Iran's ambassador to the United Nations has said as long as illegal sanctions are in place, Tehran cannot be expected to trust the offer for an honest and genuine dialogue with United States.

Iran Press/Iran news: Iran's ambassador to the United Nations, Majid Takht Ravanchi, addressing the United Nations Security Council meeting on 'Non-Proliferation: implementation of Security Council resolution 2231', referred to trust as the main prerequisite for starting a dialogue and said: "Trust is the main prerequisite and the minimum requirement of entering into a meaningful dialogue. This can only be represented in deeds, not deceptive and sugar-coated words."

Takht Ravanchi said: "As long as illegal sanctions are in place, Tehran cannot be expected to trust the offer for an honest and genuine dialogue with United States," IRNA reported.

The full text of Takht Ravanchi's address is as follows:

In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful

Mr. President,

I thank you for organizing this meeting which deals with an important issue for the whole international community, namely the JCPOA, which according to the UNSC, is “a demonstration of successful multilateralism” and a major achievement in “dialogue and diplomacy”.

As you are well aware, the JCPOA is founded on two pillars: Iran’s nuclear-related commitments and commitments of other participants which should bring about economic benefits to Iran.

The IAEA is mandated to and is verifying and monitoring the implementation of the nuclear-related commitments by Iran. The IAEA’s 15 consecutive reports so far have confirmed Iran’s continued full compliance with its commitments. Therefore, the first pillar is completely fulfilled with the highest possible standards.

But what about the second pillar? Has it been realized?

This pillar is composed of two complementary commitments: the lifting of sanctions and promoting normal economic and trade relations with Iran.

This fact has twice been stipulated explicitly in the JCPOA, where it states: “the JCPOA will produce the comprehensive lifting of all UN Security Council sanctions as well as multilateral and national sanctions related to Iran’s nuclear program, including steps on access in areas of trade, technology, finance, and energy”.

Likewise, resolution 2231 has emphasized that the “JCPOA is conducive to promoting and facilitating the development of normal economic and trade contacts and cooperation with Iran”.

In addition, the resolution, by underscoring that “Member States are obligated under Article 25 of the Charter … to accept and carry out the Security Council’s decisions”, “Calls upon all Member States … to take such actions as may be appropriate to support the implementation of the JCPOA, including by taking actions commensurate with the implementation plan set out in the JCPOA and this resolution and by refraining from actions that undermine implementation of commitments under the JCPOA”.

As Security Council sanctions can only be annulled by itself, this body, through Resolution 2231 and acting under the Charter’s Chapter VII, terminated all of its sanctions against Iran.

Regarding multilateral sanctions, under the JCPOA, the EU and its Member States are committed to “adopt an EU Regulation, … terminating … all nuclear-related economic and financial EU sanctions”.

Likewise, on national sanctions, according to the JCPOA, the US is committed to cease “the application of the statutory nuclear-related sanctions”.

Additionally, in accordance with the JCPOA, the EU and its Member States and the US are committed to “refrain from any policy specifically intended to directly and adversely affect the normalization of trade and economic relations with Iran … [and] not to undermine the successful implementation of this JCPOA”.

Furthermore, according to the JCPOA, the US is committed to “make best efforts in good faith to sustain this JCPOA and to prevent interference with the realization of the full benefit by Iran of the sanctions lifting”.

But what has happened in practice?

The US withdrawal from the JCPOA and re-imposition of its sanctions, rendered the JCPOA almost fully ineffective, with respect to Iran’s benefits, which is of course a clear violation of the U.S. commitments under the JCPOA and a breach of its obligations under resolution 2231.

The US also brazenly continues threatening other States to “either violate resolution 2231 or face punishment”.

This irresponsible conduct by a Council’s permanent member, unprecedented in the history of this body, is a frontal assault on resolution 2231, violates the UN Charter and international law and further erodes the trust and confidence in the Council.

As a result, the US itself is not fulfilling its obligations under resolution 2231, is not allowing Iran to implement certain parts of the JCPOA and is preventing other States from implementing their obligations under the resolution.

Nevertheless, in the span of one year after the U.S. withdrawal, the only reaction of Iran was to give more opportunity, weeks after weeks and months after months, to remaining JCPOA participants, mainly the E3, upon their request, to compensate for the consequences of the US withdrawal.

However, Iran’s good will and maximum restraint as well as repeated promises of other participants for taking “practical solutions” yielded no concrete result.

In exercising its strategic patience policy in order to preserve the JCPOA, Iran however has paid a heavy price as a result of the US economic war and its so-called maximum pressure policy, including the US attempts to cut Iran’s oil exports to zero and disrupting free trade with Iran.

In practical terms, the JCPOA has become an agreement which is being respected only by one party. A multilateral agreement cannot be implemented unilaterally. Iran has done a lot and much more than its fair share to preserve the nuclear deal. Iran alone cannot, shall not and will not take all of the burdens anymore to preserve the JCPOA.

Therefore, in order to protect the security and national interests of the people of Iran and to bring a balance to the JCPOA, on 8 May 2019, Iran decided to limit, in phase one of its plan, the implementation of its commitments in two cases, namely the level of reserves of “enriched uranium” and “heavy water” as identified in the JCPOA.

At the same time, I must stress that this decision is in full conformity with the JCPOA’s paragraphs 26 and 36, according to which, in case of “a re-introduction or re-imposition of the sanctions … or such an imposition of new nuclear-related sanctions”, Iran will have the right “to cease performing its commitments under this JCPOA in whole or in part”.

In fact, as stated by the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, this is a minimum measure that Iran could adopt, a year after the US withdrew from the JCPOA and re-imposed its sanctions.

According to Iran’s decision, if adequate practical measures are not taken within sixty days by other JCPOA participants and the international community in general, Iran will be forced, in phase two of its plan, to “suspend compliance with the uranium enrichment limits and measures to modernize the Arak Heavy Water Reactor”.

As stated in our Supreme National Security Council’s statement, the Islamic Republic of Iran entered into negotiations with goodwill, agreed with the JCPOA’s conclusion with goodwill, implemented its commitment with goodwill, and after the US withdrawal, provided enough time to remaining JCPOA participants with goodwill. Now, the remaining JCPOA participants, particularly the E3, must either prove their goodwill by taking timely, adequate, serious and practical steps to preserve the JCPOA which is now in critical condition or, along with the US, accept the full responsibility for any possible consequences.

Mr. President,

While Iran is determined to vigorously secure its interests against the economic terrorism of the US and all of its mischievous plots and plans, the international community should also resist against U.S. bullying and lawlessness if we want our world to be governed by the rule of law, not the rule of power, and by the force of logic instead of the logic of force.

We should not allow fabrications, disinformation as well as deception by the US to set the agenda here.

One example is their disinformation campaign and the hue and cry about Iran’s ballistic missile program and its relation with Resolution 2231. Iran’s ballistic missiles are designed to deliver conventional warheads and are “not designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons”, and accordingly are outside of the purview of Resolution 2231.

To develop a conventional ballistic missile program is an inherent right under international law and is neither prohibited nor limited by Resolution 2231. Living in such a volatile region as the Middle East, the Islamic Republic of Iran will not compromise on its security and its conventional defensive capability as no other country does.

American officials claim that sanctions are not intended to hurt the people of Iran. But, in practice, it is entirely the opposite.

The sanctions are basically designed to harm the general public, particularly the vulnerable people like women, children, elderly and patients. They harm the poor more than the rich, the ill people more than the healthy people, infants and children more than adults. In short, those who are most vulnerable suffer the most. For instance, among the patients those who suffer severe conditions and therefore need scarce and expensive medicine and advanced medical equipment – which in most cases have to be imported – suffer the most.

Just one example among thousands is the dire need of a 38-year old Iranian woman to a certain medicine not available in Iran. In 1987, when she was 7 years old, her neighborhood in an Iranian border city was bombed and she was wounded by the chemical agents provided to Saddam by some western States. To breathe normally, she needs a certain medicine that now cannot be imported because all possible ways are blocked by the U.S. despite its claim that such cases are exempt from sanctions; however, in practice they are not.

This is the real meaning of not hurting the Iranian people: a real hypocrisy. The US is weaponizing food and medicine against civilians, which is a clear manifestation of the collective punishment of an entire nation, amounting to a crime against humanity thus entailing international responsibility.

Now, let’s delve into the American claim of negotiations without preconditions and their demand from us to “meet diplomacy with diplomacy”. What do they mean by diplomacy and negotiations without preconditions? For them, diplomacy means withdrawal from a deal which was recognized globally as a significant achievement of multilateralism; it means re-imposition of sanctions in violation of JCPOA and Resolution 2231; it means punishing other States for implementing that resolution; it means the so-called maximum pressure policy; it means imposing sanctions after sanctions; it means collective punishment of an entire nation; it means waging a true and all-out economic war; it means economic terrorism; it means military adventurism and sending spy drones into Iranian airspace; it means more military build-up in the Persian Gulf; it means designing more plots to divide regional countries and create further tension among them in order to sell more arms to the region; and the list goes on and on.

We are a nation that, as testified by our history, resist aggression, intimidation and coercion. Conversely, we very well respond to civilized behavior, respect and honesty.

Trust is the main prerequisite and the minimum requirement of entering into a meaningful dialogue. This can only be represented in deeds not deceptive and sugar coated words.

As long as illegal sanctions are in place, one cannot be expected to trust the offer for an honest and genuine dialogue.

Finally, our observations on Secretary-General’s report are contained in a letter that I have sent to your Excellency yesterday, which covers our views on issues that I did not address in my remarks today.

Last but not the least, today, the US representative repeated again a few of their baseless allegations against Iran.

As my country has responded to those allegations either through our Foreign Ministry or at relevant international fora, I don’t want to dignify them with an answer.

I thank you, Mr. President.