"The United Kingdom remains committed to finding a peaceful and lasting negotiated solution to the Iran nuclear issue."

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

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Madam President,

I thank the 1737 Committee and their chair, as well as the Panel of Experts for their continued work in supporting implementation of the Council’s resolutions on Iran.

This briefing comes at a crucial moment for Iran. Negotiations between Iran and the E3+3 on a comprehensive agreement on Iran’s nuclear programme will reach their conclusion in the coming days.

We hope that a deal can be reached by the deadline next Tuesday. The E3+3 and Iran agreed the key parameters for a comprehensive agreement in Lausanne on 2 April. This was a major milestone and formed the basis for what could be a very good deal – one that is durable, verifiable and if fully implemented will address our proliferation concerns.

There is, however, much to be done in very little time. Important political and technical issues still need to be resolved before we have a final agreement. Diplomats and technical experts from the E3+3 and Iran are currently meeting in an effort to finalise a comprehensive agreement by 30 June.

In parallel to these negotiations, the E3+3 and Iran have been implementing their commitments under the Joint Plan of Action. I thank my fellow E3+3 members for their support in this effort.

But as this report reminds us, while negotiations continue the bulk of sanctions 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 Council resolutions on this issue. The lifting of sanctions should act as an incentive for Iran to conclude the negotiations on a comprehensive agreement.

Madam President,

Turning to the work of the Committee, I am grateful for the crucial role it plays in supporting the enforcement of the relevant Council sanctions measures on Iran. We also welcome the ongoing work of the Panel of Experts, and the Council’s decision to extend the Panel’s mandate until 9 July 2016.

We also support the Committee’s continued guidance and assistance to Member States and international organisations. But we’re disappointed at Iran’s continued failure to respond to past requests for information on various incidents of concern. Once again we urge Iran to engage constructively with the Committee on these requests.

Madam President,

The United Kingdom remains committed to finding a peaceful and lasting negotiated solution to the Iran nuclear issue. A negotiated settlement with Iran that is durable and verifiable, and that addresses our proliferation concerns, is the best way to stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapons capability.

A comprehensive deal with Iran is in all our interests. For the international community it would provide reassurance that Iran’s nuclear programme is exclusively for peaceful purposes at a time of great instability in the region. For Iran, it would mean, ultimately, the lifting of all sanctions imposed as a result of Iran’s nuclear programme. This would have a huge impact on Iran’s economy and would improve the day to day lives of ordinary Iranians over time. Furthermore, it will present a real opportunity to reset relationships with the international community.

Should they fail to seize this opportunity, Iran faces further years in isolation, to the detriment of its people, its economy and its standing in the region. We hope this will not be the case.

So in order to help secure a better future for Iran, we will continue to make every effort to find a comprehensive agreement. We look to Iran to do the same.

Thank you.

Published 23 June 2015