New York Times: The United Nations Security Council is expected to pass a new round of sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program on Wednesday, with the council’s permanent members agreeing to add 41 companies and one scientist to the blacklist.
The New York Times
By NEIL MacFARQUHAR
UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations Security Council is expected to pass a new round of sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program on Wednesday, with the council’s permanent members agreeing to add 41 companies and one scientist to the blacklist.
The main text of the sanctions — which takes aim at the nuclear industry, imposes an arms embargo and pushes for ship inspections — was agreed on last month. But the major powers have been negotiating the specific list of companies and individuals to be singled out.
The official new blacklist, obtained by The New York Times in the prelude to the vote, comes after months of negotiations largely between the Americans and the Chinese over how to expand the list already included in three previous resolutions.
Weeks of dickering continued until the very last moment, with the Chinese insisting that nothing — either in the main body of the resolution, nor in the three annexes singling out specific names — harm Iran’s day-to-day economy, diplomats said.
“There are roughly twice as many entities as any previous resolution on Iran,” said one American official, speaking on condition of anonymity because some political discussions about the resolution were continuing in the Security Council. “The quality of those entities that are specifically targeted is important.”
Skeptics noted that this would be the fourth round of sanctions the Security Council has imposed on Iran since 2006, and none has succeeded in pushing Iran back to the negotiating table over accusations that it is defying the International Atomic Energy Agency and trying to develop a nuclear bomb. Iran adamantly denies trying to build a nuclear weapon
Indeed, despite the sanctions already in place, Iran is enriching uranium at ever higher levels and building new centrifuges to create larger stockpiles.
“That makes it hard to reach the conclusion that we have the noose around their neck and we just need to pull it a little tighter to bring them to heel,” said Steven E. Miller, the director of the International Security Program at Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. “Their strategy of escaping isolation and pain has been more fruitful.”
In the draft resolution, just one name has been added to the 40 individuals already on the blacklist. He is Javad Rahiqi, 56, the head of the Isfahan Nuclear Technology Center.
There are also two banks on the list: the Export Development Bank of Iran, which has handled tens of millions of dollars worth of transactions linked to Iran’s defense establishment, including some already under sanctions, according to the resolution; and the First East Export Bank controlled by Bank Mellat, which also handles transactions for the defense industry.
The United States had sought to include more banks, including the Central Bank, but ultimately settled for one reference in the introduction that says United Nations member states should “exercise vigilance” when dealing with the Central Bank. China and others had argued that putting the Central Bank or more banks on the blacklist would unfairly harm the nation’s economy.
The list singles out 23 industrial companies, many of them involved in defense contracts or the nuclear industry
In addition, there are 15 companies that are either owned by, controlled by or work for the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. Among the most prominent are Khatam al-Anbiya Construction Headquarters, a company owned by the Revolution Guards that has won billions of dollars in civil and military construction projects.
These projects include a secret nuclear enrichment facility on a military base near the holy city of Qum, whose existence was revealed last September. Three shipping companies linked to the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping lines are also listed.