Iran - EP 1

Duration: 23-Dec-2006 to 24-Mar-2007

After Iran rejected a coordinated EU-US package of incentives for it to freeze nuclear enrichment activities in March 2005, the EU and US began to push for IAEA referral of Iran to the UNSC, which it did in February 2006. In June, the E3+3 offered a proposal for comprehensive negotiations which required among other things, Iran’s suspension of enrichment-related and reprocessing activities in exchange for suspension of UNSC discussion of Iran’s nuclear program. The Council adopted UNSCR 1696 (31 July 2006) threatening sanctions unless Iran suspended its nuclear activities and resolved outstanding issues with IAEA. (Note: UNSCR 1696 was adopted under article 40 as a provisional measure in deference to Russian and Chinese concerns; subsequent resolutions imposed mandatory sanctions under article 41.) Iran rejected the proposal, and the Security Council adopted UNSCR 1737 (23 December 2006), imposing proliferation-related sanctions, as well as an individual/entity asset freeze against those associated with or providing support for Iran’s proliferation sensitive nuclear activities or the development of nuclear weapon delivery systems.


Coerce Iran to suspend its nuclear activities and comply with IAEA requirements.


Constrain Iran’s development of sensitive technologies in support of its nuclear and missile programs.


Signal support for non-proliferation norms, specifically NPT and the role of the IAEA in monitoring nuclear programs.


Newly imposed sanctions:
  • Proliferation sensitive goods and technology imports and exports ban (specific items), including related training, technical or financial assistance, investment, brokering, and provision of financial resources or services regarding prohibited items, materials, equipment, goods and technology;
  • Asset freeze on those providing support for Iran’s nuclear and missile activities.

Maximum number of designees during the episode: 12 individuals and 10 entities.

Potential scope of impact


UN sanctions can have some non-discriminating impact on the general population, since they include arms embargoes, diplomatic sanctions, and/or restrictions on the conduct of particular activities or the export of specific commodities.

Sanctions Committee created, no sanctions monitoring mechanism in place. Designation criteria were specified and targets designated. Enforcement authorities not specified.



Policy outcome

Iran participated in talks with the IAEA, but did not have any apparent change of behavior or notable cooperation with IAEA within the relatively short time period to comply.

Sanctions contribution

The threat and imposition of sanctions reinforced the IAEA process, as did diplomatic pressure (E3+3); unilateral measures were also in place.



Policy outcome

Iran continued to make progress on nuclear processing during this episode.

Sanctions contribution

Too short a period for sanctions to be effective (EU didn’t implement until April 2007, after the conclusion of the episode) and no focus on enforcement.



Policy outcome

Support for non-proliferation norm and reinforcing IAEA authority clear, as well as signal that violations of norm will result in price; first time UNSC threatened and applied sanctions in support of non-proliferation norm; but unclear that target felt much stigmatization (due to the widespread support within Iran for its right to develop nuclear energy and the fact that the IAEA could not confirm Iranian program was not for peaceful purposes).

Sanctions contribution

Precedent established regarding use of UN sanctions to enforce non-proliferation norm (and promote IAEA role in negotiations).



Insufficient information available at present.



  • Imposes import embargo to Iran on all items, materials, equipment, goods and technology which could contribute to Iran’s enrichment-related, reprocessing or heavy water-related activities, or development of nuclear weapon delivery systems.
  • Specifies such items, materials, equipment, goods and technology.
  • Imposes prohibition on provision of training, technical or financial assistance, investment, brokering or other services, and transfer of financial resources or services, related to supply, sale, transfer, manufacture or use of prohibited items, materials, equipment, goods and technology.
  • Specifies non-proliferation, non-nuclear weapon delivery, food, agricultural, medical, and other humanitarian exemptions to import ban to Iran (pending Committee approval) and specifies further conditions to be met.
  • Imposes embargo on export or procurement from Iran of items in documents S/2006/814 and S/2006/815 (non-proliferation).
  • Imposes asset freeze (Annex and subsequent SC or Committee designations) and specifies exemptions for necessary basic expenses, extraordinary expenses, and expenses subject of a judicial, administrative or arbitral lien or judgment, and activities covered by B.1 and A.1.2 (pending Committee approval).
  • Delineates designation criteria.
  • Delineates criteria for sanctions suspension and termination.
  • Calls upon MS to exercise vigilance regarding travel of individuals supporting, associated with, or engaged in activities subject to sanctions.
  • Calls upon MS to exercise vigilance and prevent specialized teaching or training of Iranian nationals where contributing to proliferation sensitive nuclear activities and nuclear weapons delivery systems development.


  • Specifies criteria for optional additions of account payments and interests.
  • Establishes Sanctions Committee and specifies its mandate.
  • Sets sanctions review (following IAEA report due within 60 days).
  • Requires MS reporting.
  • Requires MS notification about supply, sale or transfer of all items, materials, equipment, goods and technology covered by documents S/2006/814 and S/2006/815 export of which is not subject to sanctions (within 10 days), for S/2006/814 also notify IAEA.