Remarks by Ambassador Robert Wood, Alternative Representative for Special Political Affairs, at a UN Security Council Briefing on Iran

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June 24, 2024

Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you, Under Secretary-General DiCarlo and EU Ambassador to the UN Ambassador Lambrinidis for your briefings. And thank you, again, Ambassador Frazier for your work as Facilitator.

As we reflect today on the conclusions of the Secretary-General’s report, Iran continues to deny the international community visibility into its nuclear activities. It obstructs IAEA efforts to resolve outstanding safeguards issues, and willfully hampers IAEA verification and monitoring activities.

We should not be shy about condemning this kind of destabilizing and dangerous conduct.

Instead of demonstrating to the world that its nuclear program is meant only for peaceful purposes, Iran has expanded its program and stirred up speculation regarding its intentions.

IAEA reports from May 27 and June 13 show that Iran is determined to expand its nuclear program in ways that have no credible civilian purpose.

Iran should take actions that build international confidence and deescalate tensions, not continue nuclear activities that pose grave proliferation risks.

The United States is prepared to use all means necessary to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran. We nevertheless remain fully committed to resolving international concerns surrounding Iran’s nuclear program through diplomacy.

The international community will face an inflection point next October, in 2025, when this Council could close consideration of Iran’s nuclear issue under Resolution 2231. It is important to recall, though, that when this Council originally adopted Resolution 2231 the objective was to help establish the international community’s confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program. Given Iran’s actions, we are far from this point.

Iran’s actions suggest it is not interested in verifiably demonstrating that its nuclear program is exclusively peaceful.

Meanwhile, Iran continues to fuel conflict and instability in the Middle East, blatantly disregarding this Council’s resolutions by providing weapons to its regional proxies – including in Yemen and Lebanon.

In fact, Iran’s own state-affiliated media have touted its country’s supply of prohibited ballistic missile technology to the Houthis; something that UN experts have concluded as well and published in their reports.

All the while, the Iranian government sends letters to the Secretary-General calling these allegations “unfounded” and “based on falsehood and misinformation”.

The Security Council must be clear and united in condemning this brazen, destabilizing activity. When Iran flagrantly defies the Security Council repeatedly without consequence, and ignores the published concerns of the IAEA, it undermines the credibility and authority of this body, which is charged with advancing international peace and security.

Thank you, Mr. President.




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