UN Report on Iran Sanctions & Interim Deal

June 9, 2015

Iran has implemented its commitments under the interim nuclear deal and worked with the U.N. nuclear watchdog to address outstanding questions about its controversial program, according to a new U.N. Security Council report released on June 9. The panel of experts tasked with monitoring sanctions on Iran also “received no report regarding violations of Security Council financial sanctions,” but noted evidence of attempting to conceal connections of financial transactions to the Islamic Republic.

The report also covered developments relevant to other Security Council resolutions apart from the interim nuclear deal. In some areas, discrepancies between media reports and lack of reporting by states to the panel were apparent. For example, “unlike every previous mandate, during the current mandate no transfers of conventional arms and related materiel by the Islamic Republic of Iran were reported to the Committee.” But the panel also noted media reports alleging Iranian military support and arms transfers to Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Yemen, and to Hezbollah and Hamas.
 
Another example of lack of reporting was related to travel bans. Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Revolutionary Guards’ elite Qods Force, has been banned from traveling outside of Iran in 2007 under resolution 1747. He, however, has been photographed extensively in Iraq and elsewhere in the region during the last year. And yet no U.N. member state reported a travel ban violation.
 
The report attributed the lack of reporting to two potential factors, a “decrease in the Islamic Republic of Iran’s prohibited activities and restraint on the part of Member States so as not to affect the [nuclear] negotiations process.”
 
Also on June 9, the U.N. Security Council voted to renew the mandate of the expert panel until July 2016. The following is a summary of the U.N. report with a link to the full text.
 
Summary
 
The Islamic Republic of Iran has complied with its safeguards obligations, implemented its commitments under the Joint Plan of Action, and worked with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Framework for Cooperation matters.
 
As part of the Joint Plan of Action, concomitant with IAEA confirmation that the Islamic Republic of Iran was fulfilling the “voluntary measures” agreed in this format, some unilateral sanctions have been suspended, providing limited relief to the Islamic Republic of Iran’s economy.
 
The Panel has not identified cases of procurement for activities prohibited under Security Council resolutions that occurred during the current mandate, nor have any such cases being reported by Member States.
 
However, the following developments have been noted in other areas covered by the Security Council resolutions, and not addressed in the Joint Plan of Action:
 
During the current mandate, the Islamic Republic of Iran has not launched or unveiled any new types of medium-range ballistic missiles. However, the Fajr satellite was launched by a Safir space launch vehicle and the Islamic Republic of Iran’s annual Great Prophet military exercise reportedly involved the Fateh 110 ballistic missile.
 
The Islamic Republic of Iran’s arms transfers have actively continued, as reflected in numerous media reports, raising concerns among some Member States. The Panel notes that no State has formally reported an actual case of non-compliance although one State has informed the Panel of an offer by the Islamic Republic of Iran.
 
Travels to neighbouring countries of a prominent designated Iranian individual, amply covered by the media, have been duly noted by the Panel. Nevertheless, no violation of the travel ban as such has been formally reported to the Committee.
 
The Panel has observed that the private sector remains in compliance. Although many companies, in the expectation of increased commercial opportunities in the near future, are exploring possibilities, companies have limited themselves to preliminary understandings. This indicates that the private sector remains risk adverse, mindful of obligations and of reputation.
 
The overall lack of reporting is a distinctive feature of this mandate period. It might be linked, inter alia, to a decrease in the Islamic Republic of Iran’s prohibited activities and restraint on the part of Member States so as not to affect the negotiations process.
 
Given the ongoing negotiations, the Panel refrains from additional recommendations to those already proposed in the Panel’s previous final reports.
 
Click here for the full text.