Two Years After Resolution 1929: Tightening Enforcement of UN Sanctions Against Iran, September 20, 2012
In June 2010, the Security Council imposed tough new sanctions in response to Iran’s continuing failure to comply with its obligations and resolve international concerns about its nuclear program. These sanctions, imposed in resolution 1929, were the fourth and most robust round of Security Council sanctions against Iran and an essential element of the unprecedented and far-reaching sanctions regime spearheaded by the United States since 2009. These sanctions under 1929 have made it harder for Iran to smuggle weapons, acquire nuclear-sensitive materials and access the funds it needs to continue its illicit nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
Since their adoption, the United States has vigorously ensured that these sanctions are effectively implemented. In particular, the United States has supported the work of the Security Council’s Iran Sanctions Committee, which is mandated to monitor and improve sanctions enforcement. The United States has also assisted the work of the Iran Panel of Experts, an eight-person independent team created in resolution 1929 to investigate sanctions violations, assist the Committee in carrying out its mandate and advise states on how best to implement the sanctions.
Since the adoption of resolution 1929, the Committee and Panel have been continuously active to promote better enforcement of the UN sanctions.
Over the last two years, the Committee has significantly increased its pace of work, reviewing 309 draft documents, including correspondence with UN Member States, reports from the Panel, proposed appointments for the Panel and drafts of regular briefs to the Security Council.
• The Panel of Experts has undertaken more than forty-five trips to visit Member States and raise awareness about the sanctions. During these visits, the Panel often consults with States regarding their “best practices” to implement the sanctions and inspects facilities that could be exposed to the risks of Iran’s illicit transfer and procurement.
• The Security Council has released publicly the Panel’s May 2012 final report (http://www.un.org/sc/committees/1737/panelexperts.shtml), which contained extensive analysis of and information about Iran’s sanctions evasion, as well as eleven specific recommendations to improve sanctions implementation.
• The Committee has received and reviewed implementation reports from ninety-five Member States regarding steps these states taken to enforce the new sanctions imposed in resolution 1929.
The Committee has investigated and taken action to respond to sanctions violations.
• Since the adoption of resolution 1929, the Committee has received twelve reports of alleged sanctions violations. The Committee, with the support of the Panel, has investigated or is in the process of investigating each case.
• Six of these reported violations involved Iran’s smuggling of conventional arms. Four of these violations were linked to illicit transfers involving Syria.
• The Panel has conducted six site inspections to inspect seized Iranian cargo in other countries.
• In April 2012, the Committee imposed targeted sanctions (asset freeze/travel ban) on two individuals and one company responsible for an illicit Iranian arms shipment that was seized by Nigeria in 2010.
• The Committee is now reviewing a recommendation by the Panel to impose additional targeted sanctions on three other companies involved in Iranian arms smuggling.
• The Committee has engaged directly with seventeen countries that may have information regarding these violations, as well as with those countries alleged to have violated the sanctions (including Iran).
• The Panel has also retroactively investigated two sanctions violations that occurred prior to its establishment in 2010.
The Committee and Panel have given States advice and assistance on how to implement effectively the UN sanctions.
• The Committee has approved and posted on its website fact sheets outlining the responsibilities of countries that encounter sanctions violations (http://www.un.org/sc/committees/1737/selecdocs.shtml).
• The Committee chair and the Panel held an open briefing in July 2012 for all UN Member States on the work of the Committee and the resources available to help states implement the sanctions. Representatives of nearly forty countries attended this briefing.
• To help states understand their obligations to implement the sanctions, the Panel has organized outreach seminars in Dubai (May 2011), Istanbul (November 2011), Singapore (April 2012) and Nairobi (May 2012), and attended a conference in Geneva (March 2012).
• The Committee has responded to letters from six states seeking clarification regarding how to implement the sanctions.