I would like to thank Under-Secretary-General Rosemary di Carlo, Ambassador Frazier and Ambassador Skoog for their presentations.
Barely 8 years old, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA), was rightly regarded as a success story of multilateral diplomacy in the service of non-proliferation but now seems to have become a monument to a bygone era.
The implementation of the Plan is failing and the situation is more perilous than ever. Switzerland has on several occasions expressed its deep concern about both the withdrawal of the United States from the JCPoA and the various measures taken by Iran. In particular, Switzerland deplores the fact that, despite the willingness shown by most of the parties to negotiate a rapid return to the JCPoA, no progress has been made. Yet the JCPoA remains an important element of the international nuclear nonproliferation regime and of international security. Consequently, rapid and full implementation by all parties of their obligations is necessary.
Mr President, the "rescue" of the JCPoA depends on three aspects:
Firstly, the latest report from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) raises many questions about the overall increase in Iran's stocks of enriched uranium, the installation of new centrifuges and the difficulties encountered by the Agency in verifying Iran's nuclear programme. However, in order to reassure the international community, the Iranian authorities should cooperate rigorously, transparently and unequivocally with the Agency. Otherwise, the Agency's ability to provide guarantees on the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear programme remains compromised. This is why Iran's commitments under the JCPOA and the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons must be fully respected.
Secondly, we are particularly concerned by substantiated indications of transfers from Iran of ballistic missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles to third countries, such as Yemen and Russia. We stress that until 18 October, any transfer of items, materials, equipment, goods and technology contained in the Missile Technology Control Regime list constituted a violation of Resolution 2231. Recent developments in the region underline the extent to which such transfers can contribute to the escalation of conflicts. We also regret Iran's development and testing of ballistic missiles, which are incompatible with Resolution 2231.
Finally, the state of the JCPOA reminds us that urgent diplomatic efforts are needed to avoid its complete collapse. It is not insignificant that the Secretary-General recommends non-proliferation and disarmament of nuclear weapons as a key action in his "New Agenda for Peace". It is in the negotiation and maintenance of such norms that trust, the true cornerstone of the multilateral framework, is built. We hope that talks will resume and enable the parties involved to remember the interest we all have in resolving the Iranian nuclear issue. To be sustainable, political détente must be accompanied by a return to compliance with the obligations and spirit of the JCPOA.
This Council must give this its full attention. It must find a common voice on this issue. Switzerland, as it has done in the past by hosting critical stages in the negotiations, stands ready to facilitate any diplomatic solution aimed at maintaining the nuclear non-proliferation regime.