Estonian Explanation of Vote in connection with agenda item “Non-proliferation”

Delivered by Chargé d’Affaires, Mr. Gert Auväärt

Mr President,

Iran’s destabilising and malicious activities in the Middle East have been reckless, irresponsible and warrant the full attention of the Security Council. The United States has shone a light on an important issue to be resolved.

The Secretary-General’s ninth report on the implementation of SC resolution 2231 (2015) provides an assessment that points to Iran’s several violations of the provisions on arms transfers. We strongly condemn the attacks against Aramco oil facilities and Abha International Airport, which were conducted with Iranian origin weaponry.

Estonia, therefore, fully shares the concerns regarding the planned lifting of the conventional arms embargo in October 2020 as set out in resolution 2231. Iran’s actions do not support this. We agree with the United States and with our European partners that the expiry of the arms embargo would have potentially serious consequences for the region and its security. These concerns need to be taken seriously and we support the United States’ efforts to address them.

However, there is another threat in play that emanates from Iran. A threat that was considerably reduced by the conclusion of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and the adoption of the resolution 2231 endorsing the agreement. It has been Estonia’s consistent position that the JCPOA plays a key role in upholding the nuclear non-proliferation regime and is an important pillar of regional and international security. At the moment, the agreement remains the best tool available to provide the international community with the necessary assurances on Iran’s nuclear program. We do not want to see it collapse and are wary of attempts that might be incompatible with the aim to preserve the JCPOA.

This is the reason Estonia decided to abstain on the draft resolution proposed by the United States.

We call on all key stakeholders to explore together with the United States constructive options to address the implications of the lifting of the arms restrictions to regional security and stability.