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UN Passes Iran Sanctions Resolution

June 9, 2010

Well, I guess the administration’s single-minded focus on Iran’s purported nuclear desires has paid off:

The United Nations Security Council voted Wednesday to impose new sanctions on Iran to try to force it to suspend its nuclear program.

The vote was 12-2, with Lebanon abstaining. Brazil and Turkey opposed the sanctions — the fourth set of measures to try to rein in Iran since 2006.

“These sanctions are not directed at the Iranian people,” Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said after the vote.

Instead, they “aim squarely at the nuclear ambitions” of the regime, she said, calling them “as tough as they are smart and precise.”

Lets just hope that they don’t hurt the average Iranian, provide Ahmadinejad with an excuse for his horrible economy and totally undermine the Green Movement in Iran.

From the State Department:

Fact Sheet: New UN Security Council Sanctions on Iran, June 9, 2010

On June 9, 2010, in response to Iran’s continued refusal to comply with its international obligations regarding its nuclear program, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 1929, imposing a strong, broad-based new set of sanctions on Iran.

Resolution 1929 increases the cost to Iran’s leadership of their continued defiance of the international community, and aims to persuade Iran that it is in its interest to peacefully resolve concerns about its nuclear program. The Resolution builds on three previous rounds of UN sanctions on Iran by strengthening and expanding existing measures and breaking ground in several new areas. It is a clear and strong response to Iran’s refusal to address international concerns over its nuclear program.

This resolution complements our diplomatic efforts to engage Iran. We will continue to work with our international partners to forge a peaceful solution. The United States remains open to dialogue, but Iran must live up to its obligations and clearly demonstrate to the international community the peaceful nature of its nuclear activities.

These sanctions have been carefully designed to target those individuals and entities who are most responsible for Iran’s nuclear program. They are not intended to hurt the people of Iran.

What does the resolution do?

The resolution restates the Security Council’s longstanding demand that Iran’s suspend its enrichment program and other proscribed nuclear activities. It also highlights and clarifies Iran’s existing obligations to accept and facilitate the implementation of rigorous international safeguards on its nuclear program.

The resolution imposes a series of new sanctions that will increase the cost to Iran’s leaders of their current irresponsible policies. These measures include:

1) Ban on Iranian certain nuclear and missile investment abroad. Iran is prohibited from investing in sensitive nuclear activities abroad, like uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities, where it could acquire nuclear technology and know-how, as well as activities involving ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons. The ban also applies to investment in uranium mining.

2) Conventional arms ban. States are prohibited from selling or in any way transferring to Iran eight broad categories of heavy weapons (battle tanks, armored combat vehicles, large caliber artillery systems, combat aircraft, attack helicopters, warships, missiles or missile systems). States are similarly prohibited from providing technical or financial assistance for such systems, or spare parts. States are also to exercise vigilance and restraint in supplying any other arms or related materiel to Iran.

3) Ban on ballistic missile activities. Iran is prohibited from undertaking any activity related to ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons and States are required to take all necessary measure to prevent the transfer of related technology or technical assistance.

4) Additional items banned for transfer. The resolution updates and adds to the list of technical items related to nuclear and missile proliferation that are banned for transfer to and from Iran.

5) New cargo inspection framework. Iran is subject to a new regime for inspection of suspicious cargo to detect and stop Iran’s smuggling. States should inspect any vessel on their territory suspected of carrying prohibited cargo, including banned conventional arms or sensitive nuclear or missile items. States are also expected to cooperate in such inspections on the high seas.

6) New procedures to deal with contraband items. Once prohibited items are found, States are now obligated to seize and dispose of the items.

7) Ban on bunkering services. States are required not to provide critical support services (e.g., fuel, water) to ships suspected of carrying prohibited cargo.

8.) Measures to restrict the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) and Iran Air’s cargo division. States must require their nationals to exercise vigilance over IRISL, a known sanctions violator. Three IRISL-related companies will have their assets frozen. States are requested to report any information on activities by IRISL and Iran’s Air’s cargo division to evade sanctions, including by renaming vessels.

9) New tools to block proliferation finance. States are called upon to prevent any financial service — including insurance or reinsurance — and freeze any asset that could contribute to Iran’s proliferation. This broad language will help states take action when there are suspected financial links to Iran’s banned nuclear activities.

10.) Vigilance over all Iran’s companies. States are required to ensure their nationals exercise vigilance when doing business with any Iranian firm, including IRGC and IRISL, to make sure such business does not contribute to Iran’s proliferation.

11) New banking measures. States are called upon to prohibit on their territories new banking relationships with Iran, including the opening of any new branches of Iranian banks, joint ventures and correspondent banking relationships, if there is a suspected link to proliferation. States also should prohibit their own financial institutions from opening branches in Iran if there is a suspected link to proliferation.

12) New measures to limit the role of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). The resolution highlights the IRGC’s role in proliferation and requires states to mandate that businesses exercise vigilance over all transactions involving the IRGC. Fifteen IRGC-related companies linked to proliferation will have their assets frozen.

13) Targeted sanctions on specific individuals and entities. Forty Iranian companies and one individual will be subject to an asset freeze. The individual — the head of a critical nuclear research program — will also be subject to a travel ban. Thirty-five additional individuals previously subject to “travel vigilance” will now be subject to a travel ban.

14) Appointment of a UN sanctions monitoring panel. A UN “Panel of Experts” will be established to monitor states’ implementation of the sanctions, report on sanctions violations and recommend ways to continually improve enforcement.

In addition to imposing these sanctions, the resolution highlights the potential linkage between Iran’s energy sector revenues and procurement and its nuclear activities and proliferation. It also stresses the need to exercise vigilance over all Iranian banks — specifically including the Central Bank of Iran — to prevent proliferation-related transactions.

The resolution reaffirms the international community’s willingness to resolve international concerns over Iran’s nuclear program through negotiations, while laying out the steps that Iran must take to restore international confidence in its nuclear program, thereby allowing for the suspension or termination of these sanctions.

This should make the neocons very, very happy.

Now, can we move on with the international investigation into the Israeli military attack on the Freedom Flotilla, where an American was shot several times in the head and chest at close range and where hundreds were wounded and approximately six people are still missing? I know the U.S. wants to pretend like it didn’t happen and wishes that there wasn’t a dead American but I do believe that international law is applicable in this instance, you know, given the U.S. is interested in UN resolutions, international law and accountability all of a sudden.

21 Comments leave one →
  1. Vcal permalink
    June 9, 2010 1:39 pm

    Hillary arriving at Colombia last night:

  2. rachel permalink
    June 9, 2010 3:18 pm

    I am torn about the freedom Flotilla. Israel may have been heavy handed, but I really don’t think these activists were all that peaceful. They knew exactly what would happen, and just has Israel may have edited video, looks like some of our media cut out pictures of bloodes israeli soldiers, and the anti-israel slurs heard doesn’t help. I am glad that sancations went through, not sure how much it will help, but the last thing the administartion needs are people saying they couldnt even get sanactions and didn’t even try to stop Iran. Turkey was is a friend? but that haven’t helped us much lately. Like putting together a nuclear deal with Iran they knew the U.S wouldn’t go for to stop sancations when they knew that’s what we want. We have tried for over a year with Iran and nothing frankly I am tired of us trying to prove ourselves to muslim countries and beign slapped,and we are doing so much that people don’t even want to say extremist muslims why when that’s who are attacking us. Extremists and you best beleive they are getting help from Iran. Sorry that just my rant.

    • Thain permalink
      June 9, 2010 5:59 pm

      So, like the commandos with automatic weapons were the victim? That’s uncool. Sucks to be an activist these days I guess.

      It sucks that anyone died and got hurt but it’s pretty harsh to blame the activists- I mean the whole world has said Israel’s blockade needs to be lifted because refusing to allow pasta, spices and bread in isn’t exactly keeping Israel safer. Isn’t this what activists do? Challenge a system through civil disobedience? Israel always uses excessive force and treats anyone who disagrees with them like terrorists. Reminds me of N. Ireland (I’m Irish).

      Israel attacked the ships in international waters (illegal), using an elite special operations unit that was heavily armed. Israel first said they didn’t fire any shots before getting on the ship but now theyve had to walk back from that. Just like they had to walk back from claiming the activists were linked to Al Queda.

      Everyones talking about the commandos right to self defense but what about the people on the ships. Israel attacked at night in the open sea and given their history of treating civilians the same as terrorists, I think the activists had every reason to fear for their damn lives and to fight back. If I’d been on the ship that’s what I would have done but I wouldn’t have been on that ship ’cause I don’t want to get my ass shot up by some trigger happy IDF soldier boy or girl.

      Ok, that’s about it.

      • Steve permalink
        June 9, 2010 6:13 pm

        Exactly right Thain. Power concedes nothing without demand. The international community has been asking, begging, Israel to abide by international law for years and Israel refuses to do so so activists have to challenge the system and draw attention to the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

        Glenn Greenwald is right on:

        http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/06/04/israel/index.html

        http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/06/03/israel/index.html

        Both me and Glenn are members of the “Tribe” and it’s time for people to realize that if you love Israel, then the US has to stop encouraging its worst excesses because while Israel faces many legitimate threats, it is now creating new ones and no one is to blame for that but Israel. Not everything is everyone else’s fault.

        One of the purposes of Israel’s blockade is to prevent weapons into Gaza but they are not using the least restrictive means of doing so- in facct quite the opposite. The other purpose- the ILLEGAL purpose is to collectively punish everyone in Gaza. BBC made a splash reporting a while back that Gaza actually determines the minimum amount of calories needed to stay alive (ie. not starve) and they use that to help determine what goes in and out of Gaza.

        Israel could have stopped the flotilla without engaging in a military assault in the dead of night, in international waters with armed special ops commandos and when they chose to essentially engage in an act of war (because the ship was flying the flag of a NATO member state) they took upon themselves the responsibility for the consequences. How in the hell that becomes the activists fault is beyond me.

        Was it wise for them to challenge the blockade? Probably not given Israel’s history of killing and injuring civilians.

        Lets be honest, shall we? If we weren’t talking about Israel but instead we were talking about Sudan or China, we’d be mad as hell on behalf of the activists and we’d be demanding consequences. But because it’s Israel, the knee jerk reaction of the media and We the People kicks in and we remember that Israel Can Do No Wrong Because Israel Has A Right To Defend Itself.

        All Israel had to do was throw lines in front of the ship that would get caught in the propeller and the ship would have been dead in the water and Israel could have towed it to shore. No one killed, no shots fired, nothing. In other words, do what every other rational group, nation, person does to stop a non-military ship. Jesus, environmental activists even know how to do this!

        Or here is a way more radical idea- use their naval ship to escort the flotilla to Gaza, search all the containers and then deliver aid. Then Israel, the US and the international community could try to avert further blockade runs by finding a way to increase the humanitarian aid (assuming they don’t want to lift the blockade, which they don’t). OMG! Radical! But Israel never picks the path of least resistance. Instead, we alienate ourselves further by shooting first, asking questions later.

  3. pondskipper permalink
    June 9, 2010 4:19 pm

    Thanks for the information Stacy. I think pushing ahead with sanctions against Iran is good – there are very few options that are better in my view. Not sure I understand why this will please the neocons, I thought they just wanted to bomb the place in keeping with their support for pre-emptive unilateral action. I guess I’m missing the nuances of US politics🙂

    • June 9, 2010 6:21 pm

      No, I think you understand the nuances of US politics perfectly. I think they would prefer to skip all this liberal namsy-pamsy diplomacy stuff and sanctions and get right down to a military strike but at the same time, some of the more politically astute neocons (ie. not John Bolton) believe that sanctions are a necessary, albeit unfortunate and time-wasting, motion we have to go through to get to the good stuff (military option). I’m not saying that is in any way the view of the Obama admin. but the neocons and even Israel have been pushing for “crippling” sanctions in the mean time.

  4. Thain permalink
    June 9, 2010 5:51 pm

    Well, Obama needs to be able he did something, right, after all those promises, promises promises during the campaign? He can’t really talk about offshore drilling, health reform no one understands (I certainly don’t), two ongoing wars and being Ben Netanyahu’s poodle. So I guess this is it- sanctions. What is this, like the umpteenth time we’ve done this?

    • pondskipper permalink
      June 9, 2010 7:12 pm

      But what would you like to happen Thain? You obviously don’t think much of the sanctions but what is the alternative? We could shrug our shoulders and let Iran continue to develop its nuclear programme or we could bomb the installations and undertake other follow up military action to try and wipe the facilities out. Both options are terrifying. There are certainly no guarentees that these sanctions will work but the Obama administration’s willingness to follow the multilateral UN route, building coalitions and persuading others to support them is a hell of alot better than the bully-boy approach favoured by your previous lot!

      • Thain permalink
        June 9, 2010 7:25 pm

        Yo Pondskipper, what’s up?

        I don’t know, I don’t know.

        I guess I’m not really sure that Iran has a nuclear weapons program or that the US has to play world cop. They are allowed to have a nuclear program for peaceful purposes and it’s not really clear to me they have anything more than that. After Iraq, I just don’t take the U.S. or GB at their word anymore. Lies, damn lies🙂 I’ve read stuff that says even if Iran had the stuff they needed they STILL wouldn’t be able to make a nuke that actually worked because their equipment is so shitty and old and they don’t have the expertise or containment ability due to past IAEA oversight.

        Could they have waited a bit more to see if the Brazil-Turkey deal actually worked? I mean, what’s the rush, it’s not like they have nukes. Seems like the rush is P.O.L.I.T.I.C.S.

        Iran is a pain in the ass, no doubt about it. A real problem. But so are about 50 other countries. Aren’t the weapons inspectors still in Iran but they aren’t allowed to look at everything? Thought I read that somewhere.

        There should be no nukes in the middle east, that’s the real deal but Israel won’t give up theirs. So it’s kinda like once again, the US is running cover for Israel and that’s getting kinda old.

  5. Tovah permalink
    June 9, 2010 6:14 pm

    The whole thing was a disaster. An isolated Israel is not a safe Israel.

  6. June 9, 2010 6:41 pm

    As for the flotilla, I agree with those that have said that if this wasn’t Israel that sent their commandos to repeldown onto a civilian ship in the middle of the night in international waters (a huge legal factor), we wouldn’t be bending over backwards to paint the activists as trouble makers who asked to be shot. Is there any American that would argue that had the ship been filled with Israelis or Americans bringing aid to Sudan and the Sudanese government reacted the same way, that it was only the heavily armed Sudanese military that had the right to self defense after they attacked the ship?

    As for the argument that the activists were not really peaceful, I think that being peaceful doesn’t necessarily mean that one forgoes any right to self defense. I also think that we have to remember that front line human rights activism is provocative by definition- often there are several goals to any type of mission that might involve civil disobedience. In the case of the flotilla there were clearly two primary goals- one was to bring a token amount of aid into Gaza, the second was to refocus the world’s attention on the ongoing crisis there. Unfortunately, as was mentioned above, when called upon by the international community to lift or even ease the blockade, Israel has refused. When the legality of the blockade is questioned, Israel simply responds “it’s legal, end of story.” When Doctors Without Borders, the Red Cross, UNICEF and Oxfam report to the UN their concerns that the people of Gaza are suffering from malnutrition, lacking clean water, electricity, antibiotics and other basic things, the UN calls on Israel to rectify the situation and Israel refuses. In fact, Israel often refuses to allow even the most respected international aid organizations into Gaza to ensure that the minimum standards of international human rights law are being adhered to. So in response, activists start to push the envelope and try to break the blockade.

    The fact that Israel doctored and edited the films it released, the fact that they have had to retract so many claims including the allegation that the flotilla was smuggling weapons, the allegation that the flotilla participants had ties to Al Queda, the Israeli claim that no shots were fired prior to landing on the ships, etc. etc. makes clear that there needs to be a totally independent international investigation. But there likely will not be one. I think the US is hoping that the outrage over this incident will just go away with time.

    Also, it’s a bit disturbing to me that the U.S. government and some of the more extreme so-called “pro-Israel” groups and politicians are more interested in covering for Israel than demanding to know how it came to pass that a 19 year old American citizen was shot 3 or 4 times in the head, once in the chest, all at close range. Don’t we have a responsibility to American citizens who die by violent means overseas, even if we may not agree with their politics? I wasn’t on the flotilla so I don’t know exactly what happened, but I think we have a responsibility to find out.

    Also, the US media has conveniently not reported on the American student who was shot in the face by the IDF with a gas canister the very next day during a protest of the violence on the flotilla- she lost her eye (not sure if it was one or both). Naomi Klein wrote a great article about it on HuffPo called “Blinding the Witness.”

    I support Israel- I support Israel’s right to self defense and the right of Israelis to be as free as possible from terrorism but that does not mean I am willing to ignore what appears to be ongoing, repeated violations of international law which not only threaten to undermine Israel’s long term security but threaten to undermine the very basis of its democracy and threaten US strategic interests throughout the region.

    At what point does Israel have to show that its as good a friend to the U.S. as we are to Israel? Because right now, Israel is not acting in a manner befitting an ally.

    • Tovah permalink
      June 9, 2010 6:52 pm

      You’ve said it better than I ever could.

      Support for Israel does not mean supporting policies which end up having the effect of speeding Israel towards the approaching cliff.

      I used to unquestioningly support Israel because that was how I was raised. Then when I was in college I began to see that not everything I read or saw in the American press was the full picture of what was going on. I disagree with those that say Israel has no right to have nuclear weapons or to maintain the blockade, but I do agree that how they have gone about doing is destroying Israel’s legitimacy and playing right into her enemies hands.

      BTW, Tzipi Livni of Kadima has filed a vote of no confidence in Netanyahu govt.- if Netanyahu is out of the picture, things could start to look up.

    • rachel permalink
      June 9, 2010 7:00 pm

      Well one of the nagging things I keep asking myself is why only on one boat was there trouble? And as I stated before it seems like Israel wasn’t the only one editing the tape looks like some media didnt want video o the Israelis laying in his blood. I think there is defintely needs to be something done about the situation in Gaza. It’s terrible the loss of life but it seems the people on the boat were trying make a point. If they just wanted to get aid to the people they would have just complied when they were asked too. I believe they were asked. The blockaide maybe wrong, but everyone knows it’s there. I think you can’t go there and have the army stop you knowning they may or may not have weapons and taunt them telling them to go back to concentration camps and ignore themand expect nothing to happen. That’s just my opinion. I mean don’t go out in my neighbord at a certain time cause I know what’s bound to happen. It’s why even though the police stop you for no apparent reason your best off just giving your name instead of arguing, unless you want to make a point and are ready for the consequences.

      • Steve permalink
        June 9, 2010 7:16 pm

        The fact that Israel was taunted with despicable, anti-semitic comments hardly excuses them if they used excessive force in killing and injuring people. They are one of the most highly trained and efficient military in the world- I can’t believe anyone would argue that unloading an M16 is an acceptable means of dealing with a situation like that.

        Instead of looking with suspicion on the actions of JUST the activists, why don’t you look at how Israel CHOSE to use the most violent method of confrontation. Israel, acting as a nation state, has a bit more of a responsibility to wield its might in a responsible manner than a bunch of peace activists in cheap boats.

        So, if it wasn’t Israel but rather was filled with Americans headed to a blockade in Sudan, you’d think the activists were essentially asking to get shot?

        As Stacy pointed out above, civil disobedience is by definition provocative. If it weren’t for activists putting themselves in positions of danger to challenge what they see as an oppressive status quo, the US would likely have never moved forward in the civil rights struggle (remember all the people who sat at white lunch counters even though they were threatened with violence- by the police no less!). No, I am not saying that the activists are exactly the same as the civil rights activists in America in the 50’s, 60’s but what I am saying is that I think we have to be very careful when we start claiming that human rights activists are looking for trouble and insisting that they bow down and accept an oppressive and possibly illegal system. Also, the claim that they essentially shouldn’t have been there or suffer the consequences is legally mute since they were attacked in international waters in violation of international maritime law. How in the world people can then claim Israel’s commandos were the only ones with a right to self defense is beyond me.

        It’s tragic that anyone was hurt, and that includes IDF soldiers. But I just don’t buy the argument that because some of them were hurt when they assaulted a civilian ship in international waters, that they are ultimately the victim. I mean, why don’t the activists have any right to self defense? I find this whole reaction totally bizarre to be honest.

        Here’s an idea- maybe it’s Israel who shouldn’t have been there and Israel who should have known what they were getting into when they chose to attack a humanitarian ship instead of using less extreme methods?

      • rachel permalink
        June 9, 2010 10:15 pm

        Well I don’t know steve I wasnt there. No beign called names is not a reason to unload on someone, but since we have want to bring civil right activists into this there were more than one kind there were peace activist many who followed DR KING who showed how horrible the oppression was but did not fight back where attacked by dogs, spat on punched and did not retaliate those were peace activists, then there were the by any many necessary who didnt mind using aggression and intimidation by any means necessary black panthers anyone? I dont know both sides are manipulating the video. I don’t care highly trained or not as an african american you get a few people around me yelling racial slurs at me with sticks in there hands coming towards me If I had a weapon I might unload, that’s just me. That’s why I could never be an officer of the law I would hate to be second guessed all the time. I don’t think most people on here and I will ever agree about this. To me everyone is saying Israel could have handled it different maybe but so could have Turkey again I will point out why just the one boat? what was different about that one than the other ones that wen’t okay. I don’t think there will be any resolution anytime soon, not sure any country can make peace with a country that elected group that wants you off the face of the earth, and not sure that any country can make peace with a country that even though they left gaza controls what comes in and out of it like food and other essentials.

    • pondskipper permalink
      June 9, 2010 7:22 pm

      Brilliant post Stacy, you nailed it completely. There is a lot that is confusing about the whole
      incident but you’ve set out the main arguments clearly.

  7. Morah Levi permalink
    June 9, 2010 7:01 pm

    Andrew Sullivan is right- the demonization of Turkey is pathetic and self defeating. Turkey was a strong strategic ally of Israel and for Israel and the US to now try to paint them as a bunch of Islamofascist Israel-haters means that it’s not just Israel that is insistent on driving itself of a cliff, the US may be isolating itself further too:

    http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2010/06/quote-1.html

    Love the blog by the way. Smart folks here which is a nice change of pace from the histrionics on a lot of foreign policy blogs.

  8. New Yorker permalink
    June 9, 2010 8:10 pm

    Here’s the money quote from Israeli ambassador Michael Oren from Morah’s link above:

    “Our critics don’t get it. In Jenin, we went house-to-house and sent 23 soldiers to their death. But if we’re going to be called war criminals no matter what we do, then maybe that changes our thinking,” – Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador to the US, threatening more military action less scrupulous than the Gaza bombardment. ”

    So in response to the international outrage what did Israel do? Threaten to use MORE force the next time.

    Hopeless, absolutely hopeless.

  9. ObamaSucks permalink
    June 9, 2010 8:13 pm

    Obama will do anything to pacify his terrorist friends. Right now he is meeting with the pro-terrorist Abbas and is selling out Israel as we speak.

    Jews are learning what a mistake it was to vote for Hussein Obama. He’ll sell Israel out in a heartbeat to please his Muslim friends.

    • June 9, 2010 8:18 pm

      You know OS, I was wondering, when you were typing that were you embarrassed or ashamed? Because based on the brief sentiment you expressed here, you and Iran’s hateful President have a lot in common- irrational hate.

      How ironic. But I have a feeling irony is lost on you.

  10. June 9, 2010 9:06 pm

    Another reason this needs to be investigated by an independent, international commission:

    http://www.hybridstates.com/2010/06/testimony-of-rogue-commando-who-killed-six-civilian-activists-further-undermines-official-idf-story/

    And this:

    http://www.hybridstates.com/2010/06/yet-another-glaring-contradiction-in-israel-account-of-flotilla-massacre/

    As I said, I don’t know what happened that night because I wasn’t there, but everything I am hearing and seeing screams out for a REAL investigation and not just a token rubber-stamping of one side or the others actions.

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