December 2010 Monthly Forecast

Posted 1 December 2010
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MIDDLE EAST

Iran

Expected Council Action

A quarterly briefing from the chair of the 1737 Sanctions Committee on Iran is expected in December. An IAEA report on Iran’s compliance with Council resolutions is also expected. No Council action seemed likely at time of writing.

Key Recent Developments
On 30 November a spokesman for EU foreign affairs head Catherine Ashton said talks had been agreed in Geneva for 6-7 December with Iranian nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili. It seems likely that representatives from the E3+3 (China, France, Germany, Russia, the UK and the US) will also attend. The agreement to hold the meeting came after discussions in recent weeks about the focus and location of future talks.

On 15 November, Nigerian Foreign Minister Odein Ajumogobia told reporters that Nigeria had reported a possible sanctions violation to the committee. The shipment in question apparently originated in Iran and allegedly contains proscribed weapons.

On 5 November the Secretary-General notified the Council that after consulting with the Iran sanctions committee, he had appointed the panel of experts requested in resolution 1929, approved in June. The resolution established the panel for a period of one year, and it is meant to assist the committee in carrying out its work. The panel consists of eight members: from China, France, Germany, Japan, Nigeria, Russia, the UK and the US. An interim report is due from the panel to the Council ninety days after its appointment.

Human Rights-Related Developments

On 18 November the General Assembly’s Third Committee passed a resolution expressing deep concern at serious ongoing and recurring human rights violations in Iran, and called on the government to address concerns highlighted in the recent report of the Secretary-General (A/65/370).

Key Issues
A key issue is whether the measures imposed by the Council are having any effect.

Council and Broader Dynamics
In light of the recommencement of talks in Geneva in December it seems that Council members will be content with simply receiving the sanctions committee briefing. On the other hand if the talks do not proceed constructively, given the US presidency of the Council in December, moves to initiate Council discussion may occur.

Most Council members seem to view the recent appointment of the panel of experts favourably, though obtaining agreement on its membership apparently required more time than some had originally foreseen. It is hoped that the panel will now be able to provide practical support to the committee, particularly with assisting the monitoring of the implementation of sanctions measures. For example, resolution 1929 called on states to report to the committee within sixty days on the steps they had taken to implement its provisions, and some hope the panel will be of help as the committee continues to receive and assess these country reports. (Only 36 reports had been received at the time of the 15 September sanctions committee briefing.)

Regarding Nigeria’s recent communication about a possible sanctions violation, it seems that little information has been communicated to the committee at this point. Nigeria is apparently continuing its investigation of the matter, and committee members expect that this process will take some time to complete.

UN Documents

Selected Council Resolutions

  • S/RES/1929 (9 June 2010) imposed a fourth round of sanctions against Iran and requested the Secretary-General to establish a panel of experts to assist the sanctions committee.
  • S/RES/1737 (23 December 2006) banned trade with Iran of certain items related to nuclear activities and weapon delivery systems, imposed an asset freeze on certain persons and entities and established a sanctions committee.
  • S/RES/1696 (31 July 2006) demanded that Iran suspend all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, including research and development, to be verified by the IAEA.

Selected Meeting Record

  • S/PV.6384 (15 September 2010) was the most recent briefing by the chair of the 1737 Committee.

Latest IAEA Report

Selected Other Document

  • A/65/370 (15 September 2010) was a report by the Secretary-General on the human rights situation in Iran.

Other Relevant Facts

Sanctions Committee Chairman

Tsuneo Nishida (Japan)

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