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Iran: UN Security Council

Volume 688: debated on Thursday 11 January 2007

My honourable friend the Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Dr Kim Howells) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

On 23 December 2006, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 1737, on Iran's nuclear programme. The resolution was adopted by consensus, once again underlining that the international community is united and determined to see that Iran does not acquire the means to develop nuclear weapons.

Iran has not met its legal obligation in Security Council Resolution 1696, adopted on 31 July, to suspend all uranium enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, nor has it taken the other steps required by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) board of governors. Recent reports by the IAEA director-general, Dr Mohamed El Baradei, show that Iran's co-operation with the agency remains inadequate and that, far from suspending enrichment-related activities, Iran has continued to install and operate new centrifuges at its enrichment plant at Natanz.

Moreover, despite intensive efforts by EU High Representative Javier Solana, Iran has not engaged seriously with the generous and far-reaching proposals made by the E3+3 (France, Germany and the UK plus China, Russia and the US) in June, which could provide the basis for a long-term agreement. These proposals would give Iran everything it needs to develop a modern civil nuclear power programme, and other political and economic benefits, while meeting international concerns.

We have therefore had no choice but to pursue a further Security Council resolution.

Resolution 1737 reaffirms that Iran is required to suspend all uranium enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, and extends this requirement to include all heavy-water-related projects. The resolution also requires Iran to provide the IAEA any access and co-operation the agency requests in order to verify the suspension and resolve outstanding issues.

The resolution imposes sanctions under Article 41 of Chapter VII of the UN charter. These are proportionate and targeted at Iran's sensitive nuclear and missile activities. All states have a legal obligation to comply. The measures include:

a prohibition on supplying certain nuclear and missile-related items to Iran and on providing related assistance;

a prohibition on the export from Iran of such items and their procurement from Iran;

monitoring of the travel of certain individuals engaged in or providing support for Iran's proliferation sensitive activities;

limits on IAEA technical co-operation with Iran;

freezing of the assets of persons and entities designated in the resolution's annexe as well as those subsequently identified by the Security Council or the sanctions committee; and

a call on states to prevent specialised teaching or training of Iranian nationals, which would contribute to Iran's proliferation-sensitive nuclear activities.

The implementation of measures will be suspended if and for as long as Iran suspends uranium enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, as verified by the IAEA.

The resolution asks the IAEA director-general to report on Iranian compliance and affirms that the Security Council will adopt further appropriate measures under Article 41 of the UN charter if the report shows that Iran has not complied.

A copy of the resolution is available on the UN website at 06.htm.

We remain committed to a negotiated solution. The E3+3's proposals remain on the table. I urge Iran to take the positive path on offer by meeting in full the requirements of the Security Council and the IAEA board, and beginning negotiations with the E3+3 on the basis of those proposals. As the adoption of Resolution 1737 demonstrates, that is the clear and united wish of the whole international community.