Iran's heavy-water production plant in Arak, southwest of Tehran..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
NEW YORK – The UN Security Council on Monday morning voted to extend the mandate of its panel of experts, appointed to help stem Iran’s nuclear proliferation, until July 2015.
The resolution was drafted and submitted by the US and unanimously adopted as Resolution 2159-2014.
The panel of eight experts, established in June 2010 by UN Security Council Resolution 1929, is assigned to monitor how well Iran is implementing and cooperating with all the Security Council resolutions that passed between 2006 and 2013 that impose sanctions on Iran for continuing its nuclear development.
The Security Council originally requested that Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon appoint the experts for a period of just one year to assist with the Council mandates laid out in resolution 1737-2006 – the first UN resolution that imposed sanctions on Iran. The mandate has been renewed every year since.
Besides gathering information from member states about Iran’s actions, monitoring compliance and submitting reports, the panel of experts is meant to “take appropriate action” should the Islamic Republic be found in violation of any of its sanctions.
Iran has routinely condemned these sanctions and rebuffed the economic incentives offered by the council in the name of continuing nuclear development.
In their most recent report, submitted in May 2014, the experts said that Iran was still evading its obligations and violating the sanctions set against it.
They also said that the atmosphere of the nuclear negotiations with the P5+1 group – the permanent five members of the Security Council and Germany – present challenges to UN member states, some of whom expressed confusion over whether relevant Security Council sanctions were still in force.
The report said there were more than 24 violations of sanctions between June 2013 and May 2014, most of which involved the procurement of “dual-use items,” and that “fall below established control thresholds,” the report’s executive summary said.
It also cautioned that it was increasingly difficult for authorities to establish whether these dual-use items were being utilized for prohibited reasons, or by prohibited users.
It said Iran has continued to deal in arms transfers and to engage in ballistic activities, just as was reported in their June 2013 report.
Ballistic tests carried out by Iran are in violation of Security Council Resolution 1929, which established the panel of experts.
The renewal of the panel’s mandate requires them to submit a midterm report on their work by November 2014, and a final report between May and June 2015 with their findings on Iran’s compliance.
The panel of eight experts is headed by former Georgian foreign minister Salomé Zourabichvili. It includes Dr.
Jonathan Brewer of King’s College London and Jacqueline Shire, the former foreign affairs officer for the US State Department and senior analyst at the Institute for Science and International Security, as well as experts from Germany, Nigeria, Russia and China.