Delivered by: His Excellency Mohamed Abushahab, Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative

I will begin by expressing my deep appreciation for Under-Secretary-General DiCarlo, and Ambassador Skoog for their briefings today on the latest developments on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. I also extend my thanks to Ambassador Frazier for her role as the facilitator of resolution 2231.

The United Arab Emirates believes that there is still an opportunity for constructive diplomacy on what is a pressing issue for international peace and security.

The impasse we have seen thus far on the JCPOA does not have to be the end of diplomatic engagement.

Nevertheless, we cannot ignore the increasingly escalating steps taken by Iran over the past four years. Concerted actions have culminated in not only the complete cessation of the implementation of Iran’s nuclear-related commitments under the JCPOA, but a further escalation to levels and scope of activities that are difficult to justify for any peaceful nuclear program.

Specifically, decisions by Iran to prevent the IAEA from carrying out essential verification and monitoring activities, along with the removal of all JCPOA-related surveillance equipment and denying access to records, have severely disrupted continuity of knowledge. Furthermore, Iran’s decision to withdraw the designations of a large number of experienced IAEA inspectors hampers the Agency’s ability to effectively verify the country’s nuclear program.

All told, Iran’s conduct calls into question the veracity of its claims and contributes to the international community’s suspicions of its actions.

Providing ongoing assurances of the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program demands that the IAEA be granted full access to relevant locations and any monitoring records to fulfill its critical mandate. Iran must also refrain from its escalatory steps and provide the agency with full cooperation, including relevant answers to the Agency’s outstanding questions on safeguard. For our part, the UAE reaffirms its full support and confidence in the IAEA and its staff.

Mr. President,

Regional security is at stake in the face of the continued proliferation of advanced weapons including missiles and drones to non-state actors. We are troubled by the findings of the Secretary-General’s latest report indicating that Houthi militias continue to be beneficiaries of such weapons.

The evidence is clear.

The examination of debris from the cruise missile used in the November 2022 Al-Dhabba attack revealed consistency with previous Iranian-origin cruise missiles; the design of the seized missiles is similar to those used in attacks in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Yemen between 2019 and 2022.

These findings further entrench instability at a time when regional efforts are focused on de-escalation and conflict resolution. Rebuilding trust and achieving collective peace and security require taking tangible steps towards ending weapons proliferation to non-state actors.

Mr. President,

As our term on the Security Council will soon come to an end, I want to reaffirm from this Chamber our belief that de-escalation, dialogue and diplomacy remain the only path to address the concerns surrounding Iran’s nuclear program. We call on Iran to spare no efforts in building confidence in its nuclear program that fully guarantees its exclusively peaceful nature.

Thank you, Mr. President.