Global powers began another round of talks with Iran on Friday over its nuclear program.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton this month dismissed Israeli assessments of delays in the Iranian nuclear program and called for more work on sanctions to bring Tehran to heel. Following are details of sanctions imposed against Iran in recent years by the United States, the United Nations and the European Union.
* U.S. SANCTIONS:
-- Sanctions imposed after Iranian students stormed the U.S. embassy and took diplomats hostage in 1979 included a ban on most U.S.-Iran trade.
-- Goods or services from Iran cannot be imported into the United States, directly or through third countries, with the following exceptions: gifts valued at $100 or less; information or informational materials; foodstuffs intended for human consumption; certain carpets and other textile floor coverings and carpets used as wall hangings.
-- In 1995, President Bill Clinton issued executive orders preventing U.S. companies from investing in Iranian oil and gas and trading with Iran. Tehran has looked for other customers.
-- The same year, Congress passed a law requiring the U.S. government to impose sanctions on foreign firms investing more than $20 million a year in Iran's energy sector. It was extended for five years in September 2006. No foreign firms have yet been penalized, although many have curtailed operations in Iran.
-- In October 2007, Washington imposed sanctions on Bank Melli, Bank Mellat and Bank Saderat and branded the Revolutionary Guards a proliferator of weapons of mass destruction. In October 2009, the Treasury also imposed restrictions on Bank Mellat in Malaysia and its chairman.
-- The Treasury in July 2010 added Post Bank of Iran to its list of designated proliferators of weapons of mass destruction. It was the 16th bank in Iran that Washington had sought to cut off from the international financial system.
-- The Treasury identified about 20 petroleum and petrochemical companies as being under Iranian government control, an action that put them off-limits to U.S. businesses under a general trade embargo.
-- Congress approved tough new unilateral sanctions on June 24 aimed at squeezing Iran's energy and banking sectors, which could also hurt companies from other countries doing business with Tehran.
-- The legislation will impose penalties on companies for supplying Iran with refined petroleum products with a fair market value exceeding $1 million or that during a 12-month period have an aggregate fair market value of $5 million or more. Firms that violate the sanctions will face penalties such as being banned from the U.S. financial system or being denied U.S. contracts.
-- The legislation imposes sanctions on international banking institutions involved with Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, its nuclear program or what Washington calls its support for terrorist activity. It effectively deprives foreign banks of access to the U.S. financial system if they do business with Iranian banks or the Revolutionary Guards.
-- On September 7, the Treasury said it designated an Iranian-owned bank in Germany as facilitating Iran's efforts to develop nuclear weapons. The European-Iranian Trade Bank AG, called EIH Bank in Germany, has facilitated billions of dollars in transactions with Iranian banks which the United States and the EU had blacklisted for aiding Iran's nuclear or missile programs. -- U.S. sanctions against Iran can be found on the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control website: here and here here and here xt
* EU SANCTIONS:
-- The EU has imposed visa bans on senior officials such as Revolutionary Guards chief Mohammad Ali Jafari, former Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar and former atomic energy chief Gholamreza Aghazadeh, and on leading nuclear and ballistic experts.
-- Britain announced last October it was freezing business ties with Bank Mellat and Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL), both of which have previously faced sanctions from the United States. Britain cited fears they were involved in helping Iran develop nuclear weapons.
-- New EU measures approved on July 26 said European airports would bar any cargo flights to or from Iran except those in which limited amounts of cargo were carried on passenger planes.
-- Member states must prohibit the provision of insurance and re-insurance to the government of Iran and its agencies.
-- The sale or purchase, brokerage or assistance with the issuance of public or public-guaranteed bonds by the government or Iranian central bank or Iranian banks is banned.
-- The import and export of arms and all equipment, items, materials, goods, technology and software that could contribute to uranium enrichment or have a "dual use" is banned.
-- The sanctions forbid the sale and supply or transfer of energy equipment and technology used by Iran for refining, liquefying natural gas, exploration and production. -- The transfer of funds over 40,000 euros will require prior authorization from the member state concerned.
-- Sums of more than 10,000 euros not related to foodstuffs or healthcare and medical equipment will require notification.
-- On August 12 the EU toughened its sanctions against Iran, including banning the creation of joint ventures with enterprises in Iran that are engaged in the Iranian oil and natural gas industries and with any subsidiary or affiliate under their control.
-- For the full EU sanctions decision click: (here)
* U.N. SANCTIONS:
-- The Security Council has imposed four sets of sanctions on Iran, in December 2006, March 2007, March 2008 and June 2010.
-- The first covered sensitive nuclear materials and froze the assets of Iranian individuals and companies linked with the nuclear program. It gave Iran 60 days to suspend uranium enrichment, a deadline ignored by Iran.
-- The second included new arms and financial sanctions. It extended an asset freeze to 28 more groups, companies and individuals engaged in or supporting sensitive nuclear work or the development of ballistic missiles, including the state-run Bank Sepah and firms controlled by the Revolutionary Guards.
-- The third increased travel and financial curbs on individuals and companies. It expanded a partial ban on trade in items with both civilian and military uses to cover sales of all such technology to Iran, and added 13 individuals and 12 companies to the list of those suspected of aiding Iran's nuclear and missile programs.
In September 2008, the Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution again ordering Iran to halt enrichment. Iran again disregarded the order.
-- A Security Council resolution passed on June 9 called for measures against new Iranian banks abroad if a connection to the nuclear or missile programs was suspected, as well as vigilance over transactions with any Iranian bank, including the central bank.
-- It expanded a U.N. arms embargo against Tehran and blacklisted three firms controlled by Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines and 15 belonging to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. The resolution called for setting up a cargo inspection regime similar to one in place for North Korea.
-- Annexed to the draft resolution was a list of 40 companies to be added to an existing U.N. blacklist of firms.
* OTHER RECENT SANCTIONS:
-- Japan imposed additional sanctions on Iran over its disputed nuclear program on September 3. These, which go beyond requirements in a prior U.N. resolution, include restrictions on doing business with 15 Iranian banks. Japan did not impose any restrictions on oil from the country.
-- South Korea blacklisted 102 companies on September 8, including the Seoul branch of Iran's Bank Mellat.
(Writing by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit;)