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13 December 2012 – Security Council - Iran/Sanctions Committee – Statement by Mr. Martin Briens, Deputy Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations

(UN translation)

I thank Ambassador Osorio for his quarterly briefing and welcome the outstanding work of the Colombian chairmanship of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1737 (2006) over the past two years. I also wish to thank the Panel of Experts, whose investigations and recommendations are highly useful to the Committee and the Council.

The Chair’s quarterly report and the midterm report of the Panel of Experts that were just presented to us demonstrate once again that Iran continues not to comply with its international obligations and that it is pursuing both its illicit nuclear activities and its efforts to circumvent sanctions. Iran disseminates its conventional weapons and its missiles at the risk of destabilizing the entire region.

Despite six resolutions of the Council, Iran continues to enrich its uranium to 20 per cent and 3.5 per cent, while at the same time quantitatively and qualitatively increasing its production capacity, although we can identify no credible civilian purpose therefor. At the same time, it pursues its heavy water-related activities without providing access to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), as it must do.

Furthermore, it has been over a year since the Agency’s Board of Governors addressed a very clear demand that Iran respond to its questions concerning the possible military dimensions of its nuclear programme. We all expect that the meeting to be held today in Tehran between Iranian authorities and the IAEA will allow the Agency to obtain the responses it requires, but we are under no illusions. We have all been able to follow for ourselves Iran’s intensive activities in Parchin since the Agency first requested access. The IAEA recently deemed that those activities were of a nature to compromise its capacity to conduct effective verification when it eventually gains access.

I also wish to highlight Iran’s repeated violations of the arms embargo imposed by the Council. These violations fuel the spiral of violence in the Near East and Middle East. We have already expressed our concern and firmly condemned the transfer of weapons from the Islamic Republic of Iran to Syria — several such cases were highlighted by the Panel of Experts in their June report (see S/2012/395, annex).

As we mentioned in the previous debate (see S/PV.6839), we would like the Committee to designate Yas Air Cargo and SAD Import-Export Company as soon as possible, as they have been implicated in arms transfers to the regime in Damascus. Since those revelations, we have learned that weapons have also been transferred from Iran to Syria in aircraft using Iraqi air space. Those activities not only violate Security Council resolutions, but have allowed the Damascus regime to continue to massacre its own people.

We have also learned directly from Iranian officials that Tehran had transferred weapons and ballistic material to non-State groups in Gaza. A f lagrant example was the launch from Gaza of a Fajr-5 missile that originated from the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Panel of Experts, which has been requested to investigate those issues, should shed light on the matter so that the Committee is able to take all necessary action. Those actions represent clear violations of the arms embargo and should not remain unpunished. I also would make note of our concern about the Iranian ballistic programme, which has continued despite bans agreed to by the Council. I recall that, on 9 October, together with the United States, United Kingdom and Germany, France notified the Committee of the Shahab-3 missile tests carried out by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards last summer. That was a clear violation of paragraph 9 of resolution 1929 (2010) that we must therefore sanction.

It is striking to note that the North Korean launch was the object of unanimous condemnation by the international community, with the near sole exception of the Islamic Republic of Iran, which welcomed it. The latter is also conducting a space programme for no other purpose than to validate military-use technologies. Faced with the challenge of repeated violations by the Islamic Republic of Iran of Security Council resolutions, we must remain united and firm. Dialogue will continue and we are committed to it. The many meetings of the E3+3 Governments with Iran in 2012 bear witness to that.

But faced with our serious proposals, Tehran has not been constructive and will not negotiate seriously with us. As long as Iran does not abide by its obligations, we must ensure the full application of the sanctions. They have a genuine impact on the ground and we believe that such pressure is likely to lead the Iranian authorities to eventually resume serious negotiations. Iran must clearly recognize that dialogue is in its best interest, rather than isolation.

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