Security Council Briefing on Non-Proliferation (Implementation of resolution 2231 (2015), Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo
Thank you, Mr. President, for convening today’s meeting on non-proliferation.
United Nations’ non-proliferation efforts seek to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and technology, to promote co-operation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament.
These efforts can have a bearing on the prevention and peaceful resolution of conflict at both regional and international levels. Full implementation of Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and resolution 2231 (2015) can contribute to regional stability.
Regrettably, however, regional tensions have increased. In the last several years, we witnessed attacks on critical infrastructure, heated rhetoric and the heightened risk of miscalculation.
Such actions deepen the differences related to the Plan, and render efforts to address other regional conflicts more difficult. We call on all concerned to avoid any actions that may result in further escalation of tensions.
The Secretary-General has consistently underscored the importance of the JCPOA and has encouraged all States to support it.
He also believes that Iran should address concerns raised about its activities in relation to the restrictive measures in Annex B. As we have stated before, issues not directly related to the Plan should be addressed without prejudice to preserving the agreement and its accomplishments.
In the preparation of our latest report, we have taken careful note of the developments in the Security Council following the receipt of letters from the United States on 20 August and 23 September respectively.
We note the view of the United States that, as of 20 September, all provisions of prior resolutions that had been terminated by resolution 2231 apply in the same manner. The United States is also of the view that the measures contained in paragraphs 7, 8 and 16 to 20 of resolution 2231 (2015) were also terminated.
The majority of Security Council members and Iran have written to the Security Council stating that, among other things, the 20 August letter from the United States did not initiate the process set forth in paragraph 11 of resolution 2231. These States also expressed their strong support for the Plan and the continued implementation of the resolution.
Similarly, the President of the Security Council for the month of August (Indonesia), and the President of the Security Council for the month of September (Niger), indicated that they were not in a position to take any action with regard to the letter from the United States dated 20 August. The President of the Council in October (Russia) also took note of these developments.
We regret the steps taken by the United States (since May 2018) when it withdrew from the Plan, as well as the steps taken by Iran (since July 2019) to reduce some of its nuclear-related commitments under the Plan.
The reimposition by the United States of all its national sanctions that had been lifted or waived pursuant to the Plan are contrary to the goals set out in the Plan and in resolution 2231 (2015). Further, steps taken by the United States not to extend waivers for the trade in oil with Iran and certain non-proliferation projects may have impeded the ability of Iran and other Member States to implement certain provisions.
In the reporting period, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) informed the Security Council that Iran had decreased its stockpile of heavy water. Iran has also stayed within the JCPOA’s limits of no more than 5,060 IR-1 centrifuges installed in 30 cascades at the Natanz Fuel Enrichment Plant.
However, the Agency verified that Iran had installed a cascade of IR-2M centrifuges at Natanz and begun feeding uranium hexafluoride (UF6) into them. Iran had also enriched uranium up to 4.5 percent U-235 and its total enriched uranium stockpile was 2,442.9 kg – surpassing JCPOA stipulated limits in both areas. We also note the 4 December report of the IAEA regarding Iranian intentions to install additional cascades of IR-2M centrifuge machines at Natanz.
Iran has stated its intention to remain in the Plan, and that the steps that they have taken are reversible. It is essential that Iran refrains from further steps to reduce its commitments and returns to full implementation of the Plan.
The Secretary-General calls on all participants to work constructively to address their differences within the dispute resolution mechanism outlined in the Plan.
He also underscores the importance of all initiatives in support of trade and economic relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran, especially during the current economic and health challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
I will now turn to the measures set out in annex B to the resolution, as outlined in the Secretary-General’s tenth report on the implementation of resolution 2231 (S/2020/1177).
First, on the nuclear-related provisions, we have not received any reports on the supply, sale or transfer to Iran of nuclear and nuclear-related dual-use items contrary to paragraph 2 of annex B.
The Security Council continued its consideration of requests for the supply, sale or transfer of nuclear and nuclear-related dual-use items to Iran through the procurement channel. Four new proposals were submitted through the channel during the reporting period, bringing the total to 52 proposals received since 16 January 2016.
The Council has received five notifications, submitted pursuant to paragraph 2 of annex B, for certain nuclear-related activities consistent with the Plan.
We also note that the 90-day extension of the United States waiver -- covering activities related to the existing unit at the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant -- expired at the end of August 2020. The United States did not announce any further extension of this waiver.
Second, the Secretariat did not receive any official information alleging action inconsistent with the ballistic missile-related provisions of the resolution.
Third, on arms transfers, Israel provided information to the Secretary-General and the Security Council regarding the continued proliferation of advanced weaponry by Iran contrary to resolution 2231. Iran categorically rejected such claims in its own letter addressed to the Secretary-General.
Further, the Secretariat provided updates on two arms-related cases from our last report. Regarding Israeli information concerning four alleged Dehlavieh anti-tank guided missiles in Libya, the Secretariat was able to ascertain that one of the four missiles has characteristics consistent with the Iranian-produced Dehlavieh. Nevertheless, we were not able to determine if this missile was transferred to Libya and/or whether its transfer was inconsistent with the resolution (i.e. whether it was transferred from Iran after the 16 January 2016).
Regarding the Australian June 2019 weapons seizure off the Gulf of Oman, we are of the view that the seized ammunitions were not of Iranian manufacture. During this reporting period, Australian authorities also provided the Secretariat with photos of documents collected from the crew in the course of this arms seizure. The Secretariat has shared relevant details with Iran and the other concerned Member State to verify the authenticity of the issued documents.
Fourth, regarding the asset freeze provisions, the Secretariat continued its review of a case involving an academic institution which signed memoranda of understanding with an entity on the 2231 list. We were informed that such MOUs are not legally-binding and do not involve any financial commitment or activities.
In addition, the Secretariat received information from a Member State that an entity on the 2231 list had transferred some of its assets to another entity not subject to the asset freeze provision of the resolution. We are still analysing available information and will report back, as appropriate.
In this reporting period, the Secretariat also received information pertaining to individuals and entities on the 2231 List. Iran notified the Secretary-General and the Security Council that Mr. Moshen Fakhrizadeh had been “assassinated in a terrorist attack” on 27 November in Tehran province. Council members will recall that Mr. Fakhrizadeh is an individual on the 2231 list.
Also, the Secretariat received information from a Member State that a listed entity shipped “valves, electronics, and measuring equipment suitable for use in ground testing of liquid propellant ballistic missiles and space launch vehicles” to Iran. The Secretariat is seeking further clarification from the Member State and will report back accordingly.
The Iranian nuclear issue is an important non-proliferation subject, with consequences for regional and global peace and security. In achieving the JCPOA, the concerned countries had shown that their dialogue and diplomacy, supported by a united Security Council, could forge a path to resolving this issue. We hope that these countries and the Council can do so again.
Let me conclude by acknowledging the leadership of His Excellency Mr. Philippe Kridelka, and his predecessor His Excellency Mr. Marc Pecsteen de Buytswerve, in their role as Facilitator for the implementation of resolution 2231 (2015). As Belgium leaves the Security Council at the end of the year, we look forward to providing our full support to the next Facilitator.
I would also like to thank the Coordinator of the Procurement Working Group of the Joint Commission for our continued cooperation.
Thank you, Mr. President