Thursday, March 22, 2012

Iran: UN sanctions committee presents recent cases of reported ‘violations’

Amb. Néstor Osorio. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

UN - 21 March 2012 –
The head of the Security Council committee monitoring the arms embargo imposed on Iran over its nuclear programme today said new cases of sanctions violation have been brought to its attention during the past three months.

In his quarterly report, covering the period between 21 December 2011 and 20 March 2012, Ambassador Néstor Osorio of Colombia, noted that on 28 February, four Member States submitted a report regarding a violation of the resolution prohibiting Iran from carrying out activities related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons, in the wake of Iran’s launch of a Navid satellite into space using its own space launch vehicle.

A Member State had also provided information on the results of inspections carried out on material confiscated in February last year from a truck on Iran’s border with Syria; while another Member State had brought to the committee’s attention a public statement by the Secretary-General of Hizbollah, dated 7 February, in which he acknowledged that his group had received “materialistic support in all possible and available forms from Iran.”

Mr. Osorio’s report also mentioned a Member State which had informed the committee about the transfer to Iran of items “intended for nuclear power plants with light-water reactor.”

Iran’s nuclear programme – which its officials have stated is for peaceful purposes, but some other countries contend is driven by military ambitions – has been a matter of international concern since the discovery in 2003 that the country had concealed its nuclear activities for 18 years in breach of its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

The resolution under which the Security Council committee was established – resolution 1737 of December 2006 – banned trade with Iran in all items, materials, equipment, goods and technology which could contribute to the country’s enrichment-related, reprocessing or heavy water-related activities, or to the development of nuclear-weapon delivery systems.

Resolution 1747 of the following year tightened the sanctions by imposing a ban on arms sales and expanding the freeze on assets.

The Council imposed further sanctions against Iran in resolution 1803 in 2008. These included the inspection of cargo suspected of carrying prohibited goods, the tighter monitoring of financial institutions and the extension of travel bans and asset freezes, over its nuclear programme.