The Joint Comprehensive Plan of action (JCPOA) on the Iranian nuclear issue, endorsed by the Security Council in resolution 2231 (2015), is the result of 12 years of intense diplomatic efforts and technical negotiations. The Secretary-General regards the Plan, and the resolution, as hard-won achievements of successful multilateralism, nuclear non-proliferation, dialogue and diplomacy. He welcomes the latest report from the International Atomic Energy Agency which states that Iran continues to implement its nuclear-related commitments.
At the same time, the Secretary-General is concerned about recent developments. He regrets that the United States recently decided not to extend waivers with regard to trade in oil with Iran and not to fully renew waivers for non-proliferation projects in the framework of the JCPOA. These actions may impede the ability of Iran and other Member States to implement certain of its provisions.
The Secretary-General also regrets Iran’s announcement, on 8 May 2019, that it would not commit itself to respecting the JCPOA limits on its enriched uranium stockpile and heavy water reserves at the current stage, and that it would further suspend compliance with the uranium enrichment limits and measures to modernise the Arak reactor should the other participants not fulfil its demands, especially in areas of banking and oil, within 60 days. He further regrets the subsequent announcement, on 17 June 2019, that Iran may surpass on 27 June the limit on its enriched uranium stockpile set under the JCPOA. Such actions are not in the interests of the participants of the Plan and may not help preserve it. The Secretary-General encourages Iran to continue implementing all its nuclear-related commitments despite the considerable challenges it faces.
The Secretary-General welcomes the initiatives of the other participants, which should be given full effect as a matter of priority. It is essential that the Plan continues to work for all its participants, including by delivering tangible economic benefits to the Iranian people. Member States and other relevant actors should also work effectively with JPCOA participants towards the preservation of the Plan. At the same time, the Secretary-General encourages Iran to carefully consider and address the concerns expressed by Member States about its activities in relation to the restrictive measures contained in annex B to the resolution.
Recent events in the Gulf are a reminder that we are at a critical juncture. The Secretary-General calls on all Member States to avoid actions that may result in a further deterioration of the current situation.
He urges all parties to engage in dialogue and diplomacy to address their differences; to exercise maximum restraint; and to deescalate current tensions to avoid the risk of miscalculation and accidents. In this regard, the Security Council has an important role to play. As stated by the Secretary-General in his briefing to the Council on 13 June, “if there is something the world cannot afford, it is a major confrontation in the Gulf region.”
Let me now turn to the seventh report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of resolution 2231 (S/2019/492). As guided by the Security Council, and consistent with our previous reports, the one before you today is focused on annex B to the resolution.
First, on the implementation of the nuclear-related provisions, we have not received new reports on the supply, sale or transfer to Iran contrary to paragraph 2 of annex B. The procurement channel established for the transfer of nuclear-related items to Iran remains an important mechanism for transparency, and all States and the private sector are encouraged to fully utilize and support it. In this connection, the Secretary-General noted the 3 May announcement by the United States that involvement in certain activities set forth in paragraph 2 of annex B may now be exposed to its national sanctions. He points out that the exemption provisions in paragraph 2 allow for the transfer of such items, materials, equipment, goods and technology required for the nuclear activities of Iran under the Plan, subject to the relevant notification requirements.
Second, on the ballistic missile-related provisions, the report reflects information provided to the Secretary-General and the Security Council by France, Germany, Iran, Israel, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States. These Member States conveyed their views on Iran’s test-firing of a medium-range ballistic missile on 1 December 2018, flight tests of additional ballistic missiles between December 2018 and February 2019, and launches of space launch vehicles in January and February 2019. The information provided reflects divergent views among these Member States as to whether these launches are inconsistent with paragraph 3 of annex B which calls upon Iran not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology.
In addition, the report reflects our analysis of subcomponents retrieved from ballistic missiles launched at the territory of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by the Houthis between March and June 2018. We ascertained that those subcomponents were produced between 2000 and 2010, and some sold as recently as 2012. In our assessment, these production and sale date ranges are incompatible with the Scud missiles known to be in Yemeni stockpiles prior to the outbreak of the current conflict in early 2015.
Third, in terms of arms-related provisions, the report reflects information regarding individuals found guilty in the UK of exporting combat aircraft parts from the United States to Iran through companies located in various countries.
The Secretariat also examined a number of additional arms and related materiel recovered in Yemen. These included a second surface-to-air missile, wings for a new type of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and a new unmanned surface vessel (USV) with explosives. On the basis of design characteristics, markings, and types and manufacturers of specific subcomponents, the Secretariat is confident that these arms and related materiel, or parts thereof, are of Iranian manufacture. However, the Secretariat has no indications as to whether those items were transferred from Iran after 16 January 2016.
Further, the Secretariat examined samples of a shipment of small arms and light weapons seized by the United Arab Emirates in Aden in December 2018 and observed that part of the items had characteristics of Iranian manufacture. The Secretariat is still analysing the available information on this shipment and intends to report back to the Council accordingly.
The report also noted a televised speech of the political leader of Hamas (Yahya Sinwar) and a statement of the Al Quds Brigades spokesperson (Abu Hamza), in May 2019, which pointed to ongoing Iranian military support to Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza. Any Iranian arms transfers after 16 January 2016 would have been undertaken contrary to the provisions of annex B to resolution 2231 (2015). The report also highlights the continued participation of Iranian entities in foreign arms defence exhibitions.
Fourth, the report provides additional information on previous and new travels allegedly undertaken by the Commander of the IRGC Quds Force, Major General Qasem Soleimani. It also reflects information received by the Secretariat on an individual and several entities on the 2231 list that may have violated the assets freeze or travel ban measures. To facilitate the implementation of these measures, the Secretary-General recommends that the information related to individuals and entities on the 2231 list be updated by the Council.
In closing, I would like to acknowledge the leadership of His Excellency Marc Pecsteen de Buytswerve (Belgium) in his role as Facilitator for the implementation of resolution 2231 (2015) and to assure him again of our full support. 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.