Security Council Briefing: Non-Proliferation

Statement by H.E. Karel J.G. van Oosterom,
Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United Nations in New York

New York, 12 December 2018

Thank you very much, Mr. President.

I will now be speaking in my national capacity.

At the outset, I would like to thank Under-Secretary-General DiCarlo and the Chargé d’Affaires Mr. Christiane of the European Union for their briefings. And we welcome the reports of the Secretary General and the Joint Commission.

Mr. President, I will focus three points today:

  • First, on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA);
  • Second, on our concerns about Iran’s ballistic missile programme and its role in the region;
  • And, third, on the implementation of resolution 2231.

1. JCPOA

My first point: the JCPOA. In our view, the JCPOA is a product of years of negotiation, a major diplomatic accomplishment and a key non-proliferation achievement. It was unanimously endorsed by this Council, through resolution 2231.

Preserving the agreement is a clear priority for the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The agreement is crucial for the security of the region, of Europe and of the entire world.

The JCPOA has been delivering on its objective, which is to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, an obligation it also has under the Non-Proliferation Treaty. And the JCPOA is based on solid verification.

IAEA inspectors spend more than 3,000 calendar days per year on the ground in Iran and monitor more than 25 locations in Iran on a 24/7 basis. An important endeavor for my country to which we have contributed more than 1,5 million euros.

The inspections have led to already thirteen consecutive IAEA reports confirming that Iran is living up to its commitments under the JCPOA.

It is in this light that we reiterate our deep regret about the decision of the United States to withdraw from the agreement. We believe that the JCPOA effectively blocks the route to an Iranian nuclear weapon. It is better than any alternative.

That is why we call on the JCPOA participants to remain committed to the agreement.

2. Iran’s ballistic missile programme

Mr. President, this brings me to my second point, our concerns about Iran’s ballistic missile programme and its role in the region.

The Kingdom of the Netherlands shares the serious concerns as expressed by many today, about Iran’s ballistic missile programme, the recent ballistic missile tests and Iran’s destabilizing role in the region.

We are concerned about Iran’s mingling in the internal affairs of countries such as Syria, Lebanon and Yemen, and about its support to armed groups like Hezbollah and the Houthi. We condemn any Iranian involvement in the transfer of missiles and arms to actors in the region, including missiles to the Houthi in Yemen.

We call on Iran to refrain from any such activities, to implement resolution 2231 fully and to engage in serious dialogue on these concerns.

3. Implementation of resolution 2231

Mr. President, on my third point: the implementation of resolution 2231. As long as Iran continues to remain committed to the JCPOA, the international community should do so as well.

Therefore, we call on the entire international community to continue to support and implement resolution 2231, including the JCPOA. The international community should ensure that Iran continues to benefit from the agreement as was foreseen, including trade through the Procurement Channel, as needed.

The Kingdom of the Netherlands will continue to play its part to ensure the full implementation of resolution 2231; nationally, as member of the European Union, and this year as Facilitator for resolution 2231.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Mr. President, the Kingdom of the Netherlands sees it as a clear priority that the JCPOA participants, including Iran, and the international community remain committed to resolution 2231, including the JCPOA. Especially now that this agreement seems to be at a crossroads.

At the same time, Iran should address the international concerns regarding its ballistic missile programme and its destabilizing role in the region.

The JCPOA showed the international community could come together and solve even the most complex of issues. It showed it is possible to overcome differences through dialogue and diplomacy. It is a clear example of effective multilateralism.

Ensuring the continued implementation of resolution 2231 is in the interest of the Iranian people, of the region and of us all.

Thank you, Mr. President.