Iran had its voting rights suspended over late dues earlier this week as it struggles to get access to its international accounts frozen by US sanctions. Iran is looking to find a "safe channel" to pay its dues to the United Nations as it struggles to access its international accounts that have been frozen under heavy US sanctions. Majid Takht Ravanchi, Iran’s permanent representative to the UN, said late on Friday that the country was determined to have its voting rights reinstated once it finds a way around its blocked international accounts. "The Islamic Republic of Iran has always been committed to pay for its membership on time and we have shown this in action before," Ravanchi said. "Unfortunately, for a second year we are facing hurdles in making our payments and that is because of the cruel US sanctions … the funds are there in our accounts abroad but can’t be accessed."
Last week, the seventh round of the negotiations over the fate of the JCPOA saw Iran table an initial proposal on sanctions relief. The proposal led to complaints from Western officials that the Iranian negotiators were being unreasonable. Iranian officials responded by insisting their proposals were “pragmatic.” The initial exchange suggested to some that disagreements over sanctions relief issue are going to prove the intractable because what Iran wants—significant investment—is impossible for the P5+1 to guarantee. Gérard Araud, former French ambassador to the United States and an astute observer of the nuclear talks, tweeted that “Even if the JCPOA was restored, no Western company would dare invest a cent in Iran.”Araud is rightly concerned. Western companies will be reluctant to invest in Iran due to fears that a Republican president could reimpose sanctions in 2025, putting their investments in jeopardy.
Korean technology giants LG and Samsung, which had dominated the Iranian home-appliance market, left in November 2018. According to the Iranian embassy in Seoul, trade between the two countries, which amounted to $12 billion in 2017, dropped by half in 2018 and plunged to a mere $111 million in the first six months of 2020. South Korea stopped importing Iranian oil in May 2019 and South Korean banks froze $7 billion in Iranian assets from the prior sale of crude oil and gas condensate to abide by US sanctions. This money has become a thorn in relations between the countries, whose ties have historically been so close that they both have streets named after each other in their respective capitals.
In September 2021, at the height of the unprecedented fuel shortage in Lebanon, a tanker carrying Iranian fuel docked at a Syrian port where the fuel was loaded onto trucks and driven through an illegal border crossing into Lebanon. The fuel shipment was brokered by Iran-backed Hezbollah to help alleviate Lebanon’s energy crisis that has been brought on by the country’s ongoing economic crisis. The newly formed Lebanese government made no comment about the shipment while Hezbollah hailed the arrival of the fuel a ‘victory’ and as having ‘broken the American siege’ on Lebanon. Despite it being in violation of US sanctions on trade with Iran, the US ignored the scenario altogether.
Over-compliance with United States-imposed sanctions against Iran is harming the right to health, and people with rare skin disease are among those affected, many of them children, experts appointed by the UN Human Rights Council said on Tuesday. These patients suffer from epidermolysis bullosa (EB), a severe and life-threatening skin condition, which causes extremely painful wounds. Many are children, who are often referred to as “butterfly kids” because of their fragile skin.
This case highlights the continued effort of Iran to break trade control laws and sanctions of other nations to procure items for its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. Additionally, Iran continues to actively recruit sympathetic or persuadable individuals to acquire commodities for its sensitive programs. Some of these exports appear to violate the JCPOA. Future discussions with Iran should address the illicit activities being undertaken by Iran’s government in defiance of international and national laws and regulations. This also highlights that Iran continues to lack the domestic capability to produce certain sophisticated measuring equipment and analytical instruments, such as spectrometry systems essential for a uranium enrichment program, and thus, is forced to seek these items elsewhere. Iran continues to go to extensive lengths to acquire the necessary components for its nuclear and ballistic missile programs and utilizes front companies and other schemes to deceive legitimate businesses and individuals. All suppliers should remain vigilant, exercising greater due diligence when fulfilling orders for sensitive commodities and reporting any suspicious activities to the relevant authorities.
Below are breaking news items from a speech delivered by Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on 13-09-2021, in which he provided extensive details about his movement’s ongoing efforts to import much-needed fuel shipments from Iran to Lebanon aimed at breaking what Nasrallah says is a US-led economic siege on Lebanon.
Yesterday morning, an Iran Air A330 on its way to Hamburg entered a holding pattern waiting for the heavy fog parked over the airport to lift. However, a little over one hour later, the plane lifted back up to 30,000 feet and took off for… Milan. How come? […] Iran Air is not allowed to receive jet fuel at any airport in Germany. This is because many western supply companies have stopped selling fuel to the airline in order to comply with the sanctions imposed against Iran and its flag carrier by the US. The problems for Iranian airlines to refuel in much of Europe first arose in 2011. Measures were tightened again in 2019, making any third parties who supply Iranian airlines with maintenance, catering, refueling, and even booking, also liable to prosecution. For fuel companies, of which many also operate in the US, this is a bit of a conundrum. […]
Lebanese economist Ziad Nasreddine comments on the potential ramifications of Hezbollah’s ongoing efforts to ship Iranian fuel to Lebanon, an effort announced by Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah a day earlier.
It appears likely that Iran’s enormous economic potential will remain untapped by most European enterprises in the short term. Nevertheless, Europeans should ramp up their economic diplomacy. Those European companies that resume trading with Iran deserve the full support of their governments – the billions of euros of goods and services they trade will create the foundation for constructive EU-Iran relations. Without this foundation, pro-deal figures inside Iran, including in the new administration, will find it much harder to make the case for sustaining the agreement in the long term.