Thank you, Mr. President.
Ambassador Osorio, thank you for your briefing today and for your leadership over the past three months.
It has now been more than nine months since this Council adopted its sixth resolution on Iran—and its fourth to impose sanctions—in response to Iran's continued refusal to comply with its international nuclear obligations. Unfortunately, once again, when it comes to Iran's actions, little has changed since we met three months ago. Let me make three key points.
First, the IAEA Director General continues to report Iran’s ongoing violation of its NPT, Security Council, and IAEA safeguards obligations. Most troubling, the Director General has stated that Iran has once again refused to discuss the possible military dimensions to its nuclear program, including credible reports of Iranian efforts to develop a nuclear warhead—an issue Iran incorrectly asserts is “closed.”
The report details Iran’s many ongoing failures to cooperate with the Agency’s investigation and Iran’s violations of its international nuclear obligations, including its failure to suspend enrichment-related activities and its work on heavy-water-related projects. After a careful presentation of the facts, the Director General concludes that the Agency is unable “to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran,” and therefore is unable “to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities.” This conclusion is cause for grave concern for this Council and for the international community at large.
Second, Mr. President, it is absolutely critical that all member states continue to take the necessary steps to fully and robustly implement Security Council resolutions 1737, 1747, 1803, and 1929. This includes taking the necessary steps domestically to ensure effective implementation. It also includes submitting national-implementation reports and cooperating fully with the 1737 Committee and the Panel of Experts. In this regard, we welcome Nigeria's excellent example of enforcing these measures, including its recent seizure of an Iranian shipment of arms and related materiel and its cooperation with the Committee and Panel in investigating this violation. Recent press reports of other potential violations, such as the Iranian weapons seized on the M/V Victoria, underline the continuing need for a high level of vigilance on the part of all Member States.
In addition to the important role played by member states, the 1737 Committee and the Panel of Experts are critical to better implementation and enforcement of the Iran sanctions regime. The United States thanks the Panel for its efforts in the few months that it has been operational. This group has started strong. We have been impressed by its hard work. The 1737 Committee should be prepared to act quickly to implement recommendations from the Panel—and take additional steps in line with its program of work to tighten sanctions enforcement.
A few weeks ago, my government hosted the Panel in Washington for a series of consultations. We encourage other member states to take similar steps and do what they can to fully support the Panel’s efforts.
Finally, let me reiterate my government's commitment to a diplomatic solution. We met with Iran a little more than a month ago with the sincere intent of starting a process of meaningful and constructive engagement between the P5+1 and Iran. The P5+1 came to the meeting without preconditions—and with specific, practical proposals aimed at building confidence. We made every effort to secure agreement. We had hoped to have a detailed, constructive discussion about those ideas, but instead, Iran presented unacceptable preconditions. Iran’s performance in Istanbul was deeply disappointing. We now look to Iran to show the international community that it has decided to address the international community’s serious concerns about Iran’s troubling nuclear activities.
Our goal remains to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. We remain committed to working closely with our partners in this Council and the international community toward that goal.
Thank you, Mr. President.
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