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UN sanctions on Iran’s missile program expire

“It is imperative that all states continue to take steps to counter Iran’s destabilizing ballistic missile-related activities through ongoing counterproliferation cooperation,” said the U.S. State Department.

Missiles of Iran’s armed forces, Sept. 9, 2019. Credit: Saeediex/Shutterstock.
Missiles of Iran’s armed forces, Sept. 9, 2019. Credit: Saeediex/Shutterstock.

U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231, which the international body unanimously adopted in July 2015, endorsed the Iran nuclear deal—officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action—and made it international law.

The restrictions in the resolution “to constrain Iran’s ballistic-missile program are slated to expire” on Oct. 18, according to a statement by the U.S. State Department. 

Per Foggy Bottom, the resolution “was based on the assumption that Iran would take the necessary steps towards restoring confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of its nuclear program. This has not happened.”

“It is imperative that all states continue to take steps to counter Iran’s destabilizing ballistic missile-related activities through ongoing counterproliferation cooperation,” the State Department added.

“The United States has worked to disrupt Iran’s missile program since long before the U.N. Security Council imposed restrictions on it,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated. “We will continue to do so, using every tool at our disposal, so long as Iran poses a threat to security and stability in the Middle East region and around the world.”

Asked about the expiring sanctions earlier this month at a press briefing, Vedant Patel, principal deputy spokesman at the State Department noted that “UNSCR 2231 is not the only tool that is at our disposal.”

“We have our own sanctions authorities. We have export controls. We have bilateral and multilateral engagements,” he said. “We have already effectively targeted the same networks and individuals that would have been covered under a 2231 UNSCR violation, and we’ll continue to use our own sanctions authorities to hold the Iranian regime accountable.”

The expiring penalties on Iran for missile tests are “yet another sign of the international community’s irresolution to say and do the right thing on Iran,” stated Behnam Ben Taleblu, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. “It will, therefore, embolden Iran to double down on its terror proxies and arms proliferation. The more confident Tehran feels, the more lethal the threat.”

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