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10 March 2009 - 1737 Committee - Non proliferation - Statement by Jean-Maurice Ripert, permanent representative of France to the UN

unofficial translation

Mr. Chairman,

First of all, I would like to congratulate you on your quarterly report as Chairman of the 1737 Committee.

Mr. President,

1- The Director-General of the IAEA has just published a very clear report:

- Despite the Council’s injunctions, Iran has nearly 4000 centrifuges in rotation, and is about to add another 1500 centrifuges to that figure;

- Iran has produced one ton of low-enriched uranium. This figure is all the more worrisome because it was underestimated in previous Agency reports.

- Iran has refused to cooperate with the Agency:

- It has challenged the Agency’s verification powers by refusing access to the heavy water reactor being constructed in Arak. This reactor is now concealed to the extent that activity is no longer visible from aerial view;

- It has refused to provide the design of the reactor that is to be constructed in Darkhovin;

- It also refuses to implement the so-called "code 3.1" transparency measures. These measures, which Iran has an obligation to implement, are essential for short-term comprehension of its nuclear projects;

- The Agency’s legal department has recently and clearly indicated at the last Board of Governors that these Iranian refusals are a violation of the security agreement.

- Regarding studies linked to the militarization of the programs, Iran has continued to refuse to respond to IAEA questions and to grant Agency inspectors access to concerned persons and facilities.

- Finally, Iran refuses to implement the Additional Protocol.

The Agency therefore concludes that there has been no progress. It cannot provide credible assurance of the absence of undeclared nuclear activities or materials in Iran.

2- At the same time, Iran has not responded to propositions made last July to re-engage in negotiations.

Therefore, we can only hope that it will reevaluate its behavior, that it will stop obstructing Agency efforts, that it will embrace the newly-extended hand, and that it will finally fulfill its obligations for a restored confidence.

3- Mr. Chairman,

In our opinion, the responsibility of each, and that of the 1737 Committee, is to scrupulously apply the rules of the Security Council. To this regard, your latest report gives us cause both for concern and for hope.

- First, cause for concern: A vessel full of weaponry materials - shells of all sorts, bullets, explosives - departed Bandar Abbas, Iran for Latakia, Syria.

This is a gross violation of Resolution 1747. The Committee has also asked the Syrians and the Iranians to provide an explanation within ten days. We intend to closely follow the developments of this extremely serious matter. Everything should be done to prevent violations. Heightened vigilance by all is essential.

- But also, grounds for hope: The Cypriot government has perceived the extent of its responsibility. It quickly saw that the cargo of this vessel could in no case be transported to its destination, nor returned to Iran. It made the only obvious decision: retention of the cargo.

We should all respond in such a manner. States that take these types of measures should know that they can count on the solidarity and mutual-aid of others, a solidarity which is even mandatory under Security Council resolutions.

Finally, this matter should bring us to draw several conclusions:

- we should observe total intransigence when confronted with violation attempts;

- we should increase cooperation among us, systematically bring instances of violation before the Committee, and examine them thoroughly;

- the activity and vigilance of the Committee should be reinforced.

We are ready, Mr. Chairman, to cooperate with you to achieve these goals.

Thank you./.

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Organisation des Nations Unies Présidence de la République France Diplomatie La France à l'Office des Nations Unies à Genève Union Européenne Première réunion de l'ONU