Open remarks delivered by H.E. Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations as Security
Council Facilitator for the implementation of resolution 2231 (2015) – Non-Proliferation/Iran, at the Briefing to the United Nations Member States —
Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my pleasure to welcome all of you on behalf of the members of the Security Council to this open briefing on the implementation of resolution 2231 (2015).
I would also like to extend my welcome to Mr. Klemen Polak, Coordinator of the Procurement Working Group of the Joint Commission established in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and thank the UN Secretariat for its assistance in the organization of this briefing.
This open briefing takes place on the two-year anniversary of the JCPOA, between Iran and the E3/EU+3 which was endorsed by the Security Council in its resolution 2231 (2015). This landmark agreement provides a comprehensive roadmap for building confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear activities. It sets up a step-by-step approach based on reciprocal commitments with agreed limitations on Iran’s nuclear programme and the comprehensive lifting of sanctions related to Iran’s nuclear programme, as well as a robust verification mechanism unprecedented in scale and scope. It is a balanced deal that respects all interests and provides a way forward.
This is the second open briefing on the implementation of resolution 2231 (2015) since Implementation Day (16 January 2016) and the first during my tenure as Facilitator. As I indicated in my last six-month report and reiterated to the Council on 29 June, transparency and outreach remain a priority.
This technical briefing will focus on the measures specified in resolution 2231 (2015) and on the work of the Security Council in implementing that resolution, clarifying some of the most complex aspects of its implementation.
In my capacity as Security Council Facilitator, I will give a general overview of the resolution and the work of the Security Council related to its implementation. Mr. Polak will give a detailed presentation on the Procurement Channel and the work of the Procurement Working Group of the Joint Commission. Lastly, the Security Council Affairs Division (SCAD/DPA) will briefly present the Secretariat’s activities in support of the Council and the Facilitator. Then, we will open the floor for questions.
I will give a three-part presentation – first, an overview of the key timelines and actors involved in the implementation of the resolution. Second, an overview of the obligations established by resolution 2231 (2015) and of the Procurement Channel from the Council’s perspective. Third, some reflections on the resolution’s implementation. All of the information presented here today can be found on the Security Council webpage dedicated to resolution 2231 (2015) .
1. Background, Key Timelines and Implementation Actors
Resolution 2231 (2015) adopted by the Security Council on 20 July 2015 endorses the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The JCPOA, concluded a week before by Iran and the E3/EU+3, was the result of diplomatic, multilateral efforts to reach a comprehensive, long-term and proper solution to the Iranian nuclear issue.
There are several key dates and milestones: Finalization Day (14 July 2015), when the JCPOA was concluded; the adoption on 20 July 2015 of resolution 2231 (2015) endorsing the JCPOA and urging its full implementation according to the timetable established in the agreement; Adoption Day (18 October 2015) when the JCPOA entered into force; Implementation Day (16 January 2016), which was triggered by the IAEA report confirming that Iran had taken a series of nuclear-related measures called for by resolution 2231 (2015).
On Implementation Day, the provisions of the previous Security Council resolutions on the Iranian nuclear issue were terminated – including the mandate of the 1737 Committee and its Panel of Experts. 36 individuals and entities were also delisted. At the same time, specific restrictions came into force. Resolution 2231 (2015) terminated the Security Council sanctions regime instituted in 2006, based on prohibitions, and replaced it with a new regime based on requirements, in particular, prior authorization from the Security Council for nuclear, ballistic-missile and arms-related transfers to or from Iran. These activities need to be authorized by the Security Council in advance subsequent to proposals submitted by Member States.
Transition Day will occur in October 2023 (8 years from Adoption Day) or upon receipt of the IAEA Broader Conclusion report that all nuclear materials in Iran remain in peaceful activities, whichever is earlier. We also have Termination Day in October 2025 (10 years after Adoption Day). At that point, all the provisions of resolution 2231 (2015) will be terminated and the Security Council will have concluded its consideration of the Iranian nuclear issue.
In terms of implementation, there are many key actors that work together – the Security Council and its Facilitator; the Secretary-General and the UN Secretariat; the IAEA; and the Joint Commission.
The Security Council monitors and takes action to improve implementation; answers inquiries from Member States; responds to information regarding alleged inconsistent actions; undertakes outreach; reviews and decides on proposals for nuclear, ballistic-missile or arms-related transfers to or activities with Iran; and grants exemptions to the restrictions. As the Council’s Facilitator, I regularly brief the Council on its work and on the implementation of resolution 2231 (2015) every 6 months and facilitate meetings held by the Council in the “2231 format.”
As requested by the Council, the Security Council Affairs Division of the Department of Political Affairs is the point of contact in the Secretariat and supports the work of the Council and its Facilitator. Furthermore, the Secretary-General reports to the Council every 6 months on the implementation of resolution 2231 (2015). Currently, three reports have been issued.
The IAEA undertakes necessary verification and monitoring of Iran’s nuclear-related commitments under the JCPOA for its full duration and also provides regular updates to the IAEA Board of Governors and in parallel, to the Council. Since Implementation Day, the IAEA has submitted six reports confirming Iran compliance with its nuclear-related commitments under the JCPOA.
The Joint Commission consists of the States that are parties to the JCPOA (China, France, Germany, Iran, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States), with the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy serving as its coordinator. The Joint Commission reviews proposals for nuclear-related transfers to or activities with Iran to decide whether to recommend approval to the Security Council. It discharges its responsibility through its Procurement Working Group (PWG).
2. The provisions of Annex B to resolution 2231 (2015)
Resolution 2231 (2015) endorses the JCPOA and provides for the termination of the previous Security Council resolutions on the Iranian nuclear issue, establishing specific restrictions that apply to all States without exception. The resolution also sets a timeline for the eventual removal of all such provisions and measures.
This table outlines the duration and the restrictive measures.
On nuclear-related transfers and activities, States are allowed to participate in or permit certain transfers of nuclear or dual-use goods, technology and/or related services to Iran provided that they have obtained prior approval from the Security Council. The Council will review and decide on States’ proposals through a dedicated “procurement channel”.
This slide shows the flow of the process from the Member State to the Security Council to the Procurement Working Group of the Joint Commission and back to the Security Council and to the Member State.
During his presentation, Mr. Polak will elaborate on the procurement channel process.
On ballistic missile-related transfers and activities, States may participate in and permit the following, if approved by the Security Council in advance on a case-by-case basis:
– the supply, sale or transfer to or from Iran of items, materials, equipment, goods and technology set out in Security Council document S/2015/546, or that the State determines could contribute to the development of nuclear weapon delivery system;
– the provision of related technology, technical assistance or training, financial assistance, investment brokering or other services; and
– the acquisition by Iran of an interest in certain commercial activity in another State.
On arms-related transfers to Iran, States may participate in and permit, if approved in advance on a case-by-case basis:
– the supply, sale or transfer to Iran of any battle tanks, artillery systems, combat aircraft, attack helicopters, armoured combat vehicles, warships, missiles or missile systems as defined for the purpose of the UN Register of Conventional Arms or related materiel, including spare parts.
– the provision to Iran of various services or assistance relating to the supply, sale, transfer, manufacture, maintenance, or use of those arms and related materiel.
Unless decided otherwise by the Security Council in advance on a case-by case basis, States should take necessary measures to prevent the supply, sale or transfer of arms or related materiel from Iran by their nations or using their flag vessels or aircraft (whether or not originating in the territory of Iran).
Regarding travel ban and assets freeze, designated individuals on the list must be prevented from entering into or transiting through your territories; and Member States are obliged to freeze the funds, financial assets, economic resources owned or controlled by these designated individuals and entities as well as to prevent them from being made available. There are currently 23 individuals and 61 entities on the list maintained pursuant to resolution 2231 (2015). There are exemptions to both which are outlined in detail in Annex B. To this day, no exemption requests have been submitted to the Security Council.
3. Since Implementation Day
I note that since Implementation Day, eighteen proposals have been submitted by four different States from three different regional groups. Twelve of these have already been approved, three were withdrawn and three are pending.
Out of the twelve proposals approved, one was nuclear-related and eleven were for the supply of dual-use items, mainly machine tools. The majority of these items were intended for the automotive industry but also for the packaging, construction, oil, or pharmaceutical industries.
While only 6 proposals were submitted in 2016, the Security Council has already received 12 proposals since January 2017, which shows a slow but steady increase in confidence in the Procurement Channel. I hope that all States will actively utilize this mechanism. I am also pleased to note that the current average duration process, from submission to notification of the Security Council’s decision, is slightly over 46 calendar days.
Let me conclude by saying that any inquiries can be directed to the email address indicated in this slide. The Security Council website on resolution 2231 (2015) outlines all the relevant aspects of the resolution clearly and simply.