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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Security Council hears briefing from committee monitoring sanctions on Iran

11 September 2008 – The head of the Security Council committee monitoring sanctions against Iran over its nuclear programme today updated the 15-member body on the panel’s latest work, including the efforts of States to implement those measures.

Ambassador Jan Grauls of Belgium, who is chairman of the committee, said the panel was most recently focused on ensuring greater vigilance from Member States over the activities of financial institutions that deal with banks domiciled in Iran.

The committee also probed reports that some States may have contravened an export ban on arms and related materiel from Iran and received assurances from one of the countries involved that it would continue to fully implement the sanctions.

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 (NPT).

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.

In March 2007 the Council adopted resolution 1747, further tightening 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, adopted this March. 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.

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