Voltaire Network

Resolution 2231 and debates (Iranian nuclear)

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You will find below the text of the debates. The resolution will be placed on this page as soon as we have received the translation.

The meeting was called to order at 9.05 a.m.

The President: In accordance with rule 37 of the Council’s provisional rules of procedure, I invite the representatives of Germany and the Islamic Republic of Iran to participate in this meeting.

In accordance with rule 39 of the Council’s provisional rules of procedure, I invite His Excellency Mr. Thomas Mayr-Harting, Head of the Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations, to participate in this meeting.

The Security Council will now begin its consideration of the item on its agenda. Members of the Council have before them document S/2015/547, which contains the text of a draft resolution prepared in the course of the Council’s prior consultations.

The Council is ready to proceed to the vote on the draft resolution before it. I would like to thank all Council members for their sponsorship of the draft resolution, which is now a presidential text. I shall put the draft resolution to the vote now.

A vote was taken by show of hands.

In favour:
Angola, Chad, Chile, China, France, Jordan, Lithuania, Malaysia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Russian Federation, Spain, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America and Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)

The President: The draft resolution received 15 votes in favour. The draft resolution has been adopted unanimously as resolution 2231 (2015).

I now give the floor to those members of the Council who wish to make statements after the vote. Ms. Power (United States of America): Today we have adopted resolution 2231 (2015), enshrining the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action agreed to six days ago in Vienna.

By now, many are familiar with the basic tenets of the deal, which, if implemented, would cut off all pathways to fissile material for a nuclear weapon for the Islamic Republic of Iran, while putting in place a rigorous inspection and transparency regime for verifying Iran’s compliance. The Plan of Action will cut the number of Iran’s centrifuges by two thirds and prevent Iran from producing weapons-grade plutonium. Iran will also get rid of 98 per cent of its stockpile of enriched uranium, going from a quantity that could produce approximately 10 nuclear weapons to a fraction of what is needed for a single nuclear weapon. The deal will quadruple Iran’s break-out time — the time needed to produce enough weapons-grade uranium for one nuclear weapon — from the current estimate of two to three months to one year. It will also require Iran and all States to comply with legally binding restrictions on nuclear and conventional arms-related and ballistic missile-related activities.

Ninety days from today, when our respective capitals and legislatures have had a chance to carefully review the deal’s provisions, the commitments in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action should take effect. Sanctions relief will begin only when Iran verifiably completes the initial steps necessary to bring its nuclear programme in line with the deal. It is important today to step back from the Plan of Action to its larger lessons — lessons about enforcing global norms, the essential role of diplomacy, the need for ongoing vigilance and the absolute necessity of the unity of the Security Council; lessons that have implications both for ensuring implementation of the deal and for tackling other crises that confront us today.

This year we mark 70 years since the founding of the United Nations, which its second Secretary- General, Dag Hammarskjöld, famously said “was not created to bring us to heaven, but to save us from hell”. In the wake of the devastating loss of life in the Second World War and the immeasurable suffering it caused, representatives of nations around the world came together with an aim — to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war.

The first lesson we can learn from how this deal was secured is that it is not enough to agree to global norms, such as that against the proliferation of nuclear weapons. The Council and all the countries of the United Nations must actually take steps to enforce global norms. In 2006, in response to Iran’s efforts to develop a nuclear-weapons programme, the Security Council put in place on the of toughest sanctions regimes in its history, which was complemented by robust sanctions imposed by the United States, several other countries and the European Union (EU). Faced with Iran’s ongoing non-compliance, the United Nations tightened its sanctions in 2007, 2008 and 2010. The sanctions regime played a critical role in helping to lay the groundwork for the talks that would give rise to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

The second lesson is one that was most eloquently articulated more than 50 years ago by President John F. Kennedy and echoed last week by President Obama: “Let us never negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate”. Given the devastating human toll of war, we have a responsibility to test diplomacy. In 2010, when then-United States Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice spoke in the Chamber after the Council strengthened sanctions on Iran, she cited the ways in which Iran had violated its commitments to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and its obligations under prior Security Council resolutions. Yet she also said:

“The United States reaffirms our commitment to engage in robust, principled and creative diplomacy. We will remain ready to continue diplomacy with Iran and its leaders” (S/PV.6335, p.5).

And when a credible opening emerged for negotiations, that is exactly what the United States and the other members of the P-5+1 — the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia and China — and the EU did.

There were many occasions over these past two years of grueling negotiations when any party could have walked away. The distances just seemed too great, the history between us searing and the resulting mistrust defining. But the United States and our partners knew that we had a responsibility to try to overcome these obstacles and resolve the crisis peacefully. One only has to spend a week in the Security Council — any week — and hear accounts of the bloodshed and heartbreak in Yemen, Syria, South Sudan, Darfur, Mali, Libya or any other conflict-ridden part of the world to be reminded of the consequences of war. Sometimes, as bother the Charter of the United Nations and history make clear, the use of force is required, but we all have a responsibility to work aggressively in diplomatic channels to try to secure our objectives peacefully.

This nuclear deal does not change our profound concern about human rights violations committed by the Iranian Government or about the instability Iran fuels beyond its nuclear programmes — from its support for terrorist proxies to its repeated threats against Israel to its other destabilizing activities in the region. That is why the United States will continue to invest in the security of our allies in the region and why we will maintain our own sanctions related to Iran’s support for terrorism, its ballistic-missiles programme and its human rights violations.

And this deal will in no way diminish the United States outrage over the unjust detention of United States citizens by the Government of Iran. Let me use this occasion to call once again on Iran to immediately release all unjustly detained Americans: Saeed Abedini, imprisoned for his religious beliefs; Amir Hekmati, falsely accused of espionage; and Jason Rezaian, a Washington Post correspondent who just a year ago was covering the nuclear negotiations. I also call on Iran to help locate Robert Levinson, who has been missing from Iran since 2007. No family should be forced to endure the anguish that the Abedini, Hekmati, Rezaian and Levinson families feel, and we will not rest until they are home where they belong.

But denying Iran a nuclear weapon is important not in spite of these other destabilizing actions, but rather because of them. As President Obama has pointed out,

“that is precisely why we are taking this step — because an Iran armed with a nuclear weapon would be far more destabilizing and far more dangerous to our friends and to the world”.

So while this deal does not address many of our profound concerns, if implemented it would make the world safer and more secure.

Yet while reaching this deal matters, our work is far from finished. In the months and even years ahead, the international community must apply the same rigour to ensuring compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action as we did to drafting and negotiating it. This is my third point — implementation is everything. And that is precisely why so many verification measures have been built into this deal. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action will grant the IAEA access when it needs it and where it needs it, including 24/7 containment and surveillance of Iran’s declared nuclear facilities. Inspectors will have access to the entire supply chain that supports Iran’s peaceful nuclear programme, from mining and milling to conversion, enrichment, fuel manufacturing, nuclear reactors and spent fuel. If the terms of the deal are not followed, all sanctions that have been suspended can be snapped back into place, and if the United States or any other participant in the Plan of Action believes that Iran is violating its commitments, we can trigger a process in the Security Council that will reinstate the United Nations sanctions.

The fourth and final lesson we can learn from the process that led us here today is that when our nations truly unite to confront global crises, our impact grows exponentially. The founders of the United Nations understood that concept intrinsically and enshrined it in the Charter, which calls on each of us “to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security”. In the twenty-first century, it is now an axiom that our nations can do more to advance peace, justice and human dignity by working together than any single country can achieve on its own, and that, indeed, only when we act as united nations can we address the world’s most intractable problems.

Although we do not see that unity enough here at the United Nations, the countries of the United Nations did largely unite behind the cause of preventing nuclear proliferation in Iran, and it was the persistent multilateral pressure that came out of this unity, combined with a critical openness to seeking a diplomatic solution that gave the P-5+1 and EU negotiators the leverage they needed to get the deal that would advance our collective security.

In conclusion, the only proper measure of this deal and all of the tireless efforts that went into it will be its implementation. This deal gives Iran an opportunity to prove to the world that it intends to pursue a nuclear programme solely for peaceful purposes. If Iran seizes that opportunity; if it abides by the commitments that it agreed to in this deal, as it did throughout the period of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action negotiations; if it builds upon the mutual respect and diligence that its negotiators demonstrated in Lausanne and Vienna; and if it demonstrates a willingness to respect the international standards upon which our collective security rests, then it will find the international community and the United States willing to provide a path out of isolation and towards greater engagement.

We hope that Iran’s Government will choose that path, not only because it would make the United States, its allies and the world more secure — which it will — but also because it will more fully empower the Iranian people, whose potential all of us should wish to see unlocked. But let us just think for one moment how much more effective the Council would be if we were to bring the same approach to tackling other threats to international peace and security today:

rigourous enforcement; a willingness to be relentless in our pursuit of tough, principled diplomacy, even when the odds seem stacked against us; a commitment not just to resolutions but to their full implementation; and a willingness to overcome divisions to strengthen our collective security.

If we did all that, we can only imagine what we might be able to achieve to mitigate the horrific suffering in Syria today, and what progress the United Nations could make were we to bring the same political will to advancing the human rights of the world’s most vulnerable people as we have to cutting off Iran’s pathways to a nuclear weapon. How many more girls worldwide would be in classrooms? How many more warlords and dictators worldwide would be behind bars? It is humbling to imagine how much more we could achieve. It should motivate us to do far more.

Mr. Liu Jieyi (China) (spoke in Chinese): A few minutes ago, the Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 2231 (2015), on the Iranian nuclear issue, endorsing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action reached on that matter by the P-5+1 — China, France, the Russian Federation, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States of America — in Vienna on on 14 July.

In spite of ups and downs, the efforts made with regard to the Iran nuclear issue over more than the past 10 years have finally resulted in a political solution. With the conclusion of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the international nuclear non-proliferation regime has been safeguarded. Iran has made a political commitment not to develop nuclear weapons, while at the same time it has been given the legitimate right to the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. A new chapter has also begun on Iran’s relationship with all sides.

The conclusion of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action brings far-reaching inspiration to contemporary international relations. First, the setting up of a new type of international relationship centred on mutual benefit and win-win outcomes has a strong vitality. The Iranian nuclear issueconcerns the immediate — and even core — interests of all sides. Without a multi-win and all-win spirit, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action would not have been achieved. Even if it had been, it would not have lasted for long.

Secondly, it is essential to stay the course in seeking political solutions to major issues. However the difficult the process may be, a political solution is always the only practical and viable path. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action also serves as a successful example of how to address other regional and international hot-spot issues through political and diplomatic means.

Thirdly, it is possible to achieve success so long as confidence is maintained, political will is demonstrated and tireless efforts are made in the course of seeking political solutions. The Council’s adoption of resolution 2231 (2015), which endorses the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, is an important step in the process of implementing the agreement. This is a good beginning. Implementing the agreement over the next 10 years will be even more important, during which it will be essential to adhere to the following principles.

First, the Council’s resolution and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action must be implemented in a balanced, precise and comprehensive manner. All sides should effectively fulfil the commitments they have made and seriously and effectively implement all the provisions of the agreement. Secondly, in accordance with the principles of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, it is essential to appropriately resolve the differences that may arise during the implementation process, demonstrate goodwill and stay the course for the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Thirdly, it is necessary to constantly take stock of experiences and good practices during the implementation process, maintain the effectiveness of the relevant mechanism and make positive efforts to maintain world peace, promote regional stability and improve relations among all sides.

China has all along worked constructively for fruitful negotiations on the Iranian nuclear issue. We will continue to make new contributions to implement the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in a responsible manner.

Mr. Delattre (France) (spoke in French): France welcomes the adoption of resolution 2231 (2015), which marks a historic moment both for international peace and security and for the Security Council. Following 12 years of a nuclear crisis, after many months of intensive months of negotiation, an agreement with Iran was finally reached in Vienna on 14 July. First, the agreement charts a demanding path towards establishing trust in the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme. It also serves to confirm the relevance and robustness of the non-proliferation regime. The agreement will also make a contribution to regional and international stability, as an Iran with nuclear weapons would further destabilize a region already experiencing many crises. Conversely, with this agreement we will together be able to write a new chapter in the history of the region. Above all, the authority of the Council and of our collective security system has been strengthened thanks to this agreement. If the commitments are upheld, one of the most serious crises of the past 20 years will have been settled peaceably through dialogue and negotiation.

This agreement is first and foremost a triumph of method. As the Council is aware, from the outset of the crisis, in 2003, along with Germany and the United Kingdom, France gave priority to dialogue through what came to be known as a dual approach, namely, negotiations and sanctions. We believed that, without firmness and pressure from the international community, calls for dialogue would have been in vain. Our American, Russian and Chinese partners, and eventually the rest of the Security Council, rallied around that approach. In that way, we were able to establish the framework for dialogue that, 12 years later, made it possible to arrive at an outcome.

This agreement is also the result of firmness. Throughout the negotiations, France did not waver from its position of being in favour of civilian nuclear programme for Iran but against a nuclear weapon. Against that backdrop, France resolutely joined in the search for a negotiated solution. That course of constructive resolve made it possible to arrive at a robust and binding agreement that is also precise, complete and credible and whose full implementation will serve to address the expectations of the international community and the concerns of Iran’s neighbours.

It is now up to the Security Council to endorse the Vienna agreement and act as guarantor of its implementation. Although the time for negotiations has come to an end, now is the time for action and vigilance. The process that has been put in place includes clear and exact limits on Iran’s nuclear programme, a robust oversight and verification system and the possibility for automatically reinstating sanctions in the event of Iran’s violation of its commitments. It is Iran’s responsibility, in line with the timetable that has been established, to implement the entirety of the measures agreed. The International Atomic Energy Agency will play a key role with regard to oversight and verification, as well as in informing the Council as to Iran’s adherence to its commitments. Along with its partners, France will rigorously and in good faith monitor compliance with this agreement. We will judge Iran’s by its actions in making this agreement a success. The role and unity of the Council will also be a determining factor. The lifting of Security Council sanctions is preconditioned on Iran’s respect for its commitments. The Council must continue to exercise vigilance throughout the period covered by the agreement. Over the next 15 years, it must be prepared to reinstate sanctions in the event of shortcomings on the part of Iran.

Together, with eyes wide open, we are embarking today upon a new chapter. But the most important part is yet to be written, and the coming weeks will be decisive.

Mr. Churkin (Russian Federation) (spoke in Russian): Today’s resolution 2231 (2015), adopted unanimously in support of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, marks a fundamental shift in the Security Council’s consideration of the situation regarding the Iranian nuclear programme, with a view towards resolving the matter once and for all. By creating a new reality, we are not just turning a page but beginning a new chapter in the work of the Council. We expect that all countries will quickly adapt to the new conditions and contribute to the successful implementation of the agreement.

The Security Council, and the international community it represents, has supported a clear choice to resolve the situation regarding the Iranian nuclear programme through political and diplomatic means based on international law — first and foremost the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. A choice has been made in favour of mutual respect, stability and cooperation. We are pleased that that decision has been based on a gradual and reciprocal approach, which our country consistently supported throughout all stages of the negotiations.

The Council has today confirmed the inalienable right of Iran to develop a peaceful nuclear programme, including to enrich uranium, while also ensuring comprehensive oversight by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). This resolution also guarantees lifting the burden of sanctions on Iran in the framework of the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action though a clear and transparent mechanism that will be made operational through concrete steps based on confidence in Iran’s nuclear programme, including IAEA verification.

A reliable filter has been created in the framework of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and resolution 2231 (2015) that will guarantee that all disputes and disagreements that could arise in the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action will be subject to collective consideration in the framework of the joint commission, with the participation of the P-5+1, Iran and the European Union. Moreover, the Security Council maintains a leading role on issues regarding the implementation of the Plan of Action. During negotiations we knew that the Plan of Action would be subject to Security Council approval, and we therefore gave special attention to ensuring the prerogatives of this organ and respect for the role of all its members, including non-permanent members, in taking decisions that are essential to implementing the agreement. We are grateful to the IAEA for its readiness to assume responsibility for monitoring and verification of Iran’s obligations.

We hope that the agreement with Iran will help other countries of the Middle East and the Persian Gulf to refrain from destabilizing moves, including in the nuclear sphere, and to ensure that the region does not enter a new arms race. We are creating conditions conducive to the establishment in the Middle East of a zone free of weapons of mass destruction and to the search for common approaches among countries of the Middle East to addressing regional security issues and uniting their collective efforts in the fight against the terrorist threat. In a statement following the conclusion of the negotiations, the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, underscored that Russia will do all it can to ensure that the Vienna agreements become fully operational in order to promote the strengthening of international and regional security, the global regime of nuclear non-proliferation, and the mobilization of a broad regional coalition to counteract the terrorist threat.

We underscore that the work of all the negotiating teams deserve the highest praise. We commend in particular the Governments of Austria and Switzerland, which ensured optimal conditions for guaranteeing the success of the negotiations. We would also like to praise the consideration of our friends from Kazakhstan, who organized several rounds of negotiations.

Reaching an agreement to resolve the issues surrounding the Iranian nuclear programme demonstrates that where there exists a political will based on realism and respect for legitimate mutual interests, the international community can resolve the most complex tasks. All participants in the negotiations demonstrated their readiness to engage in collective efforts. A reserve of trust has been built up that will be very useful in the course of implementing the agreement. We hope that this invaluable experience of collective efforts, unburdened by ideological geopolitical calculations, will also be used to resolve other crisis situations where, perhaps, success will be secured exclusively through joint work. Russia is ready for this.

Mr. Rycroft (United Kingdom): The United Kingdom welcomes the adoption of resolution 2231 (2015). The resolution endorses the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action agreed in Vienna last week. It creates the baseline from which to recalibrate our broader relationship with Iran, and it is an opportunity for us all to re-engage economically and culturally with an important regional Power as it takes on its proper responsibility for improving regional stability. Today’s adoption is an important milestone in the history of the Council, the culmination of negotiations that have taken place over more than a decade. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is a landmark achievement, and I join my colleagues in expressing my congratulations and gratitude to everyone involved in that process.

In the Council, we often call for the peaceful resolution of disputes. In some cases, progress is slow and situations remain unresolved, but while in the past we have met to call on Iran to respond to our concerns, today we can be proud that Iran has committed to taking actions to address those concerns. I am delighted that the Council has endorsed the deal unanimously. It is a good deal — good for the United Kingdom and the international community, good for the region, and good for Iran. If implemented fully, the resolution will address our proliferation concerns through comprehensive commitments on the part of Iran to limit its nuclear programme — commitments that will be verified through extensive monitoring and transparency. As soon as Iran takes steps on its nuclear programme, it will receive comprehensive economic and financial sanctions relief, enabling it to trade more freely again with the rest of the world. Under full implementation of the deal, Iran will be treated just like any other non-nuclear-weapon State party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

We now need to look ahead and make sure that we all deliver on our commitments as we implement the agreement. That will not be easy. There will inevitably be difficulties and unforeseen obstacles, but we must live up to our commitments, act in good faith and try wherever possible to resolve together any problems in implementing the deal. The role of the Security Council will be important. We will maintain oversight in the implementation of the agreement. We also need to take significant steps to support its implementation. In some areas, that will involve novel working methods for the Council. We will have to be flexible and imaginative, and get this right.

The deal gives us the chance to change the relationship between Iran and the Security Council, and change for the better the dynamics in the region and beyond. We can now start the work of rebuilding a deficit of trust that has arisen over decades; we can start to normalize our relationships, which hold great promise for the future. We will also encourage Iran to play a transparent and constructive role in regional affairs, including in the current crises in Yemen and Syria. Iran has an opportunity to make a positive decision about its responsibilities in the region.

The world is now a safer place in the knowledge that Iran cannot build a nuclear bomb. I encourage all of us in the Council to show the same determination, courage and vision in supporting this project and pursuing our other top priorities, as the negotiators on all sides have demonstrated in getting us the agreement we have endorsed here today.

Mr. Oyarzun Marchesi (Spain) (spoke in Spanish): Today we celebrate the triumph of diplomacy following an arduous and complex negotiating process between the E-3+3 and Iran. I join in congratulating all participants on their efforts and commitments. I congratulate Iran, the United States, Russia, China and our partners in the European Union, and of course the United Kingdom, France and Germany. They have demonstrated us that nothing is impossible where there is political will. They have also given us new impetus in addressing new challenges to international peace and security, as we do daily here in the Council. Such challenges can sometimes seem insurmountable in the absence of inspiration such as that provided in this case today.

Plutarch, writing in Parallel Lives in the late first century A.D., ascribes to Alexander the Great a statement that we here today could also endorse, to the effect that dealing with the Persians on the basis of dialogue rather than confrontation serves our interests and benefits us and them. The benefits will be undeniable — Iran can return to normality and the world will be a safer place.

We are also seeing a demonstration of the Security Council’s effectiveness. In adopting resolution 1737 (2006), on 23 December 2006, the Council showed its determination to place limits on Iran’s development of sensitive nuclear technologies that could serve to support its nuclear and missile programmes. Today, the Council followed through on that determination. The Council’s approach to the Iranian issue has undoubtedly been decisive in reaching the agreement and shows how, when we act united and with determination, we can make the Council the most valuable guardian of international peace and security. Moreover, in a symbiotic process, the more effective this body is, the stronger it is and the more capable it is to address future challenges.

Before us now are opportunities and challenges. The opportunities we now have stem from a balanced agreement that strengthens the non-proliferation system and offers an outstanding opportunity that should not be missed. We also have the responsibility to take advantage of the synergies the agreement offers. To that end, we must ensure that the process is brought to an optimal conclusion. Among the opportunities presented, we must highlight the beneficial effect that the process could have on the region because it will bring about an element of stability, as the representative of the United Kingdom just said. We must take advantage of this as as a valuable basis to work towards combating the threat of terrorism and bringing about the end of the conflict in the Middle East.

But there are also challenges, which is why we must implement what has been agreed to in a timely and effective manner. Today, the Foreign Affairs Council of the European Union will meet to take a decision about the Union’s role under the terms of the agreement. Now that the hardest part has been achieved, we here in the Council must continue to show unity and determination in duly implementing the agreement and establish follow-up and monitoring mechanisms that will replace current ones. We must find the most effective way of monitoring the restrictions that will remain in place for a certain amount of time.

Accordingly, as Chair of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1737 (2006), I feel deeply involved in this process and I can guarantee that I will make every effort to uphold my role throughout the transition phase, being as pragmatic as possible and assisting Member States in the full implementation of the agreement in their respective relationships with the current regime. As I said on the day that the United States submitted the draft resolution, the greatest source of happiness for me would be to see the 1737 Committee simply disappear, as that would mean we are fulfilling the message the tapestry that floats above this Chamber delivers on a daily basis: the 1737 Committee, like the phoenix, will die only to light up a future of peace and security. As we forge that future the Council can count on the full support and commitment of Spain.

Mrs. Kawar (Jordan) (spoke in Arabic): Jordan welcomes the agreement reached on the Iranian nuclear issue, as well as the political and diplomatic efforts made by China, France, Germany, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union to achieve it.

Jordan has always called for a peaceful diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear issue. Therefore, Jordan supports any steps taken to entrench regional and international peace and security and stability, particularly in the current conditions prevailing in the Middle East. We hope that the agreement signed between the P5+1 and Iran will promote further confidence among the States of the region. We also hope that it will have positive repercussions on all States of the region and on the security and stability of their peoples. And we hope that it will serve as a constructive step towards preventing a new arms race in the Middle East region and that it will rid the region of all weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons.

In conclusion, we stress the importance of the role of the International Atomic Energy Agency in following up and implementing the agreement and providing the Security Council with regular reports on Iran’s implementation in accordance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

Mr. Barros Melet (Chile) (spoke in Spanish): We express our satisfaction at the adoption of resolution 2231 (2015), by which the Security Council endorses the agreement reached between Iran and the E3/EU+3 on the Iranian nuclear programme. We voted in favour of the resolution because we value the agreement, as it contributes to resolving differences on the programme’s scope and prospects and reaffirms the right of all States party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons to benefit from the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

We hope that the significant verification elements in the agreement will make it possible to build confidence among the parties, preserve the integrity of the multilateral non-proliferation regime and strengthen the role of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), thereby promoting greater cooperation to safeguard peace and stability in the Middle East.

The agreement has served to reaffirm the irreplaceable value of negotiation and diplomacy in conducting international relations. The responsibility, flexibility and creativity that all the parties demonstrated show the will and commitment to peace and cooperation, which are the guiding principles of our Organization.

At this historic juncture, from our seat in the Council and on the Board of Governors of the IAEA, we will provide our full support to the effective and smooth implementation of this agreement. We therefore hope to contribute to building confidence and creating better conditions for the maintenance of regional and global security.

Mr. Ramírez Carreño (Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela) (spoke in Spanish): The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela co-sponsored and voted in favour of resolution 2231 (2015), which ratifies the agreements reached between the P5+1, the European Union and the Islamic Republic of Iran. We are convinced that through this resolution the Security Council is giving its firm backing to an important agreement that ushers in a new era in relations among the various States.

Venezuela welcomes this important agreement and congratulates all the delegations that participated in the negotiations process that led to the signing of this important document — on the courage, persistence, political will and commitment they showed throughout the 18 months of intense negotiations. The results achieved reveal the importance of political and diplomatic efforts to find a peaceful solution to the impasse, in accordance with Article 2 of the Charter of the United Nations. It also shows once again that, where there is political commitment among the parties, peace and dialogue impose themselves in the face of warmongering speeches that fuel distrust and confrontation.

This agreement is the triumph of diplomacy over war. The full implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action will guarantee the Islamic Republic of Iran the right to exercise its sovereign right to the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes with a view to promoting its technological and energy independence. We are also convinced that this instrument will contribute positively to the birth of a new phase of diplomatic relations between Iran and the States party to the agreement, based on mutual trust and respect and a collective commitment with a view to strengthening international peace and security.

We are pleased that the agreements reached will in the end allow for the final lifting of the Security Council sanctions regime as well as other unilateral coercive measures unlawfully applied in other areas related to Iran’s nuclear programme, which include measures restricting access to economic, commercial, financial, technological, energy goods and services, inter alia, which has had a negative impact on the Iranian people and other States in their cooperative relations with Iran. We reaffirm our full support and implementation of this historic effort with a view to achieving the welfare and progress of the Iranian people. We hope that the agreement reached will mark the beginning of a far-reaching political process that paves the way to progress towards a peaceful solution to the other conflicts taking place in the Middle East — including regarding the Palestinian issue, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and extremist terrorism — that are threatening peace and stability in the region.

In conclusion, we believe that the international community must now support and demonstrate the same political will with a view to achieving a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East in conformity with the package of measures agreed at the Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, which is necessary and of major importance in achieving peace and stability in that troubled region.

Mr. Ibrahim (Malaysia): I thank you, Mr. President, for giving me the floor to explain Malaysia’s vote on resolution 2231 (2015), which the Council just adopted and which we co-sponsored and voted in favour of. At the outset, Malaysia wishes to congratulate the delegations responsible for reaching this historic agreement, namely, China, France, Germany, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, the United States, the European Union and, of course, the Islamic Republic of Iran.

We place on record our appreciation to those delegations for their commitment and for remaining steadfast in upholding key principles of constructive engagement, dialogue and diplomacy in good faith throughout the difficult negotiations. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, endorsed by the Council via resolution 2231 (2015), is a positive step that augurs well for international efforts aimed at enhancing nuclear security. We look forward to the immediate and constructive implementation of the Plan of Action by all the parties concerned.

The agreement reached on 14 July is a landmark understanding that, in our view, reaffirms the principle of the peaceful use of nuclear technology and, at the same time, appears to strike a balance in terms of concerns about proliferation as provided for under the regime established under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). Malaysia remains convinced that the NPT regime continues to occupy a role of central importance in the efforts to halt the proliferation of nuclear weapons, as well as forming an essential foundation for the pursuit of general and complete nuclear disarmament. Nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament are two sides of the same coin. In that connection, we reiterate the call upon all the nuclear-weapon States to reinvigorate efforts to implement their obligations under the disarmament pillar of the NPT regime, including by taking steps to reduce their nuclear weapon stockpiles and decrease the operational readiness of the nuclear weapons systems, among others.

As a member of the Council and of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1737 (2006), Malaysia looks forward to working with other Council members in the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with a view to working towards the eventual lifting of all United Nations sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran. Malaysia hopes that the successful implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action will positively contribute to peace and stability in the Middle East region and beyond.

Mr. Laro (Nigeria): We would like to begin by congratulating the parties — the Islamic Republic of Iran, China, France, Germany, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union — on the historic agreement reached last week on the Iranian nuclear programme. The agreement is a victory for diplomacy. It proves that, no matter how difficult a subject is, with commitment and determination, negotiations can produce results.

Nigeria voted in favour of resolution 2231 (2015) because we are convinced that it will aid in the process of implementing the agreement. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action clearly spells out the obligations of the parties. We urge them to implement the plan transparently and in good faith.

We takes this opportunity once more to reaffirm our support for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, in accordance with article IV of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

Mr. Lucas (Angola): The Angolan delegation is very honoured to take part in this meeting of the Security Council and to have cast its vote on the historic resolution 2231 (2015), which represents the triumph of multilateralism, negotiation and the peaceful settlement of disputes. The agreement that the Council has just endorsed is clear evidence that, however complex or difficult it might be, negotiated solutions can be achieved for any political problem if the parties show political will and a commitment to seek peaceful solutions and to avoid recourse to military means.

The present agreement has an additional and special virtue, since, for many years, diplomacy has been defeated in all Middle East disputes. The United States, China, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, the Russian Federation, the European Union and the Islamic Republic of Iran deserve all of our praise for being able to reach such an outstanding achievement by concluding the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action as a contribution to the building of confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme. We hope that implementation of the Plan of Action will produce the best possible results, that the national Parliaments of the signatory States will give their endorsement to the agreement, that the International Atomic Energy Agency will assume its essential and independent role in verifying compliance with the Safeguards Agreement and that the sanctions imposed on Iran will be lifted in accordance with the provisions of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

It was our expectation — or, if preferred, our wishful thinking — that the very difficult and thoughtful negotiating process would allow for the highest possible degree of understanding of each other’s views and expectations, thus making possible the building of mutual confidence and triggering a game change, namely, an innovative factor that might create a new dynamic for the whole region. However, in the current environment in the Middle East, the closing — or the opening — of the distracting Iranian nuclear programme, after such a long and complex negotiating process between the main world Powers, the permanent members of the Security Council and an influential regional Power, is a limited outcome. Now we want more. The people of the region deserve more. And the agreements so far reached should be followed by other outstanding initiatives that address very serious regional issues.

It is our view that the permanent members of the Council should deploy further efforts by taking advantage of the negotiating dynamics opened up by the Iranian nuclear programme, so as to reach out to regional Powers and countries of the region to address and resolve proxy wars and serious crisis situations affecting the region, namely, the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, the Syrian war, the conflict in Yemen, the Palestinian issue and the establishment of a political framework to repair the rift between Sunni and Shiite majority countries in the Middle East.

In our view, beyond the non-proliferation and arms control issues, the establishment of new dynamics in the entire Middle East region would be the greatest accomplishment and most valuable legacy of the process to which we are giving a boost today by adopting this landmark resolution.

Mrs. Jakubonė (Lithuania): Lithuania welcomes the unanimous adoption of resolution 2231 (2015), on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action agreed by the European Union (EU), the E3/EU+3 and the Islamic Republic of Iran on 14 July. We strongly believe that this deal, based on Iran’s implementation of essential changes to its nuclear programme in return for a phased lifting of sanctions, offers a real, durable and verifiable path to resolve a dispute spanning over a decade. It also marks a victory for multilateralism and international diplomacy, as it proves that sustained pressure by the international community, including through United Nations sanctions and their full implementation by Member States, can create conditions that bring parties to the negotiating table and keep them engaged in good faith and in the spirit of compromise.

Lithuania applauds the perseverance and determination of all those involved in that extraordinary diplomatic endeavour. In particular, we acknowledge the instrumental coordinating role played by both former and current European Union High Representatives for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. Since the core objective of the deal is to ensure the international community’s trust in a peaceful measure of Iran’s nuclear programme, the full implementation of comprehensive transparency and verification measures will be indispensable in ensuring its success. Iran’s agreement to implement the Additional Protocol to its Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement as well as further transparency measures foreseen in the Plan of Action will provide the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) with powerful tools to implement continuous monitoring and will grant the Agency extensive access to Iran’s nuclear sites. We also welcome the road map agreed on by the IAEA and Iran on 14 July that provides a specific time frame to clarify past and present outstanding issues by the end of this year.

In addition to the rigorous verification measures, Iran will remain under the legally binding Charter- based obligations to comply with the arms embargo and refrain from ballistic missile-related activities. The travel ban and assets freeze will also remain in place, while the Council will continue to be actively engaged in monitoring the implementation of the Plan of Action. Finally, all current sanctions will be reinstated in the event of significant non-performance by Iran with regard to its commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

In conclusion, Lithuania is convinced that, if implemented fully and in good faith, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action will become a crucial element in building trust between Iran and the international community, open the door to a steady improvement of relations with Iran and positively contribute to regional and international peace and stability.

Mr. Cherif (Chad) (spoke in French): Chad would like to join previous speakers in welcoming the signing in Vienna on 14 July by the Islamic Republic of Iran, the P5+1 countries and the European Union of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on the Iranian nuclear programme. Chad takes note of the parties’ joint statement aimed at promoting transparency and creating an atmosphere conducive to the implementation of the Plan of Action. Chad encourages them to implement their commitments fully and in good faith.

It is important to recall that the Plan of Action, which the Security Council has just endorsed in resolution 2231 (2015), is the outcome of a long process. The text of the agreement is voluminous, with more than 100 pages and five annexes. The complexity and length of the negotiations clearly demonstrate that the parties were open-minded and persevered to overcome doubts and difficulties throughout the process. Chad would like to congratulate all the leaders, politicians, diplomats and experts from all parties for the courage, determination, tact and wisdom that they demonstrated in reaching a negotiated solution to the Iranian nuclear programme. We share their satisfaction in having managed to reach an agreement that had not, in past negotiations, been reached for more than 12 years. We support future efforts to implement the agreement reached on 14 July. Chad is convinced of the virtues of dialogue and peace, which is why we voted in favour of the resolution just adopted. Its unanimous adoption clearly symbolizes the triumph of diplomacy and the noble principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations that call for the peaceful resolution of differences without the use of threats or force.

Within the framework of that approach, we pay tribute to the leadership of the United States and its leaders’ fresh approach that focuses on dialogue, peace and stability around the world. In that regard, we completely agree with what President Obama said when receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, on 10 December 2009 in Oslo:

“sanctions without outreach — condemnation without discussion — can carry forward only a crippling status quo.

Chad expects that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will monitor respect for the agreements on guarantees and the implementation of the cooperation framework agreed with Iran on 11 November 2013, as well as the road map for clarification of the past and current outstanding issues. With that in mind, Chad encourages the IAEA and Iran to cooperate fully to ensure the comprehensive, successful implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. We also hope that the sanctions and measures implemented pursuant to the relevant provisions of the various Council resolutions adopted between 2006 and 2015 pertaining to Iran will be completely lifted after the Security Council receives an IAEA report that confirms the adoption by that country of the implementation of all measures outlined in the Plan of Action.

We would like to reiterate that, like all the other States parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, Iran is entitled to develop, conduct research and produce nuclear energy for civilian purposes. We hope that the agreement signed on 14 July will make it possible for Iran to join the community of nations and ensure its contribution to the promotion and strengthening of international cooperation. In a world threatened by conflict, every contribution should be welcomed in maintaining international peace and security.

In conclusion, we should like to reiterate our encouragement and support to all parties of the 14 July Vienna agreement. We call on them to respect the commitments undertaken and to continue to engage in dialogue until the end of the implementation of the Plan of Action. Chad, which signed and ratified the Treaty of Pelindaba, which makes Africa a nuclear-weapon-free zone, dreams of a world rid of these weapons of mass destruction, wherein the use of nuclear science and technological research are done solely for peaceful purposes. Therefore, we would like to note the very pertinent and, unfortunately, very imperialist slogan “Nuclear energy for all, nuclear weapons for no one”.

The President: I shall now make a statement in my capacity as the Minister for Foreign Affairs of New Zealand.

Today, the permanent members of the Security Council, the European Union, Germany and Iran have presented us with an agreement that, if fully implemented, will provide a comprehensive and long- term solution to the Iran nuclear issue. The truly historic agreement reached in Vienna represents a triumph of diplomacy and cooperation over confrontation and mistrust. New Zealand commends all parties for staying the course throughout what were complex and challenging negotiations.

It is now crucial to ensure that the agreement is fully and swiftly implemented and that small missteps and misunderstandings not be allowed to derail the process. We urge all parties to approach that task with the same constructive intent that has led to this agreement, and we encourage Iran to act swiftly to implement all transparency measures and allow the International Atomic Energy Agency access to the relevant sites.

Through the adoption today of resolution 2231 (2015), we give international legal force to the agreement reached in Vienna and extend the obligations it contains across the broader United Nations membership. New Zealand endorses the comments of High Representative Mogherini, who has said that this is a good deal for everyone — for the parties who signed up to it and for the rest of the international community. Sadly, there are too few days when we can say that constructive and patient diplomacy has succeeded in bridging the differences and overcoming the mistrust that contain the seeds of conflict. Today we mark an opportunity to change the nature of the relationship between Iran and the international community, and we remind ourselves that with the right approach and with the commitment of key stakeholders, even seemingly intractable issues can be resolved through diplomacy and dialogue. As the Council confronts the extraordinarily difficult challenges related to the Middle East peace process, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Libya, that is a message we should reflect on today.

I now resume my functions as President of the Security Council.

I now give the floor to the representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Mr. Khoshroo (Islamic Republic of Iran): Today’s adoption by the Council of resolution 2231 (2015) marks a significant development and a fundamental shift in the Council’s consideration of Iran’s peaceful nuclear programme over the past 10 years. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is the result of an extensive series of collective efforts that for close to two years have sought to give diplomacy a chance and end resorts to pressure, coercion and threats. That fundamentally different approach, a departure from the path travelled in previous years, has helped all of us to opt for the best possible way out, put an end to an unnecessary crisis and accomplish a major achievement for all the parties involved and the international community as a whole.

Today’s resolution and the Plan of Action that it endorses also provide for terminating the Security Council resolutions that placed unjustifiable sanctions on Iran for its efforts to exercise its rights. The sanctions were grounded on nothing but baseless and pure speculation and hearsay. Nobody has ever presented any proof that Iran’s programme has been anything but peaceful. The International Atomic Energy Agency, which has put Iran’s facilities through a record number of inspections, has consistently reported that Iran has duly stood by every single one of its commitments. For example, in terms of inspection frequency, only Japan has been subject to greater scrutiny than Iran, while Japan has far more extensive nuclear facilities. Last year, Iran even surpassed Japan in the number of inspections it was subjected to.

The Security Council’s involvement was thus not based on a suspicious nuclear weapon programme; it was driven by the objective stated in resolution 1696 (2006), of compelling Iran to suspend its lawful enrichment programme. That demand was not only unnecessary and uncalled for, but also ran counter to the unanimous conclusions of the 2000 and 2010 Review Conferences of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, which stipulated that Member States’ choices with regard to their fuel-cycle activities must be respected. It also ignored the repeated demands of the majority of the international community represented in the Non-Aligned Movement.

The sanctions imposed on Iran by resolution 1737 (2006) through resolution 1929 (2010) were all punishments for the Iranian people’s refusal to accept that demand. In engaging with the E3+3, the Iranian people have had the foresight to move forward without losing sight of the past. While we therefore hope that the Security Council will open a new chapter in its relations with us, we cannot accept or forget its previous treatment of Iran, starting with its inaction in the face of Saddam’s aggression and use of chemical weapons and continuing through its more recent approach to Iran’s peaceful nuclear programme.

The solution we have arrived at is undoubtedly in the interests of strengthening the nuclear non-proliferation regime in its entirety, since it includes and recognizes Iran’s right to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, including conducting uranium enrichment activities and research and development on its territory. The rights and obligations of States parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), as under any other international regime, must go hand in hand. Obligations can be honoured and such regimes, including that of the NPT, can be sustained only if those rights are also achievable. No threats of sanctions or war can sustain the NPT in the long run if the great Powers fail to honour all three of its pillars, including total nuclear disarmament and the right of all to use nuclear energy, and if non-parties are rewarded for their intransigence.

Looking to the future, my Government hopes that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and resolution 2231 (2015) herald a new chapter in the relationship between Iran, the Council and the Plan of Action’s participants. Iran is both able and willing to comply fully with its commitments under the Plan of Action, 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, or forbidden, which is also a principle of Iran’s defence doctrine. We hope that our partners and the Council will do the same with regard to their commitments under the same documents.

The desire that the Council has expressed for building a new relationship with Iran, its encouragement of all Member States to cooperate with Iran within the framework of the Plan of Action in the area of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and related projects, and its emphasis on the fact that the Plan of Action can help to promote and facilitate the development of normal economic and trade contacts and cooperation with Iran are all positive and encouraging signs.

While this deal focuses on the nuclear issue, Iran expects it to have broader positive implications for our region and the entire international community that include the following. First, the deal, sealed on the basis of mutual respect and understanding, is an important victory for diplomacy over the pressure and coercion exerted on Iran, which have produced no results over the past 37 years. It reinforces our faith in diplomacy as the most rational way to resolve differences in our interconnected world, and it shows that diplomacy can work and prevail over war and tension. It therefore sends a clear message to those who still believe they can achieve anything through force and coercion.

Secondly, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action has the potential to help trigger major developments in the region aimed at achieving greater cooperation and coordination in addressing the real issues at hand. We therefore earnestly hope that it helps turn a page in our region that can enable countries to close ranks, fight resolutely against violent extremism and move towards greater cooperation in addressing the grave threats facing the region and the world. While every country in the region has a very high stake in defeating terrorism, violent extremism and sectarianism, the Plan of Action’s participants are facing similar challenges to their security from such phenomena. With the dust settled over the nuclear issue, we are now free to focus on real issues and to benefit from an improved environment conducive to wider cooperation among all actors.

Thirdly, in the wake of this major development in the region, we renew our confirmation to our neighbours and friends in the Persian Gulf and the wider region that Iran is ready to engage in good faith with all of them based on mutual respect, good-neighbourliness 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.

Fourthly, the Israeli regime, following its general policy to stoke tension in the region, has done all in its power to sabotage and defeat any effort to resolve the standoff over Iran’s nuclear energy programme. In so doing, it has proved once more that it does not see peace in our region to be in its interest and considers peace to be an existential threat to itself. The Iranophobia that it tries to spread in the region and beyond also serves that nefarious purpose. We therefore alert our friends and neighbours not to fall into Israel’s trap.

In this context, it is also not surprising that the Israeli regime is the only obstacle in the way of establishing a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East, the concept for which my country initiated more than 40 years ago and has promoted ever since. We believe that the nuclear warheads stockpiled by the Israeli regime constitute a grave threat to peace and security in our unstable region, and that the Security Council should live up to its primary responsibility under the Charter of the United Nations and take the action necessary to neutralize this threat.

To conclude, let me recall that Iran, 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 by oppressing others or reneging on commitments. The steadfastness that our delegation showed during the negotiations was based on 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 shall also remain faithful to theirs. Only by honouring commitments, displaying good faith and adopting the right approach can we ensure that diplomacy will prevail over conflict and war in a world that is replete with violence, suffering and oppression. In this context, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action provides a solid foundation for further and more effective diplomatic interaction.

Let me thank those Ambassadors who supported the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and those countries that helped this deal to happen. I also wish to briefly react to some baseless accusations leveled by some speakers in today’s meeting. It is ironic that the Ambassador of the United States accused my Government of destabilizing the region and of terrorism. The country that invaded two countries of our region and created grounds favourable to the growth of terrorism and extremism is not well placed to raise such accusations against mine. The feckless and reckless actions of the United States in our region over many years are at the root of many challenges that we are now facing in our neighbourhood. Iran is a stable country in an unstable region. As we want our stability to endure, we promote stability in the region and help our neighbours to stabilize and cooperate towards that end.

In conclusion, let me also inform you, Mr. President, that my delegation, upon 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.

The President: I now give the floor to Mr. Mayr-Harting.

Mr. Mayr-Harting: The High Representative of the European Union (EU) for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Ms. Federica Mogherini, has asked me to convey the following message to the Security Council:

The agreement reached in Vienna on 14 July 2015 between Iran and China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States of America, with the support of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign and Security Policy, on a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is historic in nature.

“The agreement, once implemented, marks a conclusion to the long-running diplomatic efforts to reach a comprehensive, long-lasting and peaceful solution to the Iranian nuclear issue that will provide the necessary assurances on the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme, on the one hand, and the lifting of sanctions, on the other. As such, it represents a significant achievement

and a tribute to the merits of patient diplomacy on all sides.

“It is appropriate that the deal was struck in Vienna, where all this began 12 years ago, when the International Atomic Energy Agency started to look into possible undeclared Iranian nuclear activities. Since then, there have been many months and years of at times difficult negotiations. A key milestone in that process was the interim Geneva agreement of 2013, the smooth implementation of which provided the time and space necessary for the complex negotiation process that followed. This resulted in the Lausanne agreement in April 2015, which set the parameters for the final deal.

“The E-3/EU+3 format was especially effective. We feel that the European Union, in particular through the High Representative, was able to play a crucial facilitation role. Throughout the whole process, the EU was the facilitator, moderator and, in the final stages, penholder for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action text and its annexes. It is hard to imagine another actor that could have done this. A key element of success was maintaining the unity of the group and focus on a shared goal. It is to the credit of all those who participated that we stayed committed to reaching a mutually beneficial deal. The fact that the self- imposed deadline was overrun several times bears witness to the shared view that a quality agreement was vastly superior to a quick one.

“The agreement is good, durable and verifiable. Iran has agreed to make changes to its nuclear programme. The International Atomic Energy Agency will have the access it needs to determine when Iran has completed those actions and to detect any future violation of the agreement. Iran will receive phased sanctions-lifting in return. The Plan of Action annexes set out in detail what is required by all sides, providing clarity to facilitate the implementation of the agreement. Together with the conclusion to be made by the International Atomic Energy Agency in that regard, the full implementation by Iran of its commitments under the Plan of Action will contribute to building confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of the Iranian nuclear programme.

“It will be necessary for all sides to work now towards implementing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. The resolution adopted today by the Security Council is a key element in this process. As agreed in Vienna, the European Union will endorse the resolution in conclusions of the Foreign Affairs Council, which is in session as we speak. The European Union will also endorse the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and commits to abiding by its terms and to follow the agreed implementation plan.”

In effect, European Union actions and commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action related to the lifting sanctions will be carried out in accordance with the timeline and modalities specified in the Plan. As stipulated in the Plan, the termination of the implementation of economic and financial sanctions would come into effect once the International Atomic Energy Agency has verified that Iran has implemented all of its nuclear-related commitments. For the time being, the provisions of the Joint Plan of Action agreed in Geneva in 2013 have been extended for a further six months, to cover the period until the International Atomic Energy Agency has verified that Iran has carried out its commitments.

The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy will continue her supporting and coordinating role during the entire implementation phase of the Plan of Action. The High Representative hopes and expects that this positive development will open the door to a steady improvement in relations between the European Union, its member States and Iran, as well as improved Iranian regional and international relations, and that it will constitute the basis of a more stable and secure region in the longer term. It is essential that this opportunity be seized by all.

The President: I now give the floor to the representative of Germany.

Mr. Braun (Germany): The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, reached in Vienna and endorsed today by the Security Council in resolution 2231 (2015), is an important, and possibly historic, step towards ending the decade-long conflict concerning Iran’s nuclear programme. As such, it has the potential to ease concerns regarding peace and security in the region and beyond. Allow me briefly to address its significance from three different angles.

First, Germany firmly believes that the agreement does in fact reduce the risk of a nuclear arms race. After long and demanding negotiations, the E3+3 and the European Union has achieved a credible framework that will prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Iran has committed itself to comprehensive technical restrictions and an unprecedented transparency regime that will allow us to rule out any covert nuclear activities.

The agreement is not merely built on trust or goodwill; we have established a unique and long- term set of confidence-building measures. Everything we agreed on will be strictly monitored. A powerful snap-back mechanism for sanctions will serve as an additional incentive for Iran to abide by its obligations. It will now be crucial to effectively implement the agreement. The International Atomic Energy Agency will have an important role in that regard. In exchange for the nuclear restrictions, Iran will profit from early and comprehensive sanctions relief. The resolution adopted today is a decisive step in the right direction.

Secondly, the agreement also offers ample political opportunities for Iran. It reflects a fundamental choice by the Iranian Government. It is an expression of intent to be a constructive part of the international community. It is up to Iran to deliver on that commitment. We express our hope that, in fulfilling the agreement, Iran will seize this potential to bring about improvements in other fields as well, from civil liberties to human rights and the accommodation of regional security concerns.

Finally, we hope that the agreement reached in Vienna will also have a positive effect on the relations between Iran, the European Union and its member States — and that it will improve Iran’s regional and international relations. We also hope that it will open the door to a more constructive Iranian foreign policy and, ultimately, contribute to a more secure and stable region.

The agreement reached in Vienna on 14 July has proved that complex and long-standing conflicts can be peacefully resolved if there is enough political will and courage. It is a victory for diplomacy and for the principles of the United Nations.

The President: There are no more names inscribed on the list of speakers.

The meeting rose at 10.35 a.m.

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