Remarks at a UN Security Council Briefing on Iran and Nuclear Non-Proliferation

Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis
Senior Advisor for Special Political Affairs
New York, New York
June 30, 2021


Thank you, Mr. President. And thank you to our briefers for their remarks.

The United States appreciates the importance the UN places on ensuring the report fairly reflects the political environment we are currently in, as well as the Secretary-General’s positive reflection of our ongoing discussions regarding a potential mutual return to compliance with the JCPOA. We also appreciate that the information in the report on activities inconsistent with the resolution is of high credibility. This report is another testament to the critical role the Secretariat performs for the 2231 format. I would also like to express our gratitude for Ireland’s leadership as 2231 facilitator, and for its efforts in supporting the resolution’s implementation.

This report underscores what has been apparent for some time: Iran continues to disregard the provision of 2231 that calls upon Iran not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology. We share the concerns stated by the E3 and Israel in their letters regarding Iran’s ballistic missile activities, and we reject Russia’s and Iran’s assertions that these activities are not covered by 2231. These activities are clearly in defiance of the resolution.

As the reports of both the Secretary-General and the IAEA Director General make clear, Iran continues its escalatory steps, including many that exceed the JCPOA’s nuclear limits. In particular, Iran continues installing and operating numbers and types of centrifuges beyond JCPOA limits; producing quantities and enrichment levels of uranium well beyond the deal’s limits, including enrichment up to 60 percent U-235; and producing uranium metal. We urge Iran to refrain from taking further escalatory steps and to return to full implementation of all its JCPOA commitments, including those related to IAEA verification, monitoring, and implementation of the additional protocol.

We note with great concern the June report of the IAEA Director General that Iran has not replied to his letter requesting Iran’s position regarding the possible continued collection, recording, and retention of data necessary for JCPOA verification by IAEA monitoring and surveillance equipment, and the maintenance and retention of related records. We urge Iran to allow this temporary arrangement to proceed so that the continuity of these verification measures can be maintained. We also call on Iran to fully cooperate with the IAEA, in accordance with its NPT-required comprehensive safeguards agreement, to resolve the outstanding safeguards issues without further delay.

Beyond Iranian nuclear activity, Iran’s support for terrorism threatens U.S. forces, diplomatic personnel, and our partners in the region and elsewhere. It drives instability and negatively impacts millions of civilians. We will continue to use all tools at our disposal to counter Iran’s destabilizing activities in the region, and to promote implementation of other Security Council resolutions to address Iranian conventional weapons proliferation, including 1701’s prohibition on the unauthorized transfer of arms and related materiel to Hizballah in Lebanon, and 2216’s prohibition on the transfer of arms and related materiel to the Houthis in Yemen.

The United States is committed to ensuring Iran never acquires a nuclear weapon, and we believe diplomacy, in coordination with our allies and regional partners, is the best path to achieve that goal. The last few rounds of discussions in Vienna have helped to crystallize the choices that need to be made by Iran and by the United States in order achieve a mutual return to compliance with the JCPOA.

In closing, we appreciate the continued work of the Secretary-General and Secretariat and look forward to working alongside Member States to fully implement our commitments.

Thank you, Mr. President.