanctions is regrettable, he said, but Sweden fully supports efforts within the European Union to protect and preserve the JCPOA in all its aspects.  Emphasizing the need for all actors in the region jointly to de-escalate tensions and make common efforts towards political solutions to ongoing conflicts and crises, he said it is also crucial to continue political dialogue with Iran on its role in the region and on its internal human rights situation.

MANSOUR AYYAD SH. A. ALOTAIBI (Kuwait) recalled that his country welcomed the JCPOA, as well as the subsequent adoption of resolution 2231 (2015), even though the agreement does not address all the concerns of countries in the region, which still suffer from deteriorating security conditions and continued interference in their internal affairs.  Kuwait’s position on the agreement is based on its complete support for international resolutions, efforts in favour of security and stability in the Middle East, and its position on non-proliferation issues, he said.  Noting that resolution 2231 (2015) is not limited to nuclear issues, he condemned the continued launching of ballistic missiles against Saudi Arabia and expressed concerns over the transfer of military weapons and equipment to other countries in the region.  He went on to underline the need to preserve regional security and stability; adhere to the principle of non-interference; respect national sovereignty; settle disputes by peaceful means; refrain from the use of force; and renounce sectarianism.  He reiterated the importance of the Security Council continuing to discharge its responsibility in following up on the implementation of resolution 2231 (2018) in a comprehensive manner that guarantees that Iran and other States fulfil their non-proliferation and other commitments as laid out in the resolution, he added.

MA ZHAOXU (China) said the Joint Plan has the effect of international law and must be fully and effectively implemented in the common international interest.  Welcoming Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA, as verified by the IAEA, he said the withdrawal of any signatory is regrettable.  China will uphold multilateral agreements and work for normal economic and trade cooperation with Iran, he said, citing the freedom of States to trade with Iran under the JCPOA.  United Nations reports on the issue should avoid being one-sided and including unverified information, he said, stressing that they must also reflect Iran’s concerns.  China remains committed to upholding impartiality, objectivity and responsibility in its continuing support for the Joint Plan, he added.

GUSTAVO MEZA-CUADRA (Peru) said his delegation attaches the utmost importance to implementation of resolution 2231 (2015) as an achievement of multilateralism and diplomacy in terms of peaceful settlement of disputes.  Noting the IAEA’s verifications of Iran’s compliance, he expressed concern, however, over reports relating to the restrictive measures contained in annex B, as well as reports of supplying weapons to Yemen’s Houthi rebels.  He called upon Iran to allay such concerns and to participate in the creation of a new dynamic for peace in the Middle East by refraining from ballistic missile activity.  At the same time, it is important to continue to support the JCPOA as part of efforts to consolidate the non-proliferation regime and maintain international peace and stability.

KAIRAT UMAROV (Kazakhstan), noting that the Secretary-General’s report contains notifications and claims from Member States, said that rules out the unconditional conclusion that Iran has violated the requirements of resolution 2231 (2015).  Such claims, including the need for additional analysis and verification by the Secretariat, dilute the report’s content and reduce its validity, he said, adding that the Secretariat’s interaction with the Security Council on checking notifications from Member States and undertaking special missions trips to examine physical evidence remain unclear.  Since the Secretariat has no direct mandate to carry out such actions, the Council should consider how to deal with responses to notifications of alleged violations, he said.  Issues with no clear restrictions or prohibitions in the framework of resolution 2231 (2015), including controversial questions relating to Iran’s ballistic activities should be discussed in cases of serious need, separately and without prejudice to prospects for further implementation of the JCPOA, he emphasized.

JOANNA WRONECKA (Poland), calling the Joint Plan an important achievement of multilateral diplomacy, recalled the IAEA’s confirmation of Iran’s compliance with its obligations.  Calling upon Iran to ratify the JCPOA’s additional protocols, she emphasized that stabilizing security in the Middle East is crucial for international peace.  “It is necessary to take a broader perspective on the matter,” she added, noting that the nuclear agreement does not deal with all issues.  Iran’s development of ballistic missiles deepens mistrust and causes unnecessary escalation, she said, describing the ballistic missile programme as counter-productive while expressing support for the Procurement Channel and the coordinating role of the European Union.

SACHA SERGIO LLORENTTY SOLÍZ (Bolivia), noting that his country belongs to the world’s first densely populated region to be entirely free of nuclear weapons, expressed its commitment to non-proliferation.  Citing the Secretary-General’s report, he noted that Iran continues to uphold its nuclear-energy obligations despite the difficulties caused by the withdrawal of the United States from the JCPOA.  Generating mutual trust between States is crucial to denuclearization of the Middle East, he said, pointing out that full compliance with the Plan would stand as a guarantor for denuclearization in other parts of the world.  Noting that it has taken 12 years of intensive diplomatic activity to see the JCPOA adopted, he stressed that the unilateral decisions of one State must not be allowed to jeopardize it.

ANATOLIO NDONG MBA (Equatorial Guinea), noting that Council resolution 2231 (2015) is a key part of the global architecture of international peace and security, said IAEA must continue to ensure that Iran’s nuclear programme continues to function in accordance with the provisions of the Joint Plan.  Welcoming the Agency’s affirmation that Iran is indeed upholding its obligations, he noted the challenges arising from the decision by the United States to withdraw from the JPPOA.  Expressing concern about Iran’s implementation of provisions relating to ballistic missiles, he said that some reports have not been duly verified, and competent institutions must, therefore, conduct an independent and impartial investigation into such reports and inform the Council.

Taye Atske Selassie (Ethiopia), noting that Iran continues to adhere to its nuclear-related obligations, said it is encouraging that the Secretary-General has not received any reports on the supply, transfer or export of nuclear materials, equipment or technology concerning Iran.  He also noted the communications regarding ballistic missile tests, as reflected in the report, cautioning that such activities will impact the broader implementation of the Joint Plan.  Emphasizing that it is crucial that the Plan work for all participants, he said it is also necessary that it achieve its broader goal of non-proliferation.

Mr. VAN OOSTEROM (Netherlands) said that preserving the JCPOA is crucial to preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons.  IAEA inspectors spend more than 3,000 calendar days on the ground in Iran, monitoring more than 25 locations on a 24/7 basis, he said, adding that the Agency’s 13 reports confirm that Iran is living up to its commitments.  Deploring the decision by the United States to withdraw from the Joint Plan, he declared:  “This international agreement effectively blocks the route to an Iranian nuclear weapon.  It is better than any alternative.”  Expressing concern over Iran’s ballistic missile programme and its destabilizing role in the region, he condemned any Iranian involvement in the transfer of missiles to the Houthi in Yemen, and called for continued implementation of and support for resolution 2231 (2015).  Iran should continue to benefit from the agreement, as foreseen, he stressed.

LÉON H. KACOU ADOM (Côte d’Ivoire), Council President for December spoke in his national capacity, expressing regret that unity within the Security Council has been undermined by the weakening of the JCPOA in spite of the IAEA’s successive verifications of Iran’s compliance.  Implementation of the Joint Plan should continue, he said.  On ballistic missiles tests, he called upon Iran to comply strictly with all its commitments under the JCPOA in order to strengthen trust and cooperation, emphasizing that it should allay any ambiguity over ballistic missiles and weapons transfers.  Expressing support for the creation of an investigative committee to determine the truth of allegations, he said that implementation of the JCPOA must be maintained in any case to consolidate non-proliferation and multilateralism.  All States parties should return to the negotiating table in order to work out any differences, and Iran should abide rigorously by all provisions of resolution 2231 (2015), he stressed.

ESHAGH AL HABIB (Iran), thanking all Council members who reaffirmed support for the JCPOA, said that preserving it is of utmost importance at a time when multilateralism is under threat.  Noting that resolution 2231 (2015) contains provisions on facilitating normal trade relations with his country, he said the Council must view the withdrawal of the United States from the agreement and its re-imposition of sanctions as a flagrant violation.  That country must be held accountable, he added, noting that it is ironic, though not surprising, that the United States is accusing Iran of violating the resolution.  “Deception is an inseparable part of the US foreign policy, as is bullying and its addiction to sanctions and war-mongering,” he said, citing that country’s success in persuading the Council to apply sanctions before the Joint Plan’s adoption, although Iran’s nuclear programme is solely for peaceful purposes.

Calling up the Council to strongly condemn the United States for re-imposing illegal sanctions, he said the measures harm vulnerable people in Iran, preventing the import of even basic foodstuffs by harming confidence in the country’s banking system.  Weaponizing food and disrespecting the sovereignty of other nations renders the United States guilty of crimes against humanity and terrorism, he emphasized.  Regarding Iran’s ballistic missile launches, he said “the programme is designed to be exclusively capable of delivering conventional warheads required to deter foreign threats”.  He added that the United States, while denying threats against his country by Israel and others, wishes to take Iran back to the period when Saddam’s missiles — including some carrying chemical components manufactured in the United States — rained down on Iranian cities without the most rudimentary means of self-defence.

He went on to underline that insecurity in the region is a result of Israel’s occupation of Palestine, interventions by the United States and the latter’s massive military build-up in the region.  Noting that almost all Member States have strongly supported the Joint Plan and loudly voiced their rejection of the illegal unilateral sanctions imposed by the United States, he called upon the Council to demand that it end its application of the unilateral measures.  He added that his statement did not address the baseless allegations made by the United States against his country because most of them are either not relevant to the agenda of today’s meeting or do not even fall under the Council’s purview.  However, Iran has responded to such allegations through other diplomatic means.

CHRISTOPH HEUSGEN (Germany), associating himself with the European Union as well as the United Kingdom and France, said the Secretary-General’s report is balanced, thorough and appropriate in its scope and methodology.  Noting that Council resolution 2231 (2015) endorses the Joint Plan, which in turn strengthens the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), he said the JCPOA is an important asset to global peace and preserving it is of utmost importance to Europe.  As long as Iran is in full compliance with the Joint Plan, Germany will remain a partner within the JCPOA, he added.  However, full implementation of annex B is important to international peace and security, he emphasized, noting that Iran’s plans to develop ballistic missiles is inconsistent with that.  Describing the position of the United States as being akin to throwing the baby out with the bathwater, he said that, as a German, he knows all about idealism, and if everyone was idealistic, there would be no need for the Council.  “We have to live with the non-ideal situation,” and that calls for preserving the Joint Plan, he said.