Thank you, Mr. President, and thank you, Ambassador Takasu, for your report as chair of the Iran Sanctions Committee.
First, let me reiterate that the E3+3 countries have been seeking a meeting with Iran to discuss a way forward on its nuclear program but have not yet received a reply. The United States will be a full participant in these discussions, and we continue to urge Iran to accept this invitation.
Mr. President, today’s session is the first one since Iran held elections on June 12. We share the international community’s concern over events in the aftermath of the elections. As Iran seeks to resolve disputes related to the election results, it is important to respect the rights of Iranian citizens to express themselves peacefully.
Today’s session is also our first session since the IAEA Director General released his latest report on the status of Iran’s compliance with its NPT Safeguards Agreements and UN Security Council obligations. While the IAEA Board of Governors is starting its meetings today, we too should focus on the report and its detailed findings, as appropriate to the work of our committee.
The IAEA report on Iran—once again—contains troubling findings that deserve this Council’s serious attention. The Director General underscored Iran’s continued defiance of its international obligations, including its refusal to comply with this Council’s demand to suspend Iran’s proliferation-sensitive nuclear activities.
The report finds that Iran continues to make significant progress toward a nuclear weapons capability, increasing its enrichment activities and producing more than 1,300 kilograms of low-enriched uranium hexafluoride—enough material for one nuclear weapon, were Iran to enrich it further to make it weapons-grade.
Iran has also not accepted the full implementation of safeguards, including access to the Arak reactor, which the Director General stresses could harm “the Agency’s ability to carry out effective safeguards at that facility.”
At the same time, Iran continues to refuse to address the IAEA’s remaining questions about its past efforts to develop a nuclear warhead—or even to meet to discuss these issues. Let me offer a few examples. Iran refuses to address the IAEA’s request for substantive explanations regarding Iran’s past work to develop nuclear weapons, and there has been no progress on this issue since August 2008.
Iran continues to rebuff the IAEA’s inquiries related to the acquisition of the uranium metal document, which contains instructions for casting enriched uranium metal into hemispheres, which the IAEA’s January 2006 report noted are “related to the function of nuclear weapons.” Iran declines to clarify the procurement and R&D activities of military-related institutes and companies that could be nuclear-related. And Iran rejects the IAEA’s request for access to information, documentation, and individuals necessary to support Iran’s claims.
The Director General has once again asked Iran to cooperate with the IAEA without further delay. In light of Iran’s continued noncompliance with its Security Council and IAEA obligations, we must continue to strongly support the Iran Sanctions Committee’s efforts.
In particular, the United States welcomes the Committee’s continued efforts to obtain additional information from Iran and Syria about the recent violation of Security Council Resolution 1747 involving the M/V Monchegorsk. We remain concerned that the Committee’s requests continue to go unanswered. The United States thanks the Republic of Cyprus for its recent letter informing the Committee that it has completed inspecting the ship’s cargo and placed it in safe storage. We also appreciate Cyprus’ providing the Committee with the additional details of the cargo that the Committee requested. We would pay particular note to the information suggesting that some of the ship’s cargo belonged to Iran’s Defense Industries Organization—a designated entity under Resolution 1737. We support the Committee’s critically important efforts to examine these additional details and take appropriate action.
The United States remains committed to direct diplomacy with Iran to resolve issues of concern to the international community and will engage on the basis of mutual respect. We want Iran to be a respected member of the international community, but we recognize that such status confers not only rights but also responsibilities.
Even as we offer Iran a new opportunity to restore international confidence and trust, this Committee continues to have an essential role to play. We urge the Committee to redouble its efforts to ensure full and robust implementation of the measures imposed by Resolutions 1737, 1747, and 1803.
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