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7350th Meeting (PM)

Iran Sanctions Committee Chair Tells Security Council Measures in Full Effect Even as Talks to Determine Nature of Nuclear Programme Continue

As negotiations between the permanent five members of the Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5+1, and Iran continued, measures imposed against that country remained in full effect and States had an obligation to implement them fully, the Chair of the 1737 Committee told the 15-member body today.

In his quarterly briefing to the Council, Ambassador Gary Quinlan of Australia said the Committee on Iran’s sanctions remained fully committed to the implementation of all relevant resolutions and stood ready to provide guidance to Member States that requested assistance.

He said that while no new incidents had been reported to the Committee during the current reporting period, it had twice reached out to Iran earlier this year in relation to incidents investigated by the Panel of Experts.  The Committee wrote to Iran on 27 March in relation to a carbon fibre interdiction, and on 9 July in relation to an interdiction in the Red Sea of a cargo of conventional arms, seeking its comments.  Iran had not yet provided a response and the Committee continued to call on that country to do so.

The Committee also continued to assist States and international organizations in implementing the relevant Council measures, including requests for guidance on what was permissible under those measures.  He provided details of notifications and requests received by the Committee and its response.

The Committee also considered the expert Panel’s mid-term report, which he said offered a snapshot of the range of activities and ongoing actions by States in relation to enforcing the sanctions.  Those included the Panel’s investigations into ongoing procurement by Iran, the transfer or alleged transfer of items alleged to be for Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile programmes and possible travel ban violations.

In their interventions, speakers welcomed the continued negotiations and urged Iran to cooperate fully with the Committee to reach an agreement in the shortest possible time.  Ongoing talks were critical, the representative of the United States said, but they could not be extended forever.  The negotiations must ensure that Iran did not and could not acquire nuclear weapons, he said.

Stating that there had been manifest progress in the past year, the representative of the Russian Federation advised the Committee to desist from any activities perceived as going beyond its purview.

The representative of France voiced deep concern at reports of Iran’s lack of cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on the possible military dimensions of its nuclear programme.

Also speaking today were the representatives of China, Jordan, Luxembourg, Chile, Lithuania, Republic of Korea, United Kingdom, Nigeria, Rwanda, Argentina and Chad.

The meeting began at 3:18 p.m. and ended at 4:15 p.m.


DAVID PRESSMAN (United States) expressed appreciation for the work of the 1737 Committee, which was an integral part of diplomatic efforts to resolve the issue of Iran’s nuclear programme in a peaceful manner.  However, the international community still did not have confidence in the peaceful nature of that programme.  Ongoing talks were critical, but they could not be extended forever.  The negotiation must ensure that Iran did not and could not acquire nuclear weapons.  To support the talks, the Committee and its panel of experts should continue doing their work in a robust manner.  Iran was still smuggling arms and technology and making destabilizing arms shipments.  Any breach of the sanctions was a serious matter; the Council’s resolutions must not be violated with impunity.

LIU JIEYI (China) also expressed appreciation for the Committee’s work and, noting the extension of negotiations on Iran’s nuclear programme, said that the momentum of the renewed talks must be seized through a step-by-step approach to reach a win-win agreement at an early date.  He encouraged Iran to further strengthen its cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and encouraged the Committee and its expert panel to support the negotiations and carry out their work prudently for that purpose.  All actors should act with impartiality and objectivity.  His country was ready to work with all parties to reach a peaceful, comprehensive solution to the Iranian nuclear issue.

PHILIPPE BERTOUX (France) said Council resolutions against Iran remained in full force and it was therefore concerning to receive reports of that country’s ongoing acquisition of sensitive material and travel by officials in contravention of those measures.  The Committee must be more vigilant.  The country should enjoy fully the right to harness peaceful nuclear energy, but it should not have access to nuclear weapons.  In spite of insufficient flexibility demonstrated by Iranian negotiators, he expected that country to reach a solution and take strategic decisions accordingly.  Meanwhile, Iran must uphold its commitments under the interim agreement.  Compliance was conducive to a credible and lasting agreement, and the IAEA role in verification was important.  The Agency noted lack of progress in recent times on the possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear programme, which was a source of concern, he said, urging Iran’s cooperation.

VITALY CHURKIN (Russian Federation) said his country continued to carefully study the Panel of Experts’ mid-term report. Although the negotiations had been going on for quite some time, manifest progress was achieved in the past year, owing to substantive Russian proposals. The international talks would continue and at the three- to four-month mark there would be a review. Any activities by the Committee perceived as going beyond its purview would be counterproductive and, therefore, it should avoid exhibiting excessive zeal. The international community must do everything possible to achieve a comprehensive settlement.

MAHMOUD DAIFALLAH MAHMOUD HMOUD (Jordan) welcomed the extensions of negotiations on Iran’s nuclear programme, which showed the true desire of all participants to reach a comprehensive agreement.  However, the Committee should continue its investigations regarding violations and obtain needed clarifications from the Iranian Government.  It should also assist States in implementation, he said, stressing that States must fully comply with their reporting requirements. 

OLIVIER MAES (Luxembourg) expressed hope that the extension of negotiations would bear fruit and complete the rapprochement begun last year.  In the absence of a comprehensive agreement, however, the relevant Council resolutions must be enforced.  Iran must fully honour its obligations and present enough information to engender trust from the international community that there were no military aims of its nuclear programme.  According to its report, the IAEA so far had not received enough information for that purpose. 

CRISTIÁN BARROS MELET (Chile) welcomed the extension of dialogue in the quest for a broad agreement on Iran’s nuclear programme, and called on the IAEA to continue to support the conclusion of such an agreement.  He called on Iran to enhance its cooperation with the Committee and, as part of the effort, to engender trust among the international community.

DAINIUS BAUBLYS (Lithuania) welcomed the recent decision to continue talks on a comprehensive solution and stressed that Iran’s flexibility would determine the final result.  The momentum in negotiations should not be lost and the parties should complete them in the shortest possible time.  However, he voiced concern that Iran had not provided the IAEA with answers regarding the possible military dimensions of its nuclear programme.  The Iranian Government must allow full and unimpeded access for monitoring and verification of its compliance with the internationally adopted measures.  Iran should also proceed forthwith in responding to requests for clarifications.  He expressed hope that the talks would result in international confidence in Iran’s peaceful nuclear programme.

OH JOON (Republic of Korea) said his country was closely following the talks between the P5+1 and Iran and the IAEA and Iran, and reaffirmed its support for a comprehensive agreement in the newly extended timeframe.  Iran’s cooperation was essential to clarify present and past unresolved questions.  The measures imposed by the Council remained in full force and the obligations of States to comply with them remained unchanged.  The expert panel’s report was a reminder that the international community needed to remain vigilant on Iran’s activities.

MICHAEL TATHAM (United Kingdom), expressing appreciation for the Committee’s work and noting the extension of negotiations, hoped there would be a final deal as soon as possible.  There must be no pause in talks, so as not to lose momentum.  Iran must make some tough decisions and, in return, the “E3+3” were prepared to substantially ease measures.  Meanwhile, the sanctions regime must be fully implemented.  He urged Iran to reply to the Committee’s letters on the two interdictions, and encouraged Member States to remain vigilant and report any possible violations.  Success in the negotiations could result in a more stable world and full reconciliation of Iran with the international community.

ABIODUN RICHARDS ADEJOLA (Nigeria) said that the Committee’s work was critical to respect for the Council’s decisions.  He expressed concern that Iran had not replied to the letters on possible violations; he looked forward to the Committee’s recommendations in its next report.  He urged Iran to continue to negotiate in good faith to ensure the international community that its nuclear programme was for peaceful purposes.

MABONEZA SANA (Rwanda) commended the continued efforts of the Committee to ensure compliance with the Council’s decisions and welcomed the extension of dialogue to reach an agreement on Iran’s nuclear activities.  Until that time, the Committee must continue its work.  It was unfortunate that Iran had not responded to the letters in regard to the interdictions of carbon fibre and conventional arms, and he called on the country to do so. 

MARIO OYARZÁBAL (Argentina) welcomed the continuation of negotiations between Iran and the “E3+3” as well as the cooperation agreement with the IAEA as it was critical to reach an agreement through peaceful means on the nature of the country’s nuclear programme.  It was crucial for Iran to fully fulfil its obligations under the non-proliferation regime and Council resolutions.  As Argentina would soon end its term as a Council member, he encouraged further open meetings and transparency measures involving all sanctions Committees.  He also affirmed the right of parties to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to utilize nuclear power for peaceful purposes.

MAHAMAT ZENE CHERIF (Chad), speaking in his national capacity, welcomed the assistance and guidelines provided by the Committee to Member States and international organizations on the sanctions.  On the negotiations between the P5+1 and Iran, he said it was unfortunate that there had been no results so far.  He hoped that their resumption would bear fruit in the interest of international peace and stability.

For information media. Not an official record.