International sanctions against Iran
(TEHRAN) - International sanctions against Iran focus on key sectors such as defence, finance and oil with the aim of persuading Tehran to end its controversial nuclear programme. Over time, the United Nations and the European Union have adopted increasingly tough measures.
-- UNITED NATIONS --
Since 2006, the UN Security Council has approved four series of sanctions:
- Resolution 1737 (December 23, 2006) imposes economic and commercial sanctions against 10 entities linked to Tehran's nuclear and ballistic programmes. The assets of these entities and of 12 prominent figures are frozen.
- Resolution 1747 (March 24, 2007) freezes the assets of 13 new entities linked to the nuclear programme or the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. There is also an embargo on Iranian arms purchases and restrictions on loans to Iran.
- Resolution 1803 (March 3, 2008) hits more entities and individuals with a foreign assets freeze and travel ban. It also bans the supply of dual-use (civil and military) items to Iran.
- Resolution 1929 (June 9, 2010) places new restrictions on Iranian investments and bans the sale to Iran of certain heavy arms (tanks, combat planes and helicopters). More names added to sanctions list.
-- UNITED STATES --
Washington first imposed sanctions in the 1980s, banning businesses and individual Americans from trading with Iran except with Treasury Department approval.
- In 2008, the United States introduces further financial restrictions by banning American banks from acting as an intermediary for the transit of funds to and from Iran
- In July 2010, a law targets the supply of petrol to Iran, which is highly dependent on refined products, and punishes foreign groups investing in the Iranian oil sector.
- In November 2011, Washington beefs up its sanctions against individuals supporting the development of Iran's oil sector.
- In December 2011, the assets of foreign financial institutions that trade with the Iranian Central Bank in the petrol sector are frozen.
-- EUROPEAN UNION --
The EU has backed the sanctions process launched at the UN since late 2006.
- July 26, 2010, the EU goes further than the UN, banning technical assistance or the transfer of oil technologies to Iran and the activity of some Iranian banks and adds names to the United Nations list of individuals banned from travelling. The measures focus on the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.
- In May and December 2011, the assets of 243 Iranian entities and around 40 more individuals are frozen and visa bans imposed.
- January 19, 2012. The EU reaches an agreement in principle to ban most transactions with the Iranian central bank.
- January 23, 2012. The EU agrees on an immediate ban on Iran oil imports and a gradual phase-out of existing contracts between now and July.
Petrochemical imports and investments are banned as well as the sale of gold, other precious metals and diamonds.
The EU also freezes the assets of the Iranian Central Bank while ensuring that legitimate trade can continue under strict conditions.
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