Remarks by Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, on Honduras and Iran, at the Security Council Stakeout

Susan E. Rice
U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations 
U.S. Mission to the United Nations 
New York, NY
September 25, 2009


Ambassador Rice: Good afternoon everybody. Speaking as president of the Council I want to make a statement on behalf of the Council as follows: Members of the Council heard from the Foreign Minister of Brazil today. Council members stressed the importance of respecting International Law through preserving the inviolability of the Embassy of Brazil in Tegucigalpa, and other protections afforded it by the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations, and ensuring the safety of individuals on its premises. They condemned acts of intimidation against the Brazilian Embassy and called upon the de facto government of Honduras to cease harassing the Brazilian Embassy and to provide all necessary utilities and services including water, electricity, food and continuity of communications. Respect and protection of the inviolability of diplomatic premises is a universally accepted principle of international relations.

The members of the Council call on all parties to remain calm and to avoid actions that escalate the situation or place individuals at risk of harm.

The members of the Council voiced support for the regional mediation efforts facilitated by the OAS, including those by President Arias, to reach a peaceful solution.

I’d like to take questions on Honduras first, if there are any, and then we can move to other topics.

Reporter: Is the Security Council willing to go and (inaudible) take any actions (inaudible)?

Ambassador Rice: No, I think this constitutes the response of the Security Council to the information provided it today.

Reporter: Did you and the Foreign Minister of Brazil talk after the meeting? What did you talk about?

Ambassador Rice: We had a private conversation; I am not prepared to share it.

Reporter: This is the right place to bring this type of discussion? I mean this subject was being discussed by the OAS and now it is at the Security Council?

Ambassador Rice: The issue of the Embassy of Brazil in Tegucigalpa was the subject that the Security Council discussed, not the larger, not primarily the larger situation.

Reporter: Not the larger political?

Ambassador Rice: Not primarily, no.

Reporter: Is it true that the United States was not happy that this subject was brought to the Security Council?

Ambassador Rice: No, we are the president of the Council and we acted in accordance with the wishes of the Council.

Reporter: Will you have another meeting about this issue?

Ambassador Rice: No, I don’t anticipate another meeting at this time on this issue.

Reporter: Is there anything else that the Security Council can do besides condemning the situation?

Ambassador Rice: This was the case brought by the government of Brazil of the circumstance of its Embassy in Tegucigalpa that was discussed. I have shared the Council’s reaction to that. And the Council looks to the regional mediation to continue its work on the larger political question of Honduras.

Reporter: Was it unanimous, your statement?

Ambassador Rice: This is a consensus statement.

Reporter: On Iran: Will there be immediate action by Security Council in light of the new revelations; will there be any immediate Security Council meetings on Iran on this?

Ambassador Rice: As the President said in Pittsburgh today, we look with a sense of urgency to the meeting that is scheduled on October 1st among the P5+1 and Iran. This is a very crucial opportunity for Iran to come clean and create a greater degree of confidence to declare non military intentions and to provide full transparency. That will be a crucial next step, and as the leaders said today it is Iran’s obligation to fulfill its international obligations under Security Council resolutions as well as its commitment to the IAEA. So we will wait to see what they produce on October 1st.

Reporter: How long has the United States known about this facility?

Ambassador Rice: The United States has been tracking this situation for some time and indeed our confidence in the nature of this facility has strengthened over recent months. And we have made this information available accordingly.

Reporter: Any action will be taken before the end of December?

Ambassador Rice: As I just said we will see what the Iranians bring with them on Oct 1st and consider our actions subsequently.

Reporter: When you say that you made that information available, can you say who did you make this information available to – the IAEA?

Ambassador Rice: I am going to let the responsible authorities in Washington deal with the details of that.

Reporter: (inaudible) …anything from China now after this revelation?

Ambassador Rice: I am not going to speak for the government of China.

Reporter: Have you talked to them?

Ambassador Rice: We continue to talk to all of our partners in the P5+1; they issued an important and strong statement following the ministerial meeting this week. And we will continue to work in close coordination with them and the other partners in the P5+1.

Reporter: Do you think this will create a new dynamic in the P5+1?

Ambassador Rice: Obviously this is a very important set of information; I think we are all taking it very seriously. And as I said it increases the urgency with which we approach the very important meeting next week.

Thank you all very much.


PRN: 2009/188