Statement by Ambassador Vassily A. Nebenzia, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations, at the Security Council meeting on non-proliferation (Iran)
We would like to thank Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo for presenting the biannual report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of resolution 2231 (2015) (S/2018/602).
We also note the effective work being done by Mr. Karel van Oosterom, Permanent Representative of the Netherlands, as Facilitator for the implementation of resolution 2231 (2015). We would also like to thank Mr. Vale de Almeida for his briefing.
We fully agree with the Secretary-General in his report when he states that he deeply regrets the withdrawal of the United States from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and points out that issues not within the scope of the agreement should not be used as a pretext for dismantling it.
In that regard, we would like to recall that the Russian Federation has frequently taken the floor in the Council to condemn the irresponsible attempts by the United States to torpedo the JCPOA and has expressed the hope that reason would nonetheless prevail and issues of global security and stability would no longer be held hostage to Washington’s internal political processes.
Now, following the withdrawal of the United States from the agreement, we are obliged to conclude that our calls went unheeded and that the unique potential of the JCPOA, which has not been allowed to function at full strength, is under threat. Furthermore, the step taken by the American side will do serious harm both to the nuclear non-proliferation regime and to the interests of security in the Middle East.
Considering the significance that the unilateral actions by the United States have for the implementation of resolution 2231 (2015) and the JCPOA, we were astonished that the report mentions it only in passing. It is simply unfathomable that it was possible to draft a document entitled “Implementation of resolution 2231 (2015)” with no mention whatever of the fact that Washington’s reimposition of unilateral sanctions is a direct violation not only of its obligations under the JCPOA, but also of resolution 2231 (2015).
It is also striking that in referencing the resolution’s call to all Member States to support the implementation of the JCPOA and refrain from actions that could undermine it, the report completely ignores the public statements by the leadership of the United States and a number of other countries that fly in the face of that position.
We are surprised at the complete absence in the report of any mention that Tehran has started a dispute-settlement process under the JCPOA related to the irresponsible actions of the United States, which the Security Council and the Secretary-General were duly informed in a letter of 11 May from the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iran.
In general, the report is overtly unbalanced and more like a collection of unproven accusations about Iran than an attempt to paint an objective picture of the situation concerning the implementation of resolution 2231 (2015), an approach that is all the more incomprehensible considering that none of the examples of Tehran’s alleged violations of the resolution have been confirmed, owing to insufficient information and the lack of a firm body of proof.
We are once again compelled to point out that it is unacceptable for the Secretariat to carry out any socalled investigations of potential violations of resolution 2231 (2015) without a clear mandate from the Security Council, as provided for in paragraph 6 of the note by the President dated 16 January 2016 (S/2016/44). We again emphasize that Secretariat staff do not have the qualifications or expertise for analysing and evaluating missile systems or conventional weapons. In our view, therefore, the technical information in the report on the study of the missile components in Saudi Arabia that were fired from Yemen proves nothing and is simply groundless, while there was no independent expert analysis of the Secretariat’s conclusions.
On top of that, the very fact and the timeline of Iran’s alleged transfers of the ballistic-missile systems or their components to the Houthis have not been established, as the report emphasizes. The report therefore indicates an absence of any of the elements that constitute a violation.
The same applies to the Secretariat’s illegitimate inspections in Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates. In the absence of any facts pointing to a violation of the requirements of resolution 2231 (2015), the need for the inclusion in the report of a reference to the facts of the participation of Iran’s Defence Industries Organization in a foreign arms exhibition in Iraq, or of a memorandum of understanding between the Iranian construction company Khatam al-Anbiya and the Syrian authorities, raises serious questions.
We must continue to insist that the report should not contain information from open sources or references to unverified or unverifiable information provided by individual countries, especially when it is not even being brought to the attention of the members of the Security Council. We believe such practices are completely unacceptable and consider them malicious attempts to create a groundlessly negative climate around Iran by circumventing the Council.
In connection with all of this, we would like to remind the Secretariat yet again that paragraph 7 of the note by the President of 16 January 2016 provides for semi-annual reports on the implementation of resolution 2231 (2015) as a whole, not its individual parts. We hope that future reports will be prepared strictly in line with the existing mandate and that all activities that run counter to the Council’s decisions, in particular the entry into force of the unilateral measures announced by the United States on 8 May, will receive due attention.
At this point, the only way of preserving the agreement is the conscientious implementation by all the remaining States participating in it of the obligations they voluntarily undertook. In that context, I would like to note that there is clear evidence in the SecretaryGeneral’s report of Iran’s inarguable compliance with its commitments under the JCPOA, which has consistently been confirmed not just by the International Atomic Energy Agency but also by the Secretariat, which, as can be seen from the report, has no verified proof to the contrary.
In conclusion, I would like to state that the Russian Federation remains committed to the unconditional and comprehensive implementation of the provisions of resolution 2231 (2015) and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Despite the withdrawal of the United States, the implementation of the JCPOA by all of its remaining participants is currently continuing in full.