Iranian Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations Eshagh Al-Habib listens during a Security Council meeting on Iran's compliance with the 2015 nuclear agreement, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018, at United Nations headquarters. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

The Latest: French UN envoy urges dialogue with Iran

December 12, 2018 - 11:40 am

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The Latest on the U.N. Security Council session on Iran's compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal (all times local):

2:10 p.m.

France's U.N. ambassador says a long-term strategy in the Middle East cannot rest on "exerting pressures and sanctions" on Iran but must include "a firm and frank dialogue" with the Iranians on issues of growing concern, including their ballistic missile launches and destabilizing activities.

Francois Delattre told the U.N. Security Council Wednesday that dialogue is the only way the international community can lay the foundations for a new agreement with Iran on nuclear and missile activity as well as regional stability.

He stressed that "there is no other way to make sure there was lasting stability in the region or to attain the goal of Iran never obtaining nuclear weapons."

Delattre's comments appeared aimed at the Trump administration, which pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and has recently re-imposed sanctions it had lifted following the agreement.

The French ambassador also echoed the appeal launched by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to all countries to ensure the continuity of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal "as a pillar of international peace and security."


1:25 p.m.

The U.N. political chief says Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is calling on Iran "to carefully consider and address" concerns raised by U.N. member states about its ballistic missile activities.

Rosemary DiCarlo told the U.N. Security Council Wednesday that Guterres welcomes the reaffirmation of support for the 2015 nuclear deal by the remaining participants following the U.S. withdrawal in May — Russia, China, Britain, France, Germany and Iran.

She said "it is essential that the plan continues to work for all participants, including by delivering economic tangible benefits to the Iranian people."

DiCarlo said the secretary-general regrets the Trump administration's decision to re-impose sanctions against Iran that it lifted after the 2015 nuclear deal following its withdrawal from the agreement.

She said Guterres believes issues not directly related to the nuclear deal "should be addressed without prejudice to preserving the agreement and its accomplishments."


11:30 a.m.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is urging the U.N. Security Council to ban any Iranian activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons and he's accusing Tehran of building "a robust ballistic missile force" that threatens the Mideast and Europe.

Pompeo told the U.N.'s most powerful body Wednesday that Iran has built the largest ballistic missile force in the region and has more than 10 ballistic missile systems in its inventory or in development.

The Security Council banned nuclear-capable Iranian missiles from 2010 to 2015, but after the Iran nuclear deal in 2015, the council adopted a weaker provision that "calls upon" Iran not to undertake such activity.

Pompeo said that regardless of the changed language, the world "must agree to stop it now."

He also urged the council not to lift an arms embargo on Iran in 2020 and to inspect ships in ports and stop them on the high seas to prevent Iran from circumventing existing arms restrictions.