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UN proposes measures for monitoring Iran arms embargo

A UN Security Council meeting on September 30, 2015 in New York
Timothy A. Clary (AFP/File)
Measures replace the committee which monitored UN sanctions against Iran until they were lifted

The United Nations Security Council set forth new measures on Thursday for monitoring an arms embargo on Iran as well as restrictions on its ballistic missiles and other programs, which are to remain in place after the lifting of sanctions against the country following implementation of a historic nuclear accord last week.

The new measures will replace the UN Security Council committee which monitored UN sanctions against Iran until they were lifted last Saturday.

A notice circulated by the current Security Council president, Elbio Rosselli, describes "practical arrangements and procedures" for monitoring a Security Council resolution adopted on July 20 which endorsed the deal to limit Iran's nuclear program, the Associated Press reports.

The notice calls for the selection of one of the Security Council's 15 members as "facilitator" and asks UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to authorize the Council's work, including facilitating meetings and communications.

The UN will maintain an arms embargo on Iran for up to five years, with potential to end earlier if Iran fulfills its promise not to work on nuclear weapons as determined by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Similar restrictions on the transfer of ballistic missile technology to Iran will remain in place for up to eight years. The United States announced new sanctions linked to Iran's ballistic missile program, just a day after sanctions targeting its nuclear program were lifted.

Carlos Barria (POOL/AFP)

A provision in the July 20 resolution allows the UN to immediately reinstate sanctions if Iran fails to fulfill its side of the deal. All provisions in the resolution, including the so-called "snap-back" provision, are set to terminate in 10 years.

In July, the six world powers and permanent members of the Security Council, together with the European Union, sent a letter to the UN Secretary-General agreeing to extending the snap-back provision for an additional five years.

The nuclear deal also requires the Security Council to authorize "on a case-by-case basis" a number of nuclear-related activities between Iran and UN member states, including the sale and transfer of products used for nuclear reprocessing or enrichment, mining or producing uranium, or for obtaining and using certain nuclear materials and technologies, reports the Associated Press.

The notice says that the Security Council "shall take any necessary action to support and improve the implementation" of the July 20 resolution and will respond "appropriately to information regarding alleged actions inconsistent with the resolution."

The note asks the UN Secretary-General to report to the Security Council on the implementation of the resolution every six months.

- Japan to lift Iran sanctions following implementation of nuclear deal -

Japan approved the lifting of sanctions against Iran on Friday, joining countries such as the US and EU as a landmark nuclear accord entered into force last week.

Japan was largely expected to lift sanctions opening the door for Japanese investment in exports to Iran as well as its lucrative oil and gas markets, the Associated Press reports.

"We will continue to support the consistent implementation of the final agreement on the Iranian nuclear issue as we see it as a way to enforce nuclear non-proliferation and contribute to stability in the Middle East," said Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga.

Paz Pizarro (AFP)


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