The United States and United Nations have repeatedly asserted that Revolutionary Iran has complied with the terms of the 2013 Geneva Interim Agreement, which involved restrictions in the development of nuclear technology, as well as the scale of enrichment. However, intelligence recently supplied by the British, to a sanctions panel, suggests that the Interim agreement may have been breached in some respects:
Britain has informed a United Nations sanctions panel of an active Iranian nuclear procurement network linked to two blacklisted firms, according to a confidential report by the panel seen by Reuters.
The existence of such a network could add to Western concerns over whether Tehran can be trusted to adhere to a nuclear deal due by June 30 in which it would agree to restrict sensitive nuclear work in exchange for sanctions relief. [...]
"The UK government informed the Panel on 20 April 2015 that it 'is aware of an active Iranian nuclear procurement network which has been associated with Iran's Centrifuge Technology Company (TESA) and Kalay Electric Company (KEC)'," the Panel of Experts said in its annual report. The panel monitors Iran's compliance with the U.N. sanctions regime.
KEC is under U.N. Security Council sanctions while TESA is under U.S. and European Union sanctions due to their suspected links to banned Iranian nuclear activities.
Worryingly, the Panel also reported that there may be cover-ups by member states concerning Iran's violations:
Apart from the British notice and expressions of concern from some member states about continued Iranian procurement activities, the panel said it had received no new reports from U.N. member states of confirmed cases of non-compliance.
But it said that could simply indicate that some states are refraining from reporting violations to avoid undermining the delicate nuclear talks. It said that some members' assessment was that Iran's procurement and "circumvention techniques" remain mostly unchanged.
It cited an example of an unnamed member state saying that an Iranian entity had recently attempted to acquire compressors, a key component in the uranium enrichment process, using false end-user certificates in an attempt to evade controls.
The panel noted multiple media reports of Iranian weapons shipments to Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and Yemen as well as Hezbollah and Hamas militants in violation of a U.N. embargo -- some of them quoting Iranian officials talking openly about arms shipments abroad.
And yet, it said, not a single country reported those arms shipments to the Security Council's Iran sanctions committee in line with standard procedure for suspected breaches.
Posted on 05/01/2015 1:38 PM by Robert Harris