Security Council: Statement by Ambassador Wittig on Iran Sanctions
(Statement as delivered by Ambassador Wittig at a Security Council meeting on the Iran Sanctions Committee "1737")
"Thank you Mr. President. May I join others in thanking Ambassador Néstor Osorio not only for his briefing but also for his hard work in chairing the 1737 Committee throughout the past two years.
As you leave, Ambassador, the work of this Committee continues to be of crucial importance. In June 2010 – about two and a half years ago – this Council adopted Resolution 1929. Since then, Iran has neither been willing to enter into negotiations on substantial issues during various rounds of talks with the E3+3, nor has it taken concrete confidence-building measures in order to convince the international community about the exclusively peaceful nature of its nuclear programme. Nevertheless, the E3+3 remain committed to pursuing a diplomatic solution. The E3+3 intend to resume negotiations with Iran in the very near future.
The Iranian nuclear programme remains in fact a major threat to international peace and security. The IAEA’s latest report doesn’t alleviate our concerns - just to the contrary: Iran continues to expand its enrichment capacities at Natanz and Fordow. At this very day, talks between the IAEA and Iranian officials are taking place in Tehran. As it seems, Iran has once more refused to grant the IAEA access to Parchin. Even if the long overdue access should finally be granted, extensive activities at this site carried out by Iran will have seriously undermined the Agency’s ability to conduct effective inspections. Of utmost concern, however, is the fact that due to Iran’s persisting lack of cooperation no progress whatsoever has been made in clarifying the possible military dimensions to its nuclear programme.
During the last Security Council briefing several members expressed their deep concern regarding conventional arms transfers from Iran. The fact that the Sanctions Committee’s Panel of Experts has not received any reports of intercepted conventional arms transfers involving Iran in the current reporting period should not necessarily be interpreted as non-occurrence of such sanctions violations. Our concerns have not been evaporated. In fact, recent reports about illegal arms flows from Iran to Syria via air through Iraq underscore the pressing relevance of this issue. Moreover, these reports add to various public statements both by Iranian officials and Palestinian groups such as the Palestinian Islamic Jihad as well as Hamas indicating that Iran provided relevant technical assistance for building arms and rockets that were finally targeted at Israel. We strongly urge the Committee and its Panel of Experts to follow these preoccupying reports very closely and to act consequently.
We remain convinced that high vigilance on Iran’s proliferation activities is necessary. The Committee and its Panel of Experts have an important role to play promoting the overall acceptance and credibility of this body and in ensuring world-wide implementation of the sanctions.
Against this background, we are confident that the Committee will soon conclude its considerations on two designations recommended by the Panel of Experts. Once again, the Iranian entities to be designated - YAS AIR and SAD Import Export Company – are clearly linked to arms trafficking with Syria. In the same context, Germany welcomes the valuable Implementation Assistance Notice on Conventional Arms currently under consideration by the Sanctions Committee. Its publication would be a further step towards making the sanctions regime more efficient. We are hopeful that other IANs incorporating some more of the Panel’s recommendations will follow suit in the near future.
The Panel of Experts submitted its midterm report to the Committee on 9 November. We have examined it carefully and find it valuable and substantiated. We would like to express our appreciation of the Panel’s work and support it by sharing our experiences. Therefore, we have invited the Panel to again visit Germany from 17-20 December in order to discuss matters relevant to its mandate.
Iran urgently needs to convince the international community that its nuclear programme is exclusively peaceful. We are convinced that a diplomatic solution is possible and that negotiations with the E3+3 can yield results. Yet, the onus is on Iran. And our patience cannot be unlimited. If Iran continues to disregard its international obligations, it will face the increasing costs of its continued obstruction."