Statement by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia at a UN Security Council Meeting on implementation of resolution 2231
We thank Rosemary DiCarlo for presenting the report of the UN Secretary-General. We commend the work of the Permanent Representative of Belgium as Facilitator for the implementation of resolution 2231.
We share the position of the Secretary-General regarding the U.S withdrawing from the JCPOA and restoring unilateral sanctions against Iran. These acts run counter to the objectives stipulated both in the JCPOA and in resolution 2231. They also undermine the capability of Iran to observe provisions of these documents.
The current report is a clear proof that Washington violates its obligations under resolution 2231, in particular its operative paragraphs 1, 2, and 7, and Article 25 of the UN Charter. We are convinced that such action is worth both deep regret and condemnation of the global community. In fact, there is a conundrum: one of the Council's P5 does not only refuse to implement decisions taken in particular under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, but also threatens to impose unilateral sanctions on other member states for their compliance with resolution 2231.
We do not quite understand in what way one can sustain international peace and security when one directly undermines decisions of the Security Council. “Sanctions bludgeon” cannot serve as a universal response to every concern. This simply does not work. More than that – it gives start to new crises.
You cannot demand from Iran to unquestioningly comply with those Security Council decisions that you explicitly undermined yourselves. Paragraphs 36 of the JCPOA stipulated that Iran has the right to take action in response to the U.S. violating resolution 2231 and the UN Charter. Besides, all steps that Iran takes to reduce its voluntary commitments are carried out upon notifying the IAEA and under its supervision, without any prejudice to provisions of the NPT and Additional Protocol to the Safeguards Agreement. All these measures can be reversed upon one very logical condition: compliance with the JCPOA commitments and the UN Charter.
Full-fledged operation of the “Procurement Channel”, and interaction with Iran in the area of “peaceful atom” are key elements of full implementation of both the JCPOA and resolution 2231. We should not let these non-proliferation mechanisms be ruined. Attempts to ruin them may have only one goal- create tension around Iran's nuclear program and, as a result, aggravate crisis phenomena in the Middle East.
Today we all witness deliberate inflation of the situation in the Persian Gulf. It poses a threat to the peace and security in the region, and to international conflict-settlement efforts. The "evidence" of Iran's guiltiness that we are given neither convinces us nor finds any support in the current report of the Secretary-General.
There is an alternative to escalation. We need to enhance the confidence in the region. We remind that in its resolution 598 dated 1988, the Security Council tasked the Secretary-General to develop stability-and security-building measures in the region in collaboration with the regional states. Activity at this track is demanded today as never before. Russia stands ready to promote this process during contacts with our regional partners and all the interested stakeholders. The ultimate goal is to build a truly inclusive security architecture that accounts for legitimate concerns of all states in the region. Our concept of enhancing security in the Persian Gulf given international guarantees remains up-to-date. This initiative could start with a conference of countries of this sub-region that could prospectively attract other Middle Eastern states. Tehran, on its part, has put forward its own initiative designed to sustain regional peace and security.
We regret to say it, but the report is characterized by a lasting lack of evidence in parts that have to do with Iran's missile program, alleged arms deliveries from Iran, some alleged violations by Tehran of 2231 provisions about asset freeze and ban on movements of some individuals. Another unsolved problem is self-initiated inspection activities of some members of the Secretariat who have neither competence nor mandate required to do so. Here comes a question: If the Secretariat cannot say for sure that resolution 2231 has really been violated, why then the Secretariat still prefers to include such episodes in the report?
The only practical step one can make to save the JCPOA is as follows: all the remaining participants should implement their obligations thereunder. Fear and egoistic considerations must be cast aside. What should come to the forefront is willingness to sustain viability of the JCPOA, which is an outstanding accomplishment of multilateral diplomacy. Constant “raising of stakes” and arguing who cares more about the Plan – this is what provokes ultimatistic sentiment. We should not allow that methods of political pressure, economic strangling, military and force-based blackmail gain the upper hand.
In conclusion, let me emphasize that Russia remains committed to unconditional compliance with resolution 2231 and the JCPOA. We join the call contained in the UNSG report, which is to avoid provocative rhetoric and action that could have a negative impact on the regional stability. We will continue working to have dialogue that should aim at compromise and balance of interests. This is the only way. It is only collective coordinated efforts that can manage the current developments.