Statement by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia at UNSC briefing on agenda item “Non-proliferation”

Must read

June 24, 2024

Mr. President,

First of all, I should like to thank the delegation of China for the words of sympathy and condolences expressed in connection with the heinous terrorist attack that took place in Dagestan, Russia.

Mr. President,

We thank USG DiCarlo and the UNSC coordinator for the implementation of Security Council resolution 2231, Permanent Representative of Malta, Ambassador Vanessa Frazier, for their briefings. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank Ambassador Frazier and her team for their efforts in preparing the semi-annual report by coordinator of “Format 2231” coordinator, which the UNSC endorsed by consensus last week.

We also heard a report by the head of the delegation of the European Union, Mr. Stavros Lambrinidis. We did not, however, understand in what capacity Mr. Lambrinidis was speaking. Was he a coordinator of the JCPOA Joint Commission or a representative of Brussels? His politicized remarks, which clearly go beyond the subject of the JCPOA, rather suggest the latter. Mr. Lambrinidis did not even attempt to give the appearance of respecting the principle of impartiality to which the European Union must adhere when acting as coordinator of the JCPOA Joint Commission. Instead of outlining the objective situation around the Plan, European colleagues are trying to place the responsibility for the current crisis in the implementation of the JCPOA on Iran, and they are also spreading in the Security Council unsubstantiated insinuations on the Ukrainian issue that have nothing to do with the JCPOA. It seems they are doing everything to “obscure” the illegitimate and destructive measures taken by the US, European parties to the JCPOA and Brussels itself – in particular, their violation of the anti-Iranian restrictions stipulated by the Plan, which they were supposed to lift in October 2023. All of this raises questions about the EU’s ability to play the role of a mediator in the context of the JCPOA.

Russia is convinced that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was agreed in 2015, is irreversible. This document was a unique example of what multilateral diplomacy is capable of. At that time, the states-parties to the nuclear deal set aside political differences and adopted a pragmatic approach that made it possible to take into account the interests of all interested parties and ensure every opportunity for verifying the peaceful nature of the Iranian nuclear program. In this context, we note that, unfortunately, Secretary-General’s semi-annual report no longer speaks of the JCPOA as the “best possible way” to achieve this goal. As it follows from the text, the prospects for restoring the nuclear deal are very elusive. Against this background, Antonio Guterres’ appeal to the parties to the JCPOA and the United States to use all available avenues for dialogue and cooperation is absolutely insufficient.

We welcome that the report now points to the root cause of the problems surrounding the JCPOA, namely he unilateral decision taken by the United States in 2018 to refuse to fulfill its obligations under the Plan and impose illegitimate unilateral sanctions against Iran. Six years have passed, and there have been no real steps on Washington’s part to rectify the situation. American promises to abandon the “policy of maximum pressure” on Tehran and to return to the nuclear deal have remained an empty sound.

Regrettably, some of the states-parties to the JCPOA are trying their best to further “rock the boat” by aggravating the possibility of implementing the nuclear deal, which only contributes to the stagnation of negotiations on JCPOA recovery.

Decisions by the UK, the two European states and the EU to deliberately disregard their obligations and unilaterally maintain the anti-Iranian restrictions that they were supposed to lift on October 18, 2023, are almost no different from the actions of the United States in terms of their destructive effect on the implementation of the JCPOA and UN Security Council Resolution 2231, with the only difference being that Washington is in full incompliance with the nuclear deal, whereas London, Berlin, Paris and Brussels comply partially. Once again, we are faced with open disregard for international law, the UN Charter and the authority of the Security Council. And the UN Secretary-General, who, it would seem, should have defended these principles and is well aware of the true state of affairs, simply ignores these facts.

What also fits nicely in this context is the attempts by the United States and European parties to the JCPOA to “inflame” the information background and create an illusion of Iran’s non-compliance with resolution 2231. This is done, among other things, by circulating in the Security Council similar letters about alleged violations by the Islamic Republic of Iran of the 2231 provisions.

One also must not forget that all of Tehran’s steps from the very beginning were nothing more than a response to such actions, with the Iranian side refraining from them for a whole year after the US withdrew from the deal. The Secretary-General’s report that we are discussing today notes that Iran continues to uphold its 2019 nuclear commitments in a responsible manner. Regular reports (and extraordinary ones too) of the IAEA Director General also attest to this. The detailed, informative nature of the aforementioned reports testifies to the high intensity and impressive scope of IAEA verification activities in Iran, which remains one of the most closely and deeply verified Member States. Contrary to unfounded attacks and speculation by the West, Iran’s nuclear program remains under constant monitoring by the IAEA, with which Tehran continues its dialogue and vigorous practical interaction. It is important to take into account that it is the Agency that provides the international community with detailed data on Iran’s nuclear activities. Technical issues arising in connection with verification, as in the case of other countries, are gradually being resolved in accordance with established practice and on the basis of standard procedures. The reports do not contain information that would call into question Tehran’s commitment to its obligations under the NPT and the universal safeguards agreement.

The Agency has not identified any threats of nuclear proliferation. Certain progress in the implementation of the joint statement by Iran and the IAEA of March 4, 2023, give us hope for further progress in this area. We emphasize that politicization and external interference in the rhythmic cooperation between the IAEA and the Islamic Republic of Iran are inadmissible.

Mr. President,

The vicious practice must not be tolerated, under which Security Council’s decisions on a particular country, made after lengthy negotiations in strict compliance with the UN Charter, then get twisted dramatically by the Americans and their allies with the help of unilateral sanctions and without the Council’s approval. The Iranian side cannot be held responsible for the backlash resulting from the subversive course and gross violations of resolution 2231 by the US and European countries. It is them who bear the key responsibility for the failure to implement the nuclear deal, and it is them who must bring their policies in line with its letter and spirit.

This being said, the Iranian side send regular signals about its readiness to return to the agreed parameters of the JCPOA on the premise that Washington, London, Brussels and Paris make a reciprocal step. As early as December 2022, the Iranian side officially declared its readiness to conclude an agreement to restore the deal. In this regard, we consider it a clear omission that no reference to this was made in the Secretary-General’s report. Nevertheless, the situation is reversible, and all the necessary solutions have long since been found and are contained in the Joint Commission’s draft comprehensive decision aimed at restoring the JCPOA.

We do believe that UNSC decisions must be strictly implemented in strict accordance with the agreed parameters. It is high time for the Americans and Europeans to make efforts to overcome their innate bias against Iran and to stop substituting their selfish ambitions for the interests of strengthening international security. Against this background, we expect Western countries to abandon their policy of unilateral restrictions on the Islamic Republic of Iran as soon as possible. If they are genuinely concerned about how to ensure accountability and transparency of Iranian nuclear activities, UNSC resolution 2231 has all the tools to do so. We call on the European participants in the JCPOA and the United States to return to the Vienna negotiating table and prove their commitment to the task of restoring the nuclear deal.

Mr. President,

The Russian Federation is convinced that the JCPOA has no alternatives. An early relaunch of the Plan is the only correct path that meets the interests of both regional and international security. We hope that the United Nations Secretary-General will speak out more clearly on this matter and avoid ambiguous signals that could jeopardize the prospects for a full-scale recovery of the Vienna agreements.

Thank you.






More articles

Latest article