"The comprehensive nuclear agreement with Iran is in all our interests."

Statement by Ambassador Matthew Rycroft of the UK Mission to the UN at the Security Council Briefing on the 1737 Committee (Iran)

read article

Mr President,

I thank the 1737 Committee and the Panel of Experts for their continued work in supporting the Council’s resolutions on Iran. I particularly want to thank you, Ramon, for your continued leadership as chair.

I echo others here today in welcoming the successful conclusion to the negotiations on Iran’s nuclear programme. The agreement of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on 14 July, and the adoption of the resolution 2231 on 20 July, were significant achievements for international diplomacy. I pay tribute to the work of this Council and my E3+3 partners in delivering these important agreements. I hope we can draw on this unity in the coming months when tackling other issues that threaten international peace and security, starting with Syria.

At heart, these important agreements represent a historic shift in our approach to Iran. We now have an opportunity to reset our relationship with Iran at a time of great regional instability. I hope all sides can seize it. Our focus must now be on the swift and full implementation of the JCPOA. We hope that Iran will complete the agreed measures promptly, and give the international community confidence that Iran’s nuclear programme is, and will remain, exclusively peaceful.

Mr President,

As this report reminds us, during the current transitional period, the bulk of sanctions will remain in place and must continue to be enforced in full. This includes all UN sanctions and all obligations on UN Member States arising from resolutions on this issue. In the implementation period that follows, we must remember that many binding restrictions, such as those on conventional weapons and ballistic missiles will remain in place during periods outlined in the JCPOA. The phased lifting of sanctions should act as an incentive for Iran to meet all obligations under the comprehensive agreement. A Council mechanism will be needed to monitor the implementation of the restrictions in SCR 2231and we look forward to working together as a Council in setting up that mechanism.

We welcome the notifications from Members States about the delivery of equipment for use in a light water reactor at the Bushehr nuclear power plant. We also welcome notifications received by the committee about the use of designated funds to pay contracts entered into before designations came into force. This report reminds Member States that we must continue to report any suspected violations of Council provisions in accordance with the requirements set out in relevant resolutions.

Mr President,

Turning to the work of the Committee, I am grateful for the continued crucial role it plays in supporting the enforcement of the relevant Council sanctions measures on Iran. I also welcome the ongoing work of the Panel of Experts and the appointment of seven experts to serve on the Panel. I look forward to working closely with you all on the next steps on this issue.

I am grateful for the assistance provided by the Committee and Panel of Experts to Member States and international organisations, and for their participation in international meetings and conferences. But we remain disappointed at Iran’s continued failure to respond to past requests for information on various incidents of concern. Once again we urge Iran to respond to the Committee’s requests.

Mr President,

The United Kingdom remains committed to a peaceful and lasting solution to the Iran nuclear issue. As the British Foreign Secretary made clear during his historic visit to Tehran last month, the comprehensive nuclear agreement with Iran is in all our interests. For the international community, it is the best way of ensuring Iran does not develop a nuclear weapons capability. For Iran, it can reset relationships with the international community and enable Iran to trade freely with the world, to the benefit of all Iranians. And for both Iran and the international community, this agreement is a chance to end years of enmity and begin a new era of co-operation. On combating the spread of ISIL, on ensuring regional stability, and on issues like counter-narcotics and migration.

So, the United Kingdom will continue to make every effort to implement the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action to help start this process. We look to all parties involved to do the same.

Thank you Mr President.

Published 15 September 2015