TEXT-Executive Summary of U.N. Panel of Experts report on Iran sanctions

Mon May 12, 2014 8:58am EDT

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May 12 (Reuters) - Following is the executive summary of the latest confidential report by the U.N. Panel of Experts on Iran, which monitors compliance with the Security Council's sanctions regime on Tehran.

The report highlights Iran's methods of evading sanctions.

PANEL OF EXPERTS ESTABLISHED PURSUANT TO RESOLUTION 1929 (2010) - FINAL REPORT

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The Panel submits this report less than two months before the deadline set by the Joint Plan of Action (JPA) for the conclusion of a comprehensive agreement between Iran and its counterparts in the E3+3, with expectations high that a comprehensive solution is within reach. The prospect of such a solution has dramatically shifted the context in which the Panel works. The JPA, which entered into force in January 2014, provides Iran with limited, targeted relief from certain unilateral or multilateral sanctions. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has reported that, to date, Iran has fulfilled its "voluntary measures" agreed to under the JPA.

A challenge for States during this period of intense negotiation and, should it occur, implementation of a comprehensive solution, will be to maintain clarity with respect to State obligations under existing Security Council sanctions. Some States have shared with the Panel a degree of uncertainty as to whether Security Council resolutions concerning Iran remain fully in force. One source of uncertainty concerns the status of obligations regarding procurement related to Iran's uranium enrichment, should such activities continue under a comprehensive solution.

The Panel investigated more than two dozen cases during this mandate involving alleged violations of resolution 1929 (2010) and prior resolutions. The majority of incidents concern the attempted procurement of dual use items. Most of these items, with some exceptions, fall below established control thresholds. Their identification remains a challenge to the implementation of Security Council sanctions intended to target Iranian procurement of goods and materials for prohibited activities. Based on the cases investigated by the Panel and information shared by States, it is increasingly difficult for authorities to identify links between below-threshold items and prohibited end-users or end-uses in Iran. This may be a function of more sophisticated procurement strategies on the part of Iran, which has developed methods of concealing procurement, while expanding prohibited activities. Such methods can also be used by Iran to procure and finance legitimate trade, which further complicates the efforts of States to identify illicit procurement.

Iran has continued to engage in ballistic missile activities. It is reported to have conducted a number of ballistic missile test launches over the last year, which are a violation of paragraph 9 of Security Council resolution 1929 (2010). Iran is also developing its launch capabilities: a new launch site near the city of Shahrud was identified. At the same time, Iran decided to forgo its 2013 Great Prophet military exercises, during which numerous ballistic missiles have traditionally been launched.

Member States and media have continued to report allegations of ongoing arms transfers by Iran. During the current mandate, the Panel investigated one case of an attempted transfer by Iran of conventional arms and related material. Iran's actions in this respect stand in contrast to the apparent restraint it has shown in other areas of prohibited activities.

Several States have shared with the Panel their assessment that there has been a decrease in the number of detected attempts by Iran to procure items for prohibited programmes, and related seizures, since mid-2013. While the Panel cannot confirm this development independently, because of delays between incidents and their subsequent reporting to the Committee, it is possible that this decrease reflects the new political environment in Iran and diplomatic progress towards a comprehensive solution. (Reporting By Louis Charbonneau in Vienna; Editing by Will Waterman)

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