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.
Sanctions Committee created, no sanctions monitoring mechanism in place. Designation criteria were specified and targets designated (maximum number of designees during the episode – 12 individual designees, 10 entities). Enforcement authorities not specified.
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.
The threat and imposition of sanctions reinforced the IAEA process, as did diplomatic pressure (E3+3); unilateral measures were also in place.
Iran continued to make progress on nuclear processing during this episode.
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.
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).
Precedent established regarding use of UN sanctions to enforce non-proliferation norm (and promote IAEA role in negotiations).
Insufficient information available at present.