(Reuters) - International sanctions aimed at depriving Iran’s nuclear program of funds and technology are squeezing Iran’s vital oil exports and government finances.
Following are details of major sanctions imposed on Iran by the United States, the European Union, and the United Nations over the years.
- Initial sanctions were imposed after Iranian students stormed the U.S. embassy and took diplomats hostage in 1979. Iranian products cannot be imported into the United States apart from small gifts, information material, food and some carpets.
- In 1995, President Bill Clinton issued executive orders preventing U.S. companies from investing in Iranian oil and gas and trading with Iran.
- The same year, Congress passed a law making the U.S. government impose sanctions on foreign firms investing more than $20 million a year in Iran’s energy sector.
- In October 2007, Washington imposed sanctions on three Iranian banks and branded the Revolutionary Guards a proliferator of weapons of mass destruction. The Treasury has since added numerous other Iranian banks to its blacklist.
- The Treasury has 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 the trade embargo.
- Congress approved tough new unilateral sanctions on June 24, 2010, aimed at squeezing Iran’s energy and banking sectors.
- The June 2010 law imposes penalties on firms that supply Iran with refined petroleum products worth more than $5 million a year. It also effectively deprives foreign banks of access to the U.S. financial system if they do business with Iranian banks or the Revolutionary Guards.
- In May 2011, the United States announced new sanctions on Venezuela’s state oil company, PDVSA, and six other smaller oil and shipping firms for engaging in trade with Iran in violation of the U.S. ban, prompting fury from Hugo Chavez’s government.
- On June 11, it announced new sanctions applicable to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the Basij Resistance Force, Iran’s Law Enforcement Forces and its commander, Ismail Ahmadi Moghadam. The sanctions freeze any of the targets’ assets under U.S. jurisdiction and bar U.S. persons and institutions from dealing with them.
- On November 21 the United States named Iran as an area of “primary money laundering concern,” a step designed to dissuade non-U.S. banks from dealing with it. The United States also blacklisted 11 entities suspected of aiding its nuclear programs; and expanded sanctions to target companies that aid its oil and petrochemical industries.
- On December 31, 2011, U.S. President Barack Obama signed into law a defense funding bill that imposes sanctions on financial institutions dealing with Iran’s central bank, which is the main conduit for oil revenues. Sanctioned institutions would be frozen out of the U.S. financial markets.
- On January 13, 2012 the United States imposed sanctions on Chinese state-run energy trader Zhuhai Zhenrong Corp, which it said was Iran’s largest supplier of refined petroleum products. Singapore’s Kuo Oil Pte Ltd and United Arab Emirates-based FAL Oil Company Ltd were also sanctioned.
Iran sanctions graphic link.reuters.com/qeh85s
- On August 12, 2010 the EU toughened its sanctions against Tehran. It banned the creation of joint ventures with enterprises in Iran that are engaged in the oil and natural gas industries and any subsidiary or affiliate under their control.
- Member states must prohibit the provision of insurance and re-insurance to the government of Iran.
- The import and export of arms and equipment that could contribute to uranium enrichment or have a “dual use” is banned.
- The sanctions forbid the sale, supply or transfer of energy equipment and technology used by Iran for refining, liquefying natural gas, exploration and production. The EU expects the effects of the sanctions to increase over time as existing parts wear out.
- In May 2011, EU foreign ministers significantly extended sanctions and added 100 new entities to a list of companies and people affected, including those owned or controlled by the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL).
- In October, the European Union imposed sanctions on 29 people, extending the list targeting individuals associated with human rights violations to 61.
- On December 1, the EU added 180 Iranian people and entities to a sanctions blacklist that imposes asset freezes and travel bans on those involved in the nuclear program.
- On January 23, 2012 the EU placed an immediate ban on all new contracts to import, purchase or transport Iranian crude oil and petroleum products. EU countries with existing contracts to buy oil and petroleum products can however honor them until July 1.
- EU officials said they also agreed to freeze the assets of Iran’s central bank and ban trade in gold and other precious metals with the bank and state bodies.
- 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.
- 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.
- The third, in 2008, 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.
- A Security Council resolution passed on June 9, 2010, called for measures against new Iranian banks abroad if a connection to the nuclear or missile programs was suspected.
- It expanded a U.N. arms embargo against Tehran and blacklisted three firms controlled by IRISL and 15 belonging to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. The resolution called for the setting up of a cargo inspection regime.
Reporting by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit)