Statement by Ambassador Matthew Rycroft of the UK Mission to the UN at the Security Council Meeting on Iran
Thank you Madam President.
Let me join others in thanking the 1737 Committee and their chair, as well as the Panel of Experts, for their continued hard work in supporting the Council’s resolutions on Iran.
I would like to begin by echoing Roman’s words and welcome the passing of Adoption Day on 18 October. This was a major milestone on the road to the successful implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Our focus now must be on the swift and full implementation of the JCPOA. We look to Iran to complete promptly the agreed measures, giving the international community confidence that their nuclear programme is, and will remain, exclusively peaceful.
We also join others in noting the important decisions taken today by the IAEA Board of Governors.
As this report reminds us, however, during the current transitional period, the bulk of sanctions will remain in place and will 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 phased lifting of sanctions should act as an incentive for Iran to meet all obligations under the comprehensive agreement.
This report is also a reminder that Member States must continue to raise any suspected violations of Council provisions in accordance with the requirements set out in the resolutions. There have been three of note since we last met to discuss this issue. First, the notification from Members States informing the Committee of the delivery of natural uranium to Iran. Second, the two notifications regarding the transfer of low-enriched uranium from Iran in accordance with Resolution 2231. And finally, the notification regarding the successful disposal of cargo pursuant to Resolution 1929.
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 restrictive measures on Iran.
We note with great concern the medium-range ballistic missile Iran launched on October 10, which was subsequently referred to the Committee for investigation. This was a Missile Technology Control Regime Category I missile, capable of delivering a nuclear weapon, and as such it was clearly prohibited by operative paragraph 9 of Security Council resolution 1929, which remains in force.
We further note that the Panel of Expert’s own independent investigation into this incident, completed last week, has likewise concluded that the launch was a violation of Council sanctions. The United Kingdom supports immediate Committee action to address these findings.
We are also concerned by reports of a further ballistic missile launch by Iran. If confirmed we will support a similar appropriate reaction.
In other areas, we note the report of the Panel on the attempted procurement of Grade 5 Titanium alloy bars. As the report states, this was a violation by Iran of its UNSCR commitments. Although the Panel was not able to determine whether this was a wilful violation, the incident highlights the importance of Iran tackling illicit procurement routes. This is particularly crucial as we move towards the implementation of the JCPOA where the attempted procurement of sensitive goods outside of official routes could constitute a breach. We welcome the Member States’ report on the incident that led to the Panel’s investigation, and encourage others to benefit from the Panel’s assistance in this regard.
Let me close Madam President by underscoring my gratitude 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.
Such efforts are vital to a lasting, peaceful solution to the Iran nuclear issue. This is a goal the United Kingdom shares. 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 would reset relationships with the international community and help open up a country that has been closed to trade for too long. The United Kingdom will continue to make every effort to implement the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action successfully. We look to all parties involved to do the same.