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Updated On: Monday, 24 September 2018

Update on Iran Nukes and Missiles

Content by: South-South News

29 June 2018, New York, USA | South-South News — The UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Rosemary DiCarlo, told the Security Council the UN’s assessment that missiles launched from Yemen into Saudi Arabia shared “key design features with the Iranian Qiam-1 ballistic missile” and that components of the missiles were “manufactured in Iran.”

Briefing the Council on the implementation of resolution 2231 which endorsed the Iran nuclear agreement (JCPOA), DiCarlo said the agreement is at a crossroads despite Iran’s continued adherence to it. She said Secretary-General António Guterres deeply regretted the United States’ withdrawal from the agreement and believes that issues not related to the JCPOA should be addressed without prejudice to preserving the agreement and its accomplishments.

On ballistic missile-related provisions of the resolution, DiCarlo said, after examining debris from missiles launched by Houthi rebels in Yemen into Saudi Arabia, the UN assesses that the debris of the five missiles launched at Yanbu and Riyadh since July 2017 shared “key design features with the Iranian Qiam-1 ballistic missile” and that some component parts of the debris “were manufactured in Iran.” She noted however that the UN was presently unable to determine whether the missiles or the related technology was transferred from Iran after 16 January 2016, the date when the provisions came into effect.

DiCarlo also reported that the UN examined arms seized in Bahrain after 16 January 2016, and obtained additional information on the unmanned surface vessel laden with explosives recovered by the United Arab Emirates. She added, “In both cases, the Secretariat is confident that some of the arms and related materiel it examined were manufactured in Iran. However, we are unable to confirm whether these items were transferred from Iran after 16 January 2016.”

João Pedro Vale de Almeida, Head of Delegation of the European Union (EU) to the United Nations, said the full implementation of the JCPOA “prevents a nuclear arms race in the region, which is in no one's interest.” He stressed that there was “no positive alternative” to the agreement, which he described as “the fruit of more than 12 years of negotiation, a 104-page document endorsed at the highest level by the international community.” He added, “Undoubtedly it remains a standard of a multilateral nuclear non-proliferation agreement to which other initiatives still have to live up to.”

De Almeida acknowledged the debate being held in Iran on the JCPOA and conceded that there would be a number of companies which would not see themselves in a position to continue their engagement in the country. He said the EU continues to explore with Iran the possibilities to preserve legitimate trade and investment as well as to continue the overall bilateral cooperation that has taken place since 2016.

He said a number of serious issues outside of the deal continue to cast a shadow on its overall relationship with Iran, including Yemen and Iran’s missile program. He said the situation in the region including the proliferation of ballistic missiles “needs to be addressed, as a priority”, but stressed that issues are “distinct from the JCPOA.” He added, “Dismantling a nuclear deal that is working would certainly not put us in a better position to discuss other issues; walking away from a robust nonproliferation agreement will not provide a solution to regional tensions or ballistic missile proliferation.”

De Almeida stressed that should the momentum on the JCPOA's preservation and implementation be lost, “this would be very detrimental to Iran, to all other remaining JCPOA parties, to the wider international community, and it would damage the trust in the effectiveness of multilateral diplomacy and non-proliferation architecture.”

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