Thank you, Mr. President for the invitation to brief the Council on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and resolution 2231 (2015).
On 29 November, diplomatic efforts on the JCPOA resumed in Vienna. The status of the negotiations indicate that the full restoration of the Plan and the resolution will require additional effort and patience.
I recall that the JCPOA itself was the result of more than a decade of determined diplomacy. The endeavor, however, was worth it. The Plan, together with resolution 2231 (2015), is widely regarded as a cornerstone of nuclear non-proliferation, and an example of what dialogue and diplomacy can achieve.
The Secretary-General hopes that in their current negotiations, the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran will mobilize the same spirit and commitment that resulted in the JCPOA. There is simply no viable alternative to the full and effective implementation of the Plan and the resolution.
In this regard, together with the Secretary-General, I appeal to the United States to lift or waive its sanctions as outlined in the Plan and extend the waivers regarding the trade in oil with the Islamic Republic of Iran. Also important is the extension of US waivers regarding certain civilian nuclear-related activities taking place at the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant, the Fordow Facility, and the Arak reactor. Waiver extensions are also required for the transfer of enriched uranium out of Iran in exchange for natural uranium.
We also call on the Islamic Republic of Iran to reverse the steps it has taken that are not consistent with its nuclear-related commitments under the Plan. In this reporting period, the International Atomic Energy Agency indicated that Iran has continued its research and development activities related to uranium metal production.
While the Agency has not been able verify the stockpile of enriched uranium in the Islamic Republic of Iran, it estimates a total enriched uranium stockpile of 2489.7 kg, including 113.8 kg enriched up to 20% and 17.7 kg enriched up to 60% uranium-235 respectively.
These exceed the limits agreed to in the JCPOA, which is a total enriched uranium stockpile of 202.8kg, enriched up to 3.67 per cent Uranium-235. Moreover, on 1 December, the Agency reported that the Islamic Republic of Iran had also begun uranium enrichment using advanced centrifuges at the Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant.
Furthermore, the Agency has reported that its “verification and monitoring activities have been seriously undermined as a result Iran’s decision to stop the implementation of its nuclear-related commitments under the JCPOA, including the Additional Protocol”.
Most recently, the Agency stressed that in the absence of regular access to its verification and monitoring equipment, as agreed to under the Plan, it is now becoming a significant challenge for the Agency to restore its “continuity of knowledge” concerning Iran’s nuclear activities.
The Plan and resolution 2231 (2015) support our common objectives of nuclear non-proliferation and regional and international security. In this regard, the bilateral and multilateral initiatives to improve relationships with the Islamic Republic Iran are positive developments.
It is important for the Islamic Republic of Iran to address concerns raised by participants in the Plan and by other Member States in relation to resolution 2231 (2015).
We also call upon Member States and the private sector to engage in trade with the Islamic Republic of Iran and to utilize available arrangements, such as the International Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX), the procurement channel provided for in resolution 2231(2015) and the Swiss Humanitarian Trade Agreement, as appropriate.
I will now turn to the measures set out in annex B to the resolution, as outlined in the Secretary-General’s twelfth report on the implementation of resolution 2231 (S/2021/995).
First, on the nuclear-related provisions, no new proposals were submitted in the last six months to the procurement channel. The Council, however, received eight notifications, submitted pursuant to paragraph 2 of annex B, for certain nuclear-related activities consistent with the Plan.
During this reporting period, the Secretariat received information regarding the possible transfer of nuclear-related dual-use items to the Islamic Republic of Iran.
In one instance, the Secretariat confirmed that the items exported from Germany were not on the list of dual-use items contained in resolution 2231, and hence did not require Council approval before transfer.
In another instance, an individual was charged in Norway for providing technical assistance to four researchers from the Islamic Republic of Iran regarding an item on the dual-use items list contained in resolution 2231. This case is pending trial scheduled for 2022.
Second, regarding the ballistic missile-related provisions, France, Germany, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Israel, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States provided information to the Secretary-General and the Security Council concerning a ballistic missile launch in May 2021 and two space launch vehicle tests by the Islamic Republic of Iran in June 2021. The information provided reflects divergent views among those Member States as to whether those launches are inconsistent with paragraph 3 of the resolution.
Third, the Secretariat received information, from Saudi Arabia and Israel, related to paragraph 4 of annex B to resolution 2231 (2015). This paragraph pertains to the supply, sale or transfer to or from the Islamic Republic of Iran of all items, materials, equipment, goods and technology as set out in Council document S/2015/546. This document includes ballistic missiles and UAV systems with a range of 300 km or more, including target and reconnaissance drones, and cruise missiles.
The Secretariat examined the debris of six ballistic missiles, one cruise missile and several UAVs used in various attacks against Saudi Arabia. Saudi authorities believed that these weapons systems had been transferred to the Houthi fighters in a manner inconsistent with resolution 2231.
The Secretariat also had the opportunity to examine the debris of an alleged Iranian UAV, intercepted by the Israel Defense Forces as the UAV entered Israeli airspace via the Jordanian border. Israeli authorities believe that this UAV was launched from either Iraq or Syria. The Secretariat is still analysing the information collected and will report back to the Council on these issues in due course, as appropriate.
Finally, on the assets freeze provisions, the Secretariat received information from a Member State regarding financial and commercial activities of two individuals and one entity on the 2231 list, which may be inconsistent with the asset freeze. The Secretariat is currently analysing the information received, and will report back to the Council, as appropriate.
In recent days, both Iran and the United States have again affirmed their seriousness in seeking to return to full implementation of the JCPOA. The Secretary-General is encouraged by these pledges and calls on both countries to expeditiously translate these commitments into a mutually acceptable agreement. He is grateful to the other Joint Commission participants for their continued diplomatic efforts and urges them to maintain a conducive environment for the continuation and completion of the talks in Vienna.
In closing, I would like to thank the Facilitator for the implementation of resolution 2231 (2015), Her Excellency Ms. Geraldine Byrne Nason, as well as the Coordinator of the Procurement Working Group of the Joint Commission for our continued cooperation.
Thank you, Mr. President.