Remarks by Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, At a Security Council Briefing on Iran and Resolution 1737 September 20, 2012

Susan E. Rice
U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations 
U.S. Mission to the United Nations 
New York, New York
September 20, 2012


Thank you Mr. President.

I would like thank Ambassador Osorio for his briefing today. We greatly value your efforts and your effective advocacy for full implementation of UN sanctions on Iran.

Mr. President, every three months, this Council takes note of the latest IAEA report showing Iran's continued defiance. Every three months, we witness Iran's latest leaps forward in its prohibited nuclear activities. This Council cannot afford to be complacent. We must recognize that we are facing a situation that continues to worsen.

Just a few weeks ago, the IAEA Director General provided his latest assessment of Iran's nuclear progress. We learned that Iran is "severely hampering" IAEA inspections of the Parchin facility and probably engaging in efforts to sanitize the site. We learned that at the Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant -- a bunker facility built by Iran in secret and protected by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps -- Iran has doubled the number of installed uranium enrichment centrifuges. And we learned that Iran continues to enrich uranium to near twenty percent, a step closer to bomb-grade enrichment. Needless to say, these activities are all contrary to multiple resolutions by this Security Council and the IAEA.

Iran knows the steps it must take to be in full compliance with its international obligations. Iran knows the actions required to demonstrate full cooperation with the IAEA. Yet, still, Iran's approach remains to deny, deceive and distract.

The Security Council must redouble its efforts to ensure that the sanctions we impose are fully and robustly implemented. We have two effective tools to carry out this task: the Iran Sanctions Committee and the UN's Iran Panel of Experts. These bodies must remain active and continuously seek ways to improve sanctions implementation. The Panel of Experts' May 2012 Final Report provides an excellent blueprint for Committee action in the weeks and months ahead. We encourage the Committee to meet regularly until it has acted upon all of the recommendations contained in that final report. The Committee should issue regular guidance and public notices advising states on how best to implement the sanctions. It should impose targeted sanctions on individuals and entities responsible for violating existing sanctions. And, the Committee should also do more to help international organizations ensure that their activities and programs in Iran are fully compliant with UN sanctions.

We particularly urge the Committee and the Panel to focus on Iran's longstanding, well-documented smuggling of weapons to extremist groups worldwide. UN sanctions prevent Iran from exporting all arms and related materiel to any country. Iran's arms exports to the murderous Assad regime in Syria are of particular concern. As the Panel of Experts has concluded, Syria is now the "central party to illicit Iranian arms transfers." States in the region must therefore work together and redouble their efforts to deny, inspect and seize illicit Iranian shipments, including transfers via air corridors, in line with the cargo inspection provisions of Security Council resolution 1929.

We also urge the Committee to renew its focus on Iran's prohibited ballistic missile programs. In July, officials from Iran’s Revolutionary Guard corps tested ballistic missiles capable of traveling 1,300 kilometers. Although such tests are in clear violation of paragraph 9 of resolution 1929, the Council and the Committee have not yet taken effective action to respond to this blatant noncompliance.

Mr. President, the United States seeks to resolve the Iran nuclear issue through a comprehensive approach. We remain committed to trying to find a negotiated solution with Iran that restores international confidence in its nuclear activities and bolsters regional stability.

Working with our P5+1 partners, we have repeatedly laid out clear proposals to address the Iranian nuclear issue step by step.

As you know, the P5+1 have focused initially on those elements of the Iranian nuclear program that are of most immediate concern: Iran’s continued enrichment of uranium to twenty percent, the stockpiling of twenty-percent enriched uranium beyond the amount necessary for any civilian use, and continued activity at the underground Fordow nuclear site. In return for satisfactory Iranian action in these areas, the P5+1 have made a serious offer of reciprocal steps that begin to address Iran’s concerns as well. But Iran has not responded constructively to this offer, nor engaged the P5+1 on meaningful, commensurate steps.

We believe there is still time and space for diplomacy. However, the onus is on Iran to respond constructively. The international community should continue to underscore that Iran must take meaningful steps or face increasing pressure. Yet, we cannot and we will not pursue this path indefinitely. We will not engage in an endless process of negotiations that fail to produce any results.

We must therefore remain clear and united in seeking resolution of the international community's concerns regarding Iran's nuclear program. Time is wasting.

Thank you, Mr. President.


PRN: 2012/188