UK committed to negotiated solution on Iran nuclear

Statement by UK Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant to UN Security Council on Iran 1737 Sanctions

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Sir Mark Lyall Grant

Thank you, Mr. President.

I thank the 1737 Committee, under the Chairmanship of Ambassador Quinlan, as well as the Panel of Experts for their continued work in supporting implementation of the Security Council’s Resolutions on Iran.

On the 24 November, the E3+3 and Iran reached a first stage agreement on the nuclear issue. This was an important and encouraging milestone. For the first time, we reached a detailed agreement which goes a long way to address the most worrying aspects of the Iranian nuclear programme. The unity of all five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council behind this agreement, in itself sends a powerful signal. The United Kingdom commits to fulfil our part of this agreement in good faith, and we look to Iran to do the same.

The deal provides more time to negotiate a comprehensive solution by halting further advances in Iran’s nuclear programme. Meanwhile, and most importantly, the majority of sanctions remain in place, including, as the Committee’s 90 day report made clear, all United Nations sanctions. We must continue to enforce these sanctions robustly as a powerful incentive for Iran to reach a comprehensive solution that would ensure an exclusively peaceful nuclear programme

Mr. President,

Reaching this interim agreement has been a difficult and painstaking process. We are right to test to the full Iran’s readiness to act in good faith, to work with the rest of the international community and to enter into international agreements. If Iran does not abide by its commitments it will bear a heavy responsibility.

Early signs indicate that Iran is cooperating, For example we welcome the recent signature of a Joint Statement on a Framework for Cooperation between Iran and the IAEA. We are pleased to see that Iran has finally agreed to cooperate with the Agency to resolve all present and past issues. This is a step in the right direction. However, Iran has still to address the substance of the Agency’s concerns over the possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear programme.

Mr President,

Turning to the work of the Committee, we remain concerned by breaches and possible breaches by Iran of its international obligations.

The Committee’s report notes the recent discovery of a consignment of high-grade carbon fibre destined for Iran. The Panel of Experts investigated the circumstances of this case and concluded that Iran’s attempted procurement was indeed a violation of its obligations under resolution 1929. This is deeply regrettable. The United Kingdom welcomes the Panel’s work and calls on it to continue to investigate these reports and bring relevant information to the Committee’s attention. The Committee must take appropriate action in response, including considering an Implementation Assistance Notice to assist Member States.

In January the Panel of Experts reached the clear and unanimous conclusion in its report that Iran’s ballistic missile launched last year constituted a violation of resolution 1929. Efforts by the Chair to engage with Iran on this issue have unfortunately been spurned; Iran has still not responded to the Committee’s letter of 12 April requesting further information, despite multiple requests to do so. The evidence of this breach is compelling and the Committee should now take further actions in response.

The Panel’s reports on Gaza and the illicit arms interdiction reported by the Government of Yemen provide credible information that Iran continues to illicitly transfer arms within the region - in contravention of the UN embargo on the export of weapons by Iran. Such actions are unacceptable and only serve to undermine regional security. We encourage the Panel to continue to monitor this issue, identify individuals and entities responsible and make recommendations to the Committee, as appropriate.

Mr. President,

The United Kingdom is committed to finding a peaceful, negotiated solution on the nuclear issue. The first step agreement is in the interests of the whole world. We will apply the same rigour and determination we have shown in the negotiations when it comes to implementation of the agreement, and to the search for a comprehensive settlement.

I thank you.

Published 13 December 2013