Statement by DPR Andre Lipand at UN Security Council meeting on Non-proliferation (Iran/JCPOA)

I would like to thank Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo, Ambassador Olof Skoog and Ambassador Geraldine Byrne Nason for their briefings.

Estonia remains strongly committed to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Full restoration and implementation of the JCPOA remains the best possible option to uphold the nuclear non-proliferation regime, prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, and eventually bring greater security to the region and to the world.

We therefore welcome the resumption of dialogue and negotiations in Vienna towards restoring and preserving the agreement. We very much hope that the coming weeks will bring positive progress. Any further delays or unconstructive engagement risk undermining the viability of the JCPOA and its ability to ensure that the Iranian nuclear programme remains exclusively peaceful. We echo the Secretary-General’s call to build on the work already accomplished in earlier rounds of diplomatic engagements and avoid any further nuclear provocations.

Estonia is deeply concerned that since 2019 Iran has continued to reduce the implementation of its nuclear-related commitments under the JCPOA. The increased level of uranium enrichment Iran has undertaken along with its research and development activities related to uranium metal production has no plausible civilian justification. Some of these activities have permanently and irreversibly improved Iran’s nuclear capabilities, exposing the international community to significant nuclear proliferation risks and undermining regional as well as international peace and security. We call on Iran to return to compliance with its nuclear commitments under the JCPOA without delay.

Estonia commends the work of the International Atomic Energy Agency, its dedication and efforts to continue its monitoring and verification work in Iran. We regret that for nine months already, Iran has suspended transparency and verification measures under the JCPOA and under the Additional Protocol, thereby considerably limiting the Agency’s ability to fulfil its mandate under  resolution 2231. Iran’s failure to allow the Agency’s full monitoring activities contributes to concerns that Iran could be using its equipment for malign purposes. It further disrupts the IAEA’s efforts to ensure the continuity of knowledge of Iran’s nuclear program.

Estonia remains gravely concerned by Iran’s developing and testing of nuclear-capable ballistic missiles and related technologies. These activities are inconsistent with paragraph 3 of annex B to resolution 2231 and are destabilizing for the regional security. Estonia further calls on Iran not to transfer any missiles or missile components, missile technology or unmanned aerial vehicle systems to non-state actors.

Mr President,

A prospect of restoring the JCPOA is still within reach. We call on the parties to show strong political will, flexibility and engage in good faith efforts to determine the steps necessary for both the United States and Iran to return to compliance with the accord.

I thank you.