Tuesday, March 04, 2008

UN Sanctions Iran Again

SOURCES: Financial Times

On March 3, 2008, the United Nations Security Council enforced sanctions against Iran for the third time. The sanctions were aimed at individuals that had a close connection with the nuclear weapons agenda. In addition, the sanctions also penalized banks that may have funded the agenda. The permanent members of the council agreed on the sanction in January. However, some non-permanent members, including South Africa, Indonesia, Libya, and Vietnam, inquired on the need for further sanctions after previous penalties were unsuccessful.

The UN’s five powers and Germany are encouraging proposals for a negotiation. They suggest that such negotiation may give Iran the opportunity for political and economic benefits. However, the same proposals were offered approximately 2 years ago. The sanctions include travel restrictions on Iranian citizens suspected of being involved in the nuclear weapons agenda and the sanctions also require increased caution on the Iranian banks’ activities, specifically Bank Melli and Bank Saderat.

The Iranian envoy to the United Nations called the sanctions “unjust and irrational.” Some Western diplomats claim that the sanctions were actually weakened to get more support with the other members of the council. European sponsors revised the text to include a welcomed agreement with Iran on determining a resolution on Iran’s nuclear intentions. However, after the IAEA presented evidence that Iran maintained nuclear weapons research up to 2004, the western point of view was definitely reinforced.


Will a third set of sanctions accomplish the UN’s goals? Did the IAEA evidence influence the UN members’ decisions on what types of sanctions to enforce?

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