With IAEA Director-General’s recent reaffirmation that Iran continues to advance its nuclear program, the United States of America today said Iranian nuclear issue remains one of gravest threats to international security and a top priority for the Security Council.
In her remarks at a Security Council 1737 Committee briefingin New York, Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United NationsAS says in recent weeks, the IAEA Director-General reaffirmed yet again that Iran continues to advance its nuclear program and obstruct the IAEA’s investigation into the program’s possible military dimensions by refusing to grant the IAEA access to the Parchin site and to documents, personnel and equipment requested by the agency.
“These actions, as well as Iran’s continued enrichment and heavy-water related activities, are in clear violation of this Council’s demands.” – Ms. Rice
IAEA confirms Iran’s Proliferation Activities
According to Ms. Rice, more alarming still, the IAEA Director-General has confirmed that Iran is now further contravening UN Security Council resolutions by installing hundreds of second-generation centrifuges that could significantly increase its uranium enrichment capacity.
She says the installation of these centrifuges, as well as Iran’s stockpiling of twenty percent-enriched uranium and continued enrichment at the Fordow facility, are cause for serious concern.
“These actions are unnecessary and thus provocative.” – Ms. Rice
She says Iran already has enough enriched uranium to fuel the Tehran Research Reactor for at least a decade.
Increasing this capacity without any clear civilian use makes no sense, she added.
Ms. Rice notes Iran’s actions neither build international confidence nor bring us closer to a comprehensive and peaceful solution.
“On the contrary, they raise the world’s concerns.” – Ms. Rice
According to Ms. Rice, as long as Iran rejects its international obligations, the world must be resolute in implementing fully the sanctions this Council has imposed.
In recent months, the world has witnessed troubling new violations of these sanctions.
In January, Yemen seized a vessel transporting a very large cache of sophisticated Iranian arms, ammunition and explosives in violation of Resolution 1747.
Ms. Rice says these arms could have destabilized Yemen’s fragile transition.
“We urge the Committee, with the support of the Panel of Experts, to investigate this case rigorously and work with the Council to craft a worthy response.” – Ms. Rice
In addition, Ms. Rice notes they have also observed more public statements acknowledging Iran’s illicit arms smuggling.
She cites representatives of Hamas, Hezbollah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and even Iran itself are now publicly admitting to activities that violate UN sanctions.
She notes the Committee should consider these statements as additional proof of Iran’s blatant disregard for its obligations and follow up to the fullest extent possible.
The Committee is now also assessing Iranian missile launches that violated Resolution 1929, she pointed pout.
These launches allow Iran to refine and develop a technology that if ever combined with weapons of mass destruction would constitute an intolerable threat to international peace and security, she added.
“We urge the Committee, in line with its mandate, to take swift and sure action in response, including imposing targeted sanctions on those responsible for these violations.” – Ms. Rice
She explains further that each and every violation of UN sanctions is a serious matter.
“It is collective responsibility to report on these cases, to support efforts to investigate them, and to act decisively when investigations are completed.” – Ms. Rice
She says responding effectively to these incidents bolsters both the Council’s credibility and the efficiency of diplomatic efforts to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue.
Comprehensive solution to the Iranian nuclear issue
According to Ms. Rice, the United States remains committed to a diplomatic solution.
“Therefore, we welcome the recently resumed P5 +1 dialogue with Iran. But let us not forget that dialogue is only a means to an end.” – Ms. Rice
US goal remains a durable and comprehensive solution to the Iranian nuclear issue which restores international confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program in accordance with the NPT and in compliance with all relevant UN Security Council and IAEA Board of Governors’ resolutions.
According to Ms. Rice, as a first step, US seeks to address Iran’s most significant nuclear activities particulary the production and accumulation of near-20% enriched uranium and the installation of additional centrifuges at Fordow.
In that event, she highlighted the P5+1 countries have demonstrated that they are willing to take steps to respond to Iran’s expressed concerns.
The talks between the P5+1 and Iran in Almaty were useful, however, Ms. Rice says they must see whether real progress towards a negotiated solution can result from this renewed process.
The process cannot continue indefinitely or be used as a stalling mechanism, she underlined
“Therefore, we remain committed to the dual-track approach -mounting pressure on Iran as we pursue meaningful dialogue in good faith.” – Ms. Rice
She says they can continue to clarify for Iran the consequences of its actions and show Iran the benefits of choosing cooperation over provocation.
US Determined to Prevent Iran From Acquiring a Nuclear Weapon
With speculations continue to make headlines that Iran is not disclosing enough information on its nuclear program, the United States of America has underlined that it is determined to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon and has pursued a dual-track policy to do so.
International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) Board of Governors overwhelmingly adopted a resolution that clearly reflects the international community’s concerns regarding Iran’s nuclear program.
The US government welcomes the resolve of the international community to make clear the onus is on Iran to abide by its international obligations, honor its commitments to the IAEA, and prove that its intentions are peaceful.
The international community is also determined to make significant cuts to Iranian oil revenue, which funds not only the nuclear program but Iran’s support for terror and destabilizing actions in the region and around the world, Ms. Clinton underlined.
Countries reduce crude oil purchases from Iran
Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, and the United Kingdom have again qualified for an exception to sanctions outlined in Section 1245 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, as amended (NDAA), based on reductions in the volume of their crude oil purchases from Iran.
As of July 1, 2012, the European Union implemented a full ban on Iranian crude oil and petroleum products, strengthening the comprehensive measures it has taken to hold Iran accountable for its failure to comply with its international nuclear obligations.
Japan has also taken significant steps to reduce its crude oil purchases, which is especially notable considering the extraordinary energy challenges it has faced in the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster, she noted.
The US has brought significant pressure to bear on the Iranian regime
US says it will continue to work with its partners to ratchet up the pressure on Iran to meet its international obligations.
With international community expressing concern on Iran’s nuclear programme, the head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog has said Iran is not providing the necessary cooperation to enable the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities, and not driven by military ambitions.
IAEA General of the International Atomic Energy Agency Yukiya Amano also renewed his call on Iran to grant inspectors access to the Parchin nuclear facility site.
Iran’s nuclear programme has been making headline which its officials have stated is for peaceful purposes, but some other countries contend is driven by military ambitions.
Reports say Iran’s nuclear programme has become a matter of international concern since the discovery in 2003 that the country had concealed its nuclear activities for 18 years in breach of its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Iran has repeatedly stated that its nuclear programme is for the peaceful purpose of providing energy, but many countries believe it is seeking to develop nuclear weapons.
Iran’s nuclear programme has been under scrunitization of the international community. The country’s offcials have stated it is for peaceful purposes, but some other countries contend is driven by military ambitions.
On December 2002, satellite photographs shown on U.S. television confirm the existence of sites at Natanz and Arak. The United States accuses Tehran of “across-the-board pursuit of weapons of mass destruction.” Iran agrees to inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
On February 2003, Iranian President Mohammad Khatami reveals that Iran has unearthed uranium deposits and announces plans to develop a nuclear fuel cycle.
Reports say Iran try had concealed its nuclear activities for 18 years in breach of its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
On 23rd December 2006, the 15-member UN Security Council unanimously adopts a binding resolution that calls on Iran to suspend its uranium-enrichment activities and to comply with its IAEA obligations. Resolution 1737 directs all states to prevent the supply or sale to Iran of any materials that could assist its nuclear or ballistic missile programmes. It also imposes an asset freeze on key companies and individuals named by the UN as contributors to Iran’s nuclear and missile programmes.
Resolution 1737 was strengthened by resolution 1747 the following year which imposed a ban on arms sales to or from Iran, and expanded an existing freeze on assets.
Resolution 1747 of the following year tightened the sanctions by imposing a ban on arms sales and expanding the freeze on assets.
The IAEA is increasingly concerned about the possible existence in Iran of past or current undisclosed nuclear-related activities involving military-related organizations, including activities related to the development of a nuclear payload for a missile, about which the Agencycontinues to receive new information.
Iran has produced over 4,500 kilograms of low-enriched uranium, which, according to the Institute for Science and International Security, is almost enough for four nuclear weapons after further enrichment to weapon grade.