Statement by Sir Mark Lyall Grant, Ambassador and Permanent Representative, United Kingdom Mission to the United Nations
Thank you Mr. President,
I would like to begin by reading the text of a statement which has been agreed by the Foreign Ministers of China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States, with the support of the High Representative of the European Union.
The statement reads as follows:
“We, the Foreign Ministers of China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States, would like to take this opportunity to reaffirm our determination and commitment to seek an early negotiated solution to the Iranian nuclear issue.
“The adoption of UNSCR 1929, while reflecting the international community’s concern about the Iranian nuclear programme and reconfirming the need for Iran to comply with the UN Security Council and IAEA Board of Governors requirements, keeps the door open for continued engagement between E3+3 and Iran.
“The aim of our efforts is to achieve a comprehensive and long-term settlement which would restore international confidence in the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme, while respecting Iran’s legitimate rights to the peaceful use of atomic energy. We are resolute in continuing our work for this purpose. We also welcome and commend all diplomatic efforts in this regard, especially those recently made by Brazil and Turkey on the specific issue of the Tehran Research Reactor.
“We reaffirm our June 2008 proposals, which remain valid, as confirmed by resolution 1929. We believe these proposals provide a sound basis for future negotiations. We are prepared to continue dialogue and interaction with Iran in the context of implementing the understandings reached during the Geneva meeting of 1 October 2009. We have asked Baroness Ashton, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, to pursue this with Dr. Saeed Jalili, Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council at the earliest opportunity.
“We expect Iran to demonstrate a pragmatic attitude and to respond positively to our openness towards dialogue and negotiations.”
Mr President, that concludes the statement on behalf of the six Foreign Ministers.
I should like now to make some remarks in my national capacity.
Today the UN Security Council adopted resolution 1929, as a result of the international community’s ongoing serious concerns about the proliferation risks of the Iranian nuclear programme.
Once again the UN Security Council has sent a strong message of international resolve. It is a clear signal that Iran’s continued failure to comply with its UN Security Council and IAEA Board requirements to cease its enrichment-related activities cannot be tolerated.
The UN Security Council last addressed this issue in September 2008 in a clear statement that we wished to resolve our serious concerns through dialogue and negotiation. Since that time we have made several efforts to achieve this
When E3+3 Foreign Ministers met in New York on 23 September 2009 they reiterated their wish to negotiate a comprehensive long-term agreement to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue. But they also made clear that this could only be achieved if both sides were willing to approach these matters in a spirit of mutual respect and were committed to looking for solutions going forward.
At last October’s meeting in Geneva, we reached agreement on three important issues. First, Iran agreed to hold a further meeting on its nuclear programme within a month. Iran also said that it would cooperate fully and immediately with the IAEA on the enrichment facility near Qom. It also agreed in principle to a deal to resupply its Tehran Research Reactor (TRR). We welcomed these commitments, and made clear that we hoped this would be the start of a period of intensive negotiation.
We regret that this did not prove to be the case. Iran has stated repeatedly that it will not discuss its nuclear programme, claiming that our concerns are baseless. They are not - they are fully documented in reports from the IAEA Director-General going back several years and the subject of Security Council Resolutions since July 2006.
The purpose of the facility at Qom remains unestablished. The February 2010 IAEA report made clear once again that Iran had not answered a number of key questions. On the TRR, three days of talks in Vienna produced a detailed proposal from the IAEA that all the parties present agreed. Iran then withdrew its initial acceptance of the TRR proposal, and in February started to enrich LEU to 20%, despite having neither the need to do so nor the means to fabricate the fuel for use in the reactor. Iran also announced the construction of further enrichment facilities.
We acknowledge the good faith efforts of Turkey and Brazil to persuade Iran to engage with the IAEA on the Tehran Research Reactor. However we cannot accept Iran’s attempt to use these efforts to justify its continued defiance of successive UN Security Council resolutions that mandate a suspension of Iran’s enrichment operations.
We have said many times that we do not question Iran’s right to peaceful nuclear energy. But with those rights come responsibilities.
Today’s resolution has been made necessary by Iran’s actions. Once again the resolution restates our willingness to engage in dialogue to address the substance of our concerns. The measures adopted in this and previous resolutions can be suspended when Iran suspends its proscribed activities. We remain ready to resume the talks on Iran’s nuclear programme we started in Geneva on 1 October 2009. We believe that such talks can lead to a solution as long as they are purposeful, discuss both sides’ concerns and make swift progress. In again extending our hand, we show our determination to resolve these matters through dialogue and diplomacy; and in adopting this resolution, we show equal determination to continue to respond robustly to Iran’s refusal to comply with its international obligations.
Thank you, Mr President.