Iran's Statement on UNSC Resolution 2231

Monday, July 20, 2015

In an address to the UNSC session minutes after the resolution was passed, Iran's Ambassador to the UN Gholamali Khoshroo hailed the "fundamental shift in the consideration of Iran's peaceful nuclear program".

The following is the full text of Dr. Khoshroo's statement:

Resolution 2231 that the Council just adopted represents a significant development and marks a fundamental shift in the consideration of Iran's peaceful nuclear program by the Council in the past 10 years. The JCPOA is the result of a series of extensive and collective efforts that sought, for close to two years, to give diplomacy a chance and end the resort to pressure, coercion and threat. This fundamentally different approach, which was a departure from the path travelled during the preceding years, helped all of us opt for the best possible way out, put an end to an unnecessary crisis and accomplish major achievements for all the parties involved and the whole international community.

The resolution that was adopted and the JCPOA that was endorsed today provide also for the termination of the Security Council resolutions that unjustifiably placed sanctions on Iran for its efforts to exercise its rights. They were grounded on nothing but baseless and pure speculation and hearsay. Nobody has ever presented any proof indicating that Iran’s program has been anything but peaceful. The IAEA that put Iran's facilities under a record inspection has consistently reported that Iran has dutifully stood by every single commitment. For example, in terms of inspection frequency, only Japan has been subject to greater scrutiny than Iran, while Japan has much more extensive nuclear facilities. Last year, Iran even surpassed Japan in the number of inspections.

Therefore, the involvement of the Security Council was not caused by a suspicious nuclear weapon program, but driven by the stated objective in SCR 1696 to compel Iran to suspend its lawful enrichment program. That demand was not only unnecessary and uncalled for, but in fact ran counter to the unanimous conclusions of the 2000 and 2010 NPT Review Conferences which stipulate that the choices of member-states with regard to their fuel cycle activities must be respected. It also neglected the repeated demands of the majority of the international community represented in NAM. The sanctions imposed against Iran in SCR 1737 through 1929 were all punishments for the refusal of the Iranian people to accept that demand. In engaging with E3/EU+3, the Iranian people have had the foresight to move forward, without losing sight of the past. Therefore, while we hope that the Security Council will open a new chapter in its relations with Iran, we cannot accept or forget its previous treatment of Iran, starting from its inaction in the face of Saddam’s aggression and the use of chemical weapons to its more recent treatment of the Iranian peaceful nuclear program.

The solution that we arrived at is undoubtedly in the interest of strengthening the regime of nuclear non-proliferation in its entirety, as it includes and recognizes the right of Iran to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, including uranium enrichment activities and R&D on its soil. Rights and obligations of States parties to the NPT, as under any other international regime, can only go hand in hand. Obligations would be honoured and these regimes, including the NPT, sustained only if rights could also be achievable. No threats of sanction or war could help sustain the NPT in the long run if big powers fail to honour all its three pillars, including total nuclear disarmament and the right of all to use nuclear energy, and non-parties are rewarded for their intransigence.

Looking to the future, my Government hopes that the JCPOA and resolution 2231 herald a new chapter in the relationship between Iran with the Council and the JCPOA participants. Iran is both in a position and willing to comply fully with its commitment under the JCPOA; because it is already committed to the Fatwa of its Supreme leader, who has declared all weapons of mass destruction, particularly nuclear weapons, to be Haram, which its defence doctrine also so requires. We hope that our partners as well as the Council do the same with regards to their commitments under the same documents.

The desire expressed by the Council to build a new relationship with Iran, its encouraging all Member States to cooperate with Iran in the framework of the JCPOA in the field of peaceful use of nuclear energy and related projects as well as its emphasis that the JCPOA is conducive to promoting and facilitating the development of normal economic and trade contacts and cooperation with Iran are positive signs and all encouraging.

Mr. President,

While this deal focused on the nuclear issue, Iran expects it to have a wider positive implication for our region and the whole international community, including the following:

First, the deal, which was sealed on the basis of mutual respect and understanding, is an important achievement for diplomacy over pressure and coercion that could produce nothing with regard to Iran in the past 37 years. It reinforces faith in diplomacy as the most rational way to resolve differences in our interconnected world, and shows that diplomacy can work and prevail over war and tension. It is, therefore, a clear message to those who still believe that they can achieve everything through force and coercion.

Second, the JCPOA has the potential to help trigger a major development in this region towards more cooperation and coordination aimed at addressing the real issues at hand. Thus, we earnestly hope that it helps turn the page in our region, enabling countries to close their ranks and fight resolutely against violent extremism, and to move towards more cooperation to address the grave threats that our region and the world face. While all countries in our region have a very high stake in defeating terrorism, violent extremism and sectarianism, the JCPOA participants are also facing similar challenges to their security from these phenomena. With the dust settled over the nuclear issue, we are now free to focus on real issues and benefit from the better environment conducive to a wider cooperation among all actors.

Third, in the wake of this major development in the region, we renew our call to our neighbors and friends in the Persian Gulf and in the wider region that Iran is ready to engage in good faith with all of them based on mutual respect, good neighborliness and brotherhood. We have many common challenges in our region to address, and many common opportunities to benefit from. This is the time to start working together against our most common and important challenges, which include above all violent extremism.

Fourth, the Israeli regime, following its general policy to stoke tension in the region, has done whatever in its power to sabotage and defeat any effort towards resolving the standoff over Iran’s nuclear energy program. In so doing, it proves once more that it doesn’t see peace in our region in its interest and considers peace as an existential threat to itself. The Iranophobia that they try to spread in the region and beyond is also to serve this nefarious purpose. Thus, we alert our friends and neighbors not to fall into their trap. In this context, it is also not surprising that the Israeli regime is the only obstacle in the way of establishing a Nuclear Weapons-Free Zone in the Middle East that my country initiated more than forty years ago and has ever since promoted. We believe that nuclear warheads stockpiled by the Israeli regime constitute a grave threat to peace and security in our unstable region, and the Security Council should live up to its primary responsibility under the UN Charter and take necessary action to neutralize this threat.

Mr. President

To conclude, let me recall that Iran, as a nation with a rich culture and civilization, has withstood enormous millennial storms while being steadfast in preserving its independence and identity. These have not been acquired through oppressing others or reneging on commitments. The steadfastness that our delegation showed during the negotiations stemmed from the fact that we only accept commitments that we can abide by. As Iran is resolute in fulfilling its obligations, we expect that our counterparts remain also faithful to theirs. Only through honouring commitments, displaying good faith and adopting the right approach can diplomacy prevail over conflict and war in a world that is replete with violence, suffering and oppression. In this context, the JCPOA provides a solid foundation for further and more effective diplomatic interaction.

Before concluding, let me also inform you, Mr. President, that my delegation, upon the instruction from my government, is forwarding the statement of the Islamic Republic of Iran following the action taken today by the Security Council, to be circulated as a document of the Security Council.

Thank you Mr. President.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry has released its official position and reaction on the finalization in the UN Security Council of JCPOA on Monday.

In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

The Statement of the Islamic Republic of Iran Following the Adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 2231 Endorsing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)

1. The Islamic Republic of Iran considers science and technology, including peaceful nuclear technology, as the common heritage of mankind. At the same time, on the basis of solid ideological, strategic and international principles, Iran categorically rejects weapons of mass destruction and particularly nuclear weapons as obsolete and inhuman, and detrimental to international peace and security. Inspired by the sublime Islamic teachings, and based on the views and practice of the late founder of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini, and the historic Fatwa of the leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Khamenei, who has declared all weapons of mass destruction, particularly nuclear weapons, to be Haram (strictly forbidden) in Islamic jurisprudence, the Islamic Republic of Iran declares that it has always been the policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran to prohibit the acquisition, production, stockpiling or use of nuclear weapons.

2. The Islamic Republic of Iran underlines the imperative of total elimination of nuclear weapons, as a requirement of international security and an obligation under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).The Islamic Republic of Iran is determined to engage actively in all international diplomatic and legal efforts to save humanity from the menace of nuclear weapons and their proliferation, including through the establishment of Nuclear Weapons Free Zones, particularly in the Middle East.

3. The Islamic Republic of Iran firmly insists that States parties to the NPT shall not be prevented from enjoying their inalienable rights under the Treaty to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination and in conformity with Articles I and II of NPT.

4. The finalization of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on 14 July 2015 signifies a momentous step by the Islamic Republic of Iran and E3/EU+3 to resolve, through negotiations and based on mutual respect, an unnecessary crisis, which had been manufactured by baseless allegations about Iranian peaceful nuclear program, followed by unjustified politically-motivated measures against the people of Iran.

5. The JCPOA is premised on reciprocal commitments by Iran and E3/EU+3, ensuring the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program, on the one hand, and the termination of all provisions of Security Council resolutions 1696 (2006), 1737 (2006), 1747 (2007), 1803 (2008), 1835 (2008), 1929 (2010) and 2224 (2015) and comprehensive lifting of all United Nations Security Council sanctions, and all nuclear-related sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union and its member-states, on the other. The Islamic Republic of Iran is committed to implement its voluntary undertakings in good faith contingent upon same good faith implementation of all undertakings, including those involving the removal of sanctions and restrictive measures, by E3/EU+3 under the JCPOA.

6. Removal of nuclear-related sanctions and restrictive measures by European Union and the United States would mean that transactions and activities referred to under the JCPOA could be carried out with Iran and its entities anywhere in the world without fear of retributions from extraterritorial harassment, and all persons would be able to freely choose to engage in commercial and financial transactions with Iran. It is clearly spelled out in the JCPOA that both EU and the U.S. will refrain from re-introducing or re-imposing the sanctions and restrictive measures lifted under the JCPOA. It is understood that reintroduction or re-imposition, including through extension, of the sanctions and restrictive measures will constitute significant non-performance which would relieve Iran from its commitments in part or in whole. Removal of sanctions further necessitates taking appropriate domestic legal and administrative measures, including legislative and regulatory measures to effectuate the removal of sanctions. The JCPOA requires an effective end to all discriminatory compliance measures and procedures as well as public statements inconsistent with the intent of the agreement. Iran underlines the agreement by JCPOA participants that immediately after the adoption of the Security Council resolution endorsing the JCPOA, the EU, its Member States and the United States will begin consultation with Iran regarding relevant guidelines and publicly accessible statements on the details of sanctions or restrictive measures to be lifted under the JCPOA.

7. The Islamic Republic of Iran will pursue its peaceful nuclear program, including its enrichment and enrichment R&D, consistent with its own plan as agreed in the JCPOA, and will work closely with its counterparts to ensure that the agreement will endure the test of time and achieve all its objectives. This commitment is based on assurances by E3/EU+3 that they will cooperate in this peaceful program consistent with their commitments under the JCPOA. It is understood and agreed that, through steps agreed with the IAEA, all past and present issues of concern will be considered and concluded by the IAEA Board of Governors before the end of 2015. IAEA has consistently concluded heretofore that Iran’s declared activities are exclusively peaceful. Application of the Additional Protocol henceforth is intended to pave the way for a broader conclusion that no undeclared activity is evidenced in Iran either. To this end, The Islamic Republic of Iran will cooperate with IAEA, in accordance with the terms of the Additional Protocol as applied to all signatories. IAEA should, at the same time, exercise vigilance to ensure full protection of all confidential information. The Islamic Republic of Iran has always fulfilled its international non-proliferation obligations scrupulously and will meticulously declare all its relevant activities under the Additional Protocol. In this context, since no nuclear activity is or will ever be carried out in any military facility, the Islamic Republic of Iran is confident that such facilities will not be the subject of inspection requests.

8. The Joint Commission established under the JCPOA should be enabled to address and resolve disputes in an impartial, effective, efficient and expeditious manner. Its primary role is to address complaints by Iran and ensure that effects of sanctions lifting stipulated in the JCPOA will be fully realized. The Islamic Republic of Iran may reconsider its commitments under the JCPOA, if the effects of the termination of the UNSC sanction, or EU or US nuclear related sanctions or restrictive measures are impaired by continued application or the imposition of new sanctions with a nature and scope identical or similar to those that were in place prior to the Implementation Date, irrespective of whether such new sanctions are introduced on nuclear related or other grounds, unless the issues are remedied within a reasonably short time.

9. Reciprocal measures, envisaged in the dispute Settlement mechanism of JCPOA, to redress significant non-performance are considered as the last resort, if significant non-performance persists and is not remedied within the arrangements provided for in JCPOA. The Islamic Republic of Iran considers such measures as highly unlikely, as the objective is to ensure compliance rather than provide an excuse for arbitrary reversibility or means for pressure or manipulation. Iran is committed to fully implement its voluntary commitments in good faith. In order to ensure continued compliance by all JCPOA participants, the Islamic Republic of Iran underlines that in case the mechanism is applied against Iran or its entities and sanctions, particularly Security Council measures, are restored, the Islamic Republic of Iran will treat this as grounds to cease performing its commitments under the JCPOA, and to reconsider its cooperation with the IAEA.

10. The Islamic Republic of Iran underlines the common understanding and clearly-stated agreement of all JCPOA participants that affirms that the provisions of the Security Council Resolution 2231, endorsing the JCPOA, do not constitute provisions of the JCPOA, and can in no way impact performance of the JCPOA.

11. The Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran is determined to actively contribute to promotion of peace and stability in the region in the face of increasing threat of terrorism and violent extremism. Iran will continue its leading role in fighting this menace and stands ready to cooperate fully with its neighbors and the international community in dealing with this common global threat. Moreover, the Islamic Republic of Iran will continue to take necessary measures to strengthen its defense capabilities in order to protect its sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity against any aggression and to counter the menace of terrorism in the region. In this context, Iranian military capabilities, including ballistic missiles, are exclusively for legitimate defense. They have not been designed for WMD capability, and are thus outside the purview or competence of the Security Council resolution and its annexes.

12. The Islamic Republic of Iran expects to see meaningful realization of the fundamental shift in the Security Council’s approach envisaged in the preamble of SCR 2231. The Council has an abysmal track record in dealing with Iran, starting with its acquiescing silence in the face of a war of aggression by Saddam Hussain against Iran in 1980, its refusal from 1984 to 1988 to condemn, let alone act against, massive, systematic and wide-spread use of chemical weapons against Iranian soldiers and civilians by Saddam Hussain, and the continued material and intelligence support for Saddam Hussain’s chemical warfare by several of its members. Even after Saddam invaded Kuwait, the Security Council not only obdurately refused to rectify its malice against the people of Iran, but went even further and imposed ostensibly WMD-driven sanctions against these victims of chemical warfare and Councils acquiescing silence. Instead of at least noting the fact that Iran had not even retaliated against Saddam Hussain’s use of chemical weapons, the Council rushed to act on politically-charged baseless allegations against Iran, and unjustifiably imposed a wide range of sanctions against the Iranian people as retribution for their resistance to coercive pressures to abandon their peaceful nuclear program. It is important to remember that these sanctions, which should not have been imposed in the first place, are the subject of removal under the JCPOA and UNSCR 2231.

13. Therefore, the Islamic Republic of Iran continues to insist that all sanctions and restrictive measures introduced and applied against the people of Iran, including those applied under the pretext of its nuclear program, have been baseless, unjust and unlawful. Hence, nothing in the JCPOA shall be construed to imply, directly or indirectly, an admission of or acquiescence by the Islamic Republic of Iran in the legitimacy, validity or enforceability of the sanctions and restrictive measures adopted against Iran by the UNSC, the EU or its Member States, the United States or any other State, nor shall it be construed as a waiver or a limitation on the exercise of any related right the Islamic Republic of Iran is entitled to under relevant national legislations, international instruments or legal principles.

14. The Islamic Republic of Iran is confident that the good-faith implementation of the JCPOA by all its participants will help restore the confidence of Iranian people who have been unduly subjected to illegal pressure and coercion under the pretext of this manufactured crisis, and will open new possibilities for cooperation in dealing with real global challenges and actual threats to regional security. Our region has long been mired in undue tension while extremists and terrorists continue to gain and maintain grounds. It is high time to redirect attention and focus on these imminent threats and seek and pursue effective means to defeat this common menace.

*Photo Credit: Tehran Times, Tasnim

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