There were many “deputy” ambassadors at Monday night’s Security Council meeting due to discuss the pending Iranian nuclear deal, yet the topics under discussion were pulse-pounding. The meeting followed a visit to Iran by inspectors from the IAEA, the UN nuclear agency. The deal with Iran went into crisis in 2018 after the Trump administration decided to pull the US out and reinstate the sanctions. Attempts to resurrect him have been unsuccessful, and the Iranians and Americans accuse each other of derailing the talks.
Among the topics under discussion, there was also the supply of Iranian drones to Russia with which Moscow would then strike Ukraine, missiles that are prohibited by the sanctions that the Security Council itself inflicted on Iran in the past. Here was the twist of the US deputy ambassador who accused the UN of having given in to pressure from the Russians and of not having sent the inspectors who were supposed to verify the origin of the aforementioned missiles fired by the Russians in Ukraine.
At the beginning of the meeting, the floor was addressed to Rosemary DiCarlo, UN Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, who explained that no progress had been made in implementing the 2015 Security Council resolution (2231 ), aimed at ensuring that Iranian nuclear facilities are used only for peaceful purposes, in exchange for the lifting of sanctions.
DiCarlo said the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has reported that Iran plans to install new centrifuges at one of its fuel enrichment plants and plans to produce more uranium enriched up to 60 percent at another. The agency, DiCarlo continued, estimates that the country now has a total supply of enriched uranium of more than eighteen times the amount permitted under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the nuclear deal developed in the wake of resolution 2231, which includes “worrisome amounts of uranium” enriched up to 60%.
The IAEA’s ability to effectively monitor Iranian nuclear facilities and ensure they are used exclusively for peaceful purposes – a core element of the JCPOA – is now undermined, Di Carlo emphasized, by Iran’s decision to remove surveillance and monitoring equipment. of the agency.
Restoring the JCPOA remains crucial to assure the international community of the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme. The gains achieved by the Plan after years of painstaking efforts should not be completely lost. My remarks to the Council today: pic.twitter.com/L5XJzdhho5
— Rosemary A. DiCarlo (@DicarloRosemary) December 19, 2022
“In this context, we once again call on Iran to reverse the steps it has taken since July 2019 that are inconsistent with its nuclear-related commitments under the Plan,” said Di Carlo, who also called on the United States to rescind its sanctions as outlined in the agreement and extend waivers related to oil trade with Iran.
Di Carlo then addressed the provisions of the Plan relating to ballistic missiles and, in particular, two flight tests of space launch vehicles conducted by Iran in June and November of this year, and a new ballistic missile presented by the Iran in September.
The information received by the United Nations on this hardware reflected “diverging views” among some member states – France, Germany, Iran, Israel, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States – regarding the inconsistency of such launches and other activities with resolution 2231 .
Di Carlo announced that the United Nations has inspected parts of cruise missiles, seized by the British Royal Navy in international waters south of Iran, which they assessed to be of Iranian origin, which resemble parts seen in used cruise missile debris in Yemen by the Houthis against Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates between 2019 and 2022, and those seized by the United States in 2019.
The United Nations, DiCarlo continued, has also received letters from Ukraine, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States regarding alleged transfers of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from Iran to the Russian Federation in a manner inconsistent with the resolution. 2231.
However, Iran’s permanent representative, DiCarlo said, has denied that his country has supplied UAVs for use in the conflict in Ukraine; while Russia has also expressed serious concerns about the demands of these member states.
In addition, Di Carlo continued, Ukraine, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States alleged that some of the UAVs transferred from Iran to Russia were allegedly manufactured by an entity included in a list of persons and entities which, pursuant to of resolution 2231, are included in the targeted sanctions.
The peacebuilding and political leader said the United Nations was examining the available information and would report to the Council, if appropriate, in due course. But it does not appear that the US and its allies want to give the UN any more time on the issue of Iranian gifts that are allegedly being used by the Russians.
The United States, along with UN Deputy Ambassador Robert Wood, accused UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres of “apparently giving in to Russian threats” and failing to send officials to Ukraine to inspect used drones at their meeting on Monday. from Russia that Washington and others say were supplied by Iran.
Russia meanwhile continues to deny that its forces have used Iranian drones in Ukraine and claims there is no mandate for UN officials to travel to Kiev to investigate the origin of the drones. Iran has admitted supplying Moscow with the drones but said they were sent before Russia invaded its neighbor in February.
Britain, France, Germany, the United States and Ukraine say the supply of Iranian-made drones to Russia violates a 2015 United Nations Security Council resolution sanctioning the Iran nuclear deal. They want Guterres to send officials to Kiev to investigate.
“We regret that the United Nations did not move to carry out a normal investigation into this reported violation,” Deputy Ambassador Wood said on Monday, and “we are disappointed that the Secretariat, apparently yielding to Russian threats, has not carried out its mandate investigation that this board has conferred on him”.
In a report to the council earlier this month, Guterres said UN officials were reviewing the information available and any findings would be reported to the council in due course. When asked at a press conference on Monday about the pressure he’s been facing, Guterres told reporters that the Western allegation that Iran has supplied Russia with drones used in Ukraine is being examined “in the bigger picture of everything we are doing in the context of the war to determine if and when we should” send officials to Kiev.
Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations, Vassily Nebenzia, told the Security Council on Monday that UN officials “should not bow to pressure from Western countries” and that “any results of this pseudo investigation … are null and void.”
Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations, Amir Saeid Iravani, said Iran had not transferred any items prohibited by the Security Council to Russia. He also said Iranian drones supplied to Russia before February were not banned by the council and “have not been transferred for use in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine”.
He described the allegations as baseless and called them an attempt “to divert attention from Western states transferring huge quantities of advanced sophisticated weapons to Ukraine in order to prolong the conflict.”
Meanwhile, at the same meeting, China urged the United States to lift sanctions against Iran and stop threatening Tehran to revive stalled negotiations on the 2015 nuclear deal. Chinese Deputy Ambassador Geng Shuang said a new resolution passed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to push Iran to cooperate would only “intensify the conflict, undermine confidence and cast a shadow over the negotiations”.
“All sides should look at the long-term and overall situation and avoid any moves that could aggravate the situation and undermine the negotiation process,” Geng said.
Geng said the US decision in 2018 to withdraw from the deal, under which Iran agreed to curb its nuclear program in exchange for easing economic sanctions, led to the current stalemate.
Talks to revive the deal have been stalled since August, with Iran and the United States blaming each other for the impasse.
“China calls on the United States to fulfill its commitments under the agreement, lift all unilateral sanctions and “long-arm jurisdiction” measures against Iran and third parties, and stop threatening the use of force against Iran”. He went on to urge all parties to “accurately interpret” Security Council resolutions so that issues such as Iranian space launches and drone transfers to Russia can be handled “with caution” to avoid further escalation of tensions.
But instead the tensions between Iran, the US and its Western allies have increased in recent weeks due to anti-government protests in the Islamic Republic and allegations that Iran supplied Russia with drones for its war in Ukraine.
Unlike the West, Beijing has refused to criticize Tehran’s crackdown on protests, saying it is an internal matter.
Iranian missiles to Russia: for the USA the UN is giving in to Putin’s pressure