U.N. committee must do more to address Iran nuclear concerns

The U.N. Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1737 must do more to resolve international concerns about Iran's nuclear intentions, a U.S. ambassador said on Sunday.

Ambassador Samantha Power, the U.S. permanent representative to the U.N., made the remarks on Sunday during a Security Council briefing on Iran and resolution 1737. Power said that while the U.S. hopes the inauguration of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will allow Iran to quickly resolve concerns about its nuclear intentions, there are not yet any clear signs that Iran is committed to alleviating such worries.

"Just last week, (International Atomic Energy Agency) Director General (Yukiya) Amano reported that Iran continues to march forward with its prohibited nuclear activities," Power said. "The director general stated that 'the agency will not be in a position to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared material and activities in Iran unless and until Iran provides the necessary cooperation.' This is a conclusion we have heard repeatedly from the IAEA."

Power said the committee must step up in several ways until progress is made in a new round of talks with Iran. She suggested improving sanctions implementation, implementing recommendations made by a May 2013 final report by a panel of experts and improving the committee's ability to respond to Iran's sanctions violations. Power also said the committee must commit to addressing Iran's arms smuggling, which may support extremist groups.

Power closed by saying the U.S would be a willing partner to Iran if the country is prepared to engage seriously with the international community.

"We would welcome a constructive sign that Iran may be prepared to engage substantively and seriously with the international community," Power said. "If Iran chooses to do so, then it will find a willing partner in the United States. We hope that Iran's new leadership chooses this path. Until Iran decides to meet its obligations, the committee's work remains critical to the diplomacy of holding Iran accountable to this council and to the broader international community."