Statement by Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, at a Security Council Briefing on Iran and Resolution 1737

Susan E. Rice
U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations 
U.S. Mission to the United Nations 
New York, NY
September 15, 2010


Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you also for convening this session to review the 1737 Committee’s efforts over the past 90 days. I’d also like to thank Ambassador Nishida for his first report as chair of this critical committee.

Three months have passed since this Council adopted Resolution 1929 to respond to Iran’s ongoing refusal to comply with its international obligations. I’d like to make three points about the situation today and where we go from here.

First, Mr. President, I would like to draw the Council’s attention to the clear evidence that Iran is refusing to take any step to begin resolving concerns that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons—and continues actions that in fact deepen these concerns. On September 6, the IAEA Director General reported to this Council that Iran is continuing and expanding its proliferation-sensitive nuclear activities, in violation of its international obligations. Iran’s enrichment of uranium—including to nearly 20 percent—continues unabated. Additionally, the Director General provided significant and troubling examples where Iran is hampering the work of IAEA inspectors, refusing the IAEA’s legitimate requests for information about, and access to, its nuclear facilities, and continuing to reject legitimate inquiries about a possible military dimension to its nuclear program. I emphasize that this report states that Iran is hampering the IAEA’s ability to monitor Iran’s program. Iran is not cooperating fully with the IAEA.

The UN Security Council has clearly established, in its resolutions on Iran, that cooperation with the IAEA is a fundamental benchmark and test of Iran’s peaceful intentions. And the IAEA’s report is the clearest evidence yet that Iran is refusing to address our proliferation concerns and appears determined to acquire a nuclear-weapons capability.

Yet Iran’s disregard for its international obligations extends beyond its nuclear activities. Iran has repeatedly attempted to export arms in violation of Resolution 1747. We are also concerned that Iran continues to engage in activities related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including conducting launches using ballistic-missile technology. These activities are prohibited under Resolution 1929, and undermine Iran's claims of peaceful intentions at the very time that the international community has offered Iran opportunities to build trust and confidence. The Council and the 1737 Committee will need to consider an appropriate response to Iran's serial violations of Security Council resolutions.

My second point, Mr. President, is that Iran’s recent actions remind us of the urgent need to redouble our efforts to implement the UN sanctions, particularly those new measures adopted in Resolution 1929. Already, we have seen unprecedented efforts to respond to Iran's defiance with pressure, in line with the dual-track approach. Member states should move quickly to carry out their obligations to implement the new sanctions and report on their national implementation efforts to the Committee.

The 1737 Committee continues to play a critical role in monitoring and improving the enforcement of Security Council resolutions on Iran. We strongly support this Committee, which is the principal mechanism to help states fulfill their obligations to implement the measures and to respond when states fail to enforce UN sanctions. The Committee should move quickly to implement the action items in its ambitious work program, especially to respond to Iran's well-documented patterns of sanctions evasions. Finally, the Committee should support the Secretariat’s efforts to establish a new Panel of Experts to help monitor and improve sanctions implementation. We are concerned by the delay in setting up the Panel, and we urge a renewed focus to enable this body to become operational as soon as possible. These steps can improve sanctions implementation, and limit the risk posed by Iran’s arms smuggling, its development of nuclear weapon delivery systems, and the proliferation of sensitive nuclear and ballistic-missile-related items.

My final point, Mr. President, is to underscore the United States and the international community’s continued commitment to a dialogue and a negotiated solution to the Iranian nuclear issue. We nevertheless plan to continue clarifying for Iran the consequences of its actions, both positive and negative. Our goal remains to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. We are committed to working closely with our partners in this Council and the international community towards that goal.

Thank you, Mr. President.


PRN: 2010/183