EU policy on Iranian proliferation issue (2000-2014)

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Mher Sahakyan
Background: European-Iranian Nuclear Cooperation
In the shadows of rising proliferation threats, this paper is aimed at explaining the dynamics of EU Policy on Iranian Proliferation Issue (2000−2014).
During the 21th century Iran continues to be a focal point for attention of the international community, because of rich energy resources, strategic location and its nuclear program. Iran had been a unique bridge between East and West from the times of «Silk Road». In the 20th century during the two World Wars the European superpowers such as the United Kingdom, Germany, Russia and France tried to occupy Iran or increase their influence on the country. As a result of the World War I, the UK was able to increase its influence on Iran and took control over the Iranian energy sources and oil production. After the World War II the USA, like another international political players also started to struggle for the political influence on Iran. When Mohammad Mosaddeq came to power in Iran, he tried to eliminate UK from the Iranian oil production and started the nationalization of Iran'-s oil industry. The UK as a global player imposed an embargo on the Iranian oil production, and as a result Iran could not sell its oil. This step weakened Mossadeq’s power. After 1953 when the US CIA was heavily involved in the coup that toppled Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddeq and returned the power to the Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the USA increased its influence in Iran and assumed the role of patron or at least a reliable supplier of arms. The USA gave added impetus to Iranian nuclear ambitions. The USA and European powers like Federal Republic of Germany, France and UK helped Iran develop its nuclear program. In Tehran the USA built Nuclear Research Center which was equipped with 5 megawatt research reactor. For this nuclear facility uranium was supplied by the? PhD candidate, Institute of International Relations, Nanjing University, China.
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USA. On July 1, 1968 Iran signed the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and ratified it in February 1970. Iran also took steps to demonstrate that its nuclear program was peaceful. For instance, in 1974 Iran submitted a draft resolution to the General Assembly of the United Nations that called for establishing a nuclear-weapons-free zone in the Middle East.
Iran had bought two nuclear reactors from France and from FRG. In 1977 Iran bought 4 other nuclear reactors from FRG. German Kraftwerk Union (Siemens) supplied reactors and began the construction of two units of the Bushehr nuclear plant. Total construction cost was estimated 4−6 billion US dollars. The completion of construction was planned for 1982. By 1979 one of the above mentioned reactors was 50% complete while the other one was 85% complete1.
In 1974, Tehran issued a $ 1 billion loan to the French Atomic Energy Commission for the construction of a multinational uranium enrichment plant Eurodif. Tehran secured a ten percent equity stake in the enterprise, entitling it to ten percent of the plant’s output. In 1977, a $ 2 billion agreement on the construction of two 950-megawatt reactors in Darkhovin was finalized with the French firms Framatome, Spie-Batignolles and Alsthom Atlantic. Talks were also held on the purchase of an additional six reactors from France. In the mid-1970s, Iran also signed a letter of agreement with a number of British firms to purchase a large amount of natural uranium2.
European powers and USA continued to support Iran in accordance with its nuclear program till 1979, when during the Islamic Revolution the West’s partner Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was toppled by Ayatollah Khomeini and fled from Iran. As a result, West-Iran strategic partnership collapsed. The USA stopped assisting Iran in its nuclear program and used its influence to pressure other countries to halt cooperation with Iran in the field of nuclear research.
Washington expressed a major concern that Tehran might build a nuclear arsenal. The USA imposed its own sanctions against Iran in the beginning of the Iranian Islamic Revolution of 1979 and the hostage crisis. In 1996, for example, the Clinton administration passed the Iran and Libya Sanctions Act (ILA), which im-
1 Берг И. С., Оценка Роли Германии и России в Иранской Ядерной Программе, Институт Ближнего Востока, 27 July 2009, http: //www. iimes. ru/?p=9059
2 Pre-Revolution Endeavors, Iranian Nuclear History Program, http: //nuclearenergy. ir/history/#Pre-Revolution_Endeavors
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posed mandatory penalties on any foreign country that invested more than $ 20 million in Iran. In response, the European Union, through its then trade commissioner, the former British Cabinet Minister Sir Leon Brittan, stated adamantly that the United States was & quot-not entitled to impose their will on us& quot- and lodged a note of formal noncompliance with the ILA at the World Trade Organization. To drive home the point, the spokesman for the German Foreign Ministry expressed the view that the & quot-U.S. follows the wrong path. "- At the same time, France even publicly defied Washington, declaring that it would make upgrading the ties with Iran a major foreign policy objective. The country'-s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Yves Doutriaux, was even more explicit. The U.S. move, he said, & quot-Is one nation telling the rest on earth what they can and can'-t do. Is that right?& quot-1.
On March 14, 2000, the US President Bill Clinton signed The Iran Nonproliferation Act of 2000. The act authorizes the President of the United States to take punitive action against individuals or organizations known to be providing material aid to weapons of mass destruction programs in Iran2. With this step the US Democrats made the next aggressive step to interrupt or delay Iranian nuclear program. USA continued its anti-proliferation policy against Iranian nuclear ambitions when Republicans won the elections and came to power. Bush’s administration tried to take the Iranian case to UN SC, but EU took responsibility to solve Iranian nuclear problem and started the EU3-Iran negotiations. Russia was against bringing the Iranian case to UN SC because Russia was constructing Bushehr reactor in Iran and it planned to build up to five other reactors similar to Bushehr. China was not interested in taking the Iranian issue to UN SC or imposing any sanctions because of the energy and economic interests in Iran as well.
The EU 3-Iran negotiations on Iranian proliferation issue
On February 21- 22, 2003 IAEA Director General of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) visited Iran. After this visit, on June 6, 2003 IAEA Director General reported that Iran had failed to meet its obligations under its Safeguards Agreement
1 Rory Miller, & quot-The European Union'-s Counterproductive Iran Sanctions. "-Foreign Affairs, 23 February 2012, http: //www. foreignaffairs. com/articles/137 298/rory-miller/the-european-unions-counterproductive-iran-sanctions (accessed on 27 July 2014)
2 Iran Non Proliferation Act of 2000, U. S Department of State, 14 March 2000, http: //www. state. gov/t/isn/c15234. htm (Accessed on 11 July 2014)
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with respect to the reporting of nuclear material, the subsequent processing and use of such material and the declaration of facilities where the material was stored and processed. Although the quantities of nuclear material involved have not been large, and the material would need further processing before being suitable for use as the fissile material component of a nuclear explosive device, the number of failures by Iran to report the material, facilities and activities in question in a timely manner as it is obliged to do pursuant to its Safeguards Agreement is a matter of concern1. On October 23, 2003, H.E. Mr. R. Aghazadeh, Vice President of the Islamic Republic of Iran and President of the AEOI, reaffirmed that «the Islamic Republic of Iran had decided to provide a full picture of its nuclear activities, with a view to removing any ambiguities and doubts about the exclusively peaceful character of these activities and commencing a new phase of confidence and co-operation in this field at the international level.» Mr. Aghazadeh stated further in his letter that Iran was prepared «to provide, in full transparency, any additional clarifications that the Agency may deem necessary. „2 In October 2003 Iranian government invited foreign ministers of the EU3 to Tehran for negotiations, and after negotiations EU3 and Iran issued statement known as the Tehran declaration. Due to this declaration the Iranian Government has decided to sign the IAEA Additional Protocol. It has decided to voluntarily suspend all uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities as defined by the IAEA. The EU3 ministers announced that they recognize the right of Iran to enjoy peaceful use of nuclear energy in accordance with the nuclear NonProliferation Treaty3. On November 15, 2004 In Paris EU3 and Iran signed Paris Agreement. Iran verified that it would continue to extend its suspension to include all enrichment related and reprocessing activities. EU3 mentioned that EU would help Iran on the opening of Iranian accession negotiations at the WTO and that EU would resume negotiations on Iran-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement.
Cornelius Adebahr notes that United Kingdom, France and Germany (EU3) took the initiative in Iranian nuclear issue and started negotiations directly with
1 Reported by IAEA Director General, Implementation of the NPT safeguards agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran, 6 June 2003, http: //www. iaea. org/Publications/Documents/Board/2003/gov2003−40. pdf
2 Reported by IAEA Director General, Implementation of the NPT safeguards agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran, 10 November 2003, http: //www. iaea. org/Publications/Documents/Board/2003/gov2003−75. pdf
3 Statement by the Iranian Government and Visiting EU Foreign ministers, IAEA and Iran, 21 October 2003, http: //www. iaea. org/newscenter/focus/iaeairan/statement_iran2H02003. shtml
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Iran. When the Europeans-represented by the foreign ministers of France, Germany, and the United Kingdom (the EU3)-first got involved in diplomatic negotiations with Iran a little more than ten years ago, they had three goals:
1. Demonstrate the value of diplomacy and head off a possible military attack on Iran by the United States or Israel.
2. Make a case for „effective multilateralism"-a cornerstone of the EU’s 2003 Security Strategy-with regard to nonproliferation.
3. Earn a greater global role for Europe by picking up the Iran dossier at a time when the United States was preoccupied with neighboring Iraq and therefore not engaged on it1.
The EU3 and Iran exchanged several proposals regarding to their visions on problem solving. In August 2005 the three European countries presented their own comprehensive proposal for a long-term agreement, outlining the following:
• Arrangements for the assured supply of low enriched uranium for any light water reactors constructed in Iran
• Establishing a buffer store of nuclear fuel located in a third country
• A commitment by Iran not to pursue fuel cycle technologies, reviewable after 10 years
• A legally binding commitment by Iran not to withdraw from the NPT and Iran’s adoption of the Additional Protocol
• Arrangements for Iran to return spent nuclear fuel to supplier countries
• EU recognition of Iran as a long-term source of fossil fuel energy
• EU-Iran cooperation in a variety of political-security areas, including Iraq and Afghanistan, terrorism, and drug trafficking.
Iran rejected that proposal days later, claiming that it did not recognize Iran’s right to enrichment. Tehran proceeded with uranium conversion, breaking the suspension agreement with the EU3 and ending negotiations2.
The USA was against these negotiations and called upon the EU 3 to stop negotiations with Iran and take the Iranian case to UN SC. This happened when on
1 Cornelius Adebahr, „EU-Iran Relations: A strategic Assessment“, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 23 June 2014, http: //carnegieendowment. org/2014/06/23/eu-iran-relations-strategic-assessment/hea1
2 Kelsey Devenport, History of Official Proposals on the Iranian Nuclear Issue, Arms Control Association, January 2014, http: //www. armscontrol. org/factsheets/Iran_Nuclear_Proposals
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January 10, 2006 the Iranians broke the IAEA seals at Natanz enrichment facility and restarted the work on their projects there.
The USA was against the Iranian nuclear program, as the leaders in Washington believed it was a nuclear threat for the USA and for Israel. American policymakers started to use the term „Nuclear Holocaust“ to characterize Iranian nuclear ambitions. USUN ex-ambassador John Bolton in his book quoted Bush’s words regarding Iranian nuclear program: „I thought we are just beginning to watch the beginning of a Holocaust. There has to be no ambiguity and no rewards unless there is a complete dismantlement. „1 The so-called Iranian threat seems to be more realistic when from time to time Iranian officials threaten to destroy or eliminate Israel. For instance, in October 2005, speaking at a Tehran conference convened under the banner of „A World without Zionism,“ Iranian president Ahmadinejad declared that „Israel should be wiped off the map,“ and that „anybody who recognizes Israel will burn in the fire of the Islamic nations' fury.“ Further developing this theme two months later, he called the Holocaust a „myth“ and lectured the Europeans that they should create a Jewish state in Europe rather than the Middle East2.
banian nuclear case in the UN SC: Resolution 1696
In 2006 the situation concerning Iranian nuclear program totally changed when IAEA Director General noted that after nearly three years of intensive verification activity, the Agency is not yet in a position to clarify some important issues relating to Iran'-s nuclear program3. In 2006 after long-lasting US lobbing the Iranian nuclear issue was brought to the Security Council and at its 5500th meeting, on July 31, 2006 the Resolution No. 1696 was adopted. It called upon all states, in accordance with their national legal authorities and legislation and consistent with international law, to exercise vigilance and prevent the transfer of any items, materials, goods and technology that could contribute to Iran’s enrichment-related and reprocessing activities and ballistic missile programs. It called Iran without further
1 John Bolton, Surrender Is Not An Option- Defending America At The United Nations And Abroad, New York, Threshold Edition, July 2008, p. 140
2 Robert Litwak, Iran'-s Nuclear Chess: Calculating America'-s Moves, Wilson Center, Middle East Program, July 2014, p. 39
3 Implementation of The NPT Safeguards Agreements in the Islamic Republic of Iran, 4 February 2006, International Atomic Energy Agency, http: //www. iaea. org/Publications/Documents/Board/2006/gov2006−14. pdf
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delay to take the steps required by the IAEA Board of Governors in its resolution GOV/2006/141.
After voting, the UK representative in UN Emyr Jones Parry said that his country remained committed to working towards a negotiated solution. On June 6, 2006 Javier Solana presented Iran a new set of far-reaching and imaginative proposals for a comprehensive agreement, offering a way forward, one that would give Iran everything it needed to achieve its stated ambition of developing a modern civil nuclear-power industry. That included, among other things, support for building light-water power reactors, as well as legally binding assurances relating to the supply of nuclear power material, for which it would not have to depend on a single foreign supplier. The proposals would also offer Iran, among other benefits, significant trade benefits, including with the European Union. The representative of France mentioned that France, together with Germany, would underline the following elements: the text had made the suspension requested by the IAEA mandatory, but that did not mean end to negotiations, and he had reaffirmed the proposals made on June 6 to Iran- if Iran refused to comply, the Council would work under Article 41 of Chapter VII of the Charter- and if Iran did comply and resumed negotiations, the Council could abstain from such action2. China urged Iran to practice restraint, earnestly implement the requirements of the resolution and make an early response to the „package proposals“.
UN SC Resolution 1737
As Cornelius Adebahr mentioned the formation of the „P5+1"-the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany can be seen as another diplomatic success. Although it did not solve the question of Iran’s nuclear program per se, the joining of the three European powers with China, Russia, and, crucially, the United States (hence the EU’s preferred acronym E3+3) lent the European diplomatic approach more weight3.
1 Resolution 1696 (2006), UN SC, 31 July 2006. http: //www. un. org/News/Press/docs/2006/sc8792. doc. htm
2 „Security Council Demands Iran Suspend Uranium Enrichment by 31 August, or Face Possible Economic, Diplomatic Sanctions“, Security Council 5500th meeting, http: //www. un. org/News/Press/docs/2006/ sc8792. doc. htm
3 Cornelius Adebahr, „Easing EU Sanctions on Iran“, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 16 June 2014, http: //carnegieendowment. org/2014/06/16/easing-eu-sanctions-on-iran/he34
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Almost six months after the EU3+3 Iran negotiations commenced, Resolution No. 1696 was followed up with Resolution No. 1737. The US argued that sanctions should be as wide and tough as possible. In general, the USA did not accept Tehran’s argument that Iran needs civil nuclear energy, because Washington believed that Iran had huge amounts of energy resources and they believed that Iran was going to build nuclear weapons. Russia and China preferred more limited and less severe measures and certainly not ones that would affect their economic interests with Iran. It seems that the Europeans were in between these two approaches1.
With the Resolution 1737 adopted by the Security Council at its 5612th meeting, on December 23, 2006, the UN SC placed a ban on sale and trade of nuclear technologies which could be used by Iran to accomplish heavy water related activities or develop nuclear weapons delivery systems. By this Resolution UN SC offered all countries to place voluntary ban on individuals who were engaged, associated with or provided support to Iran’s nuclear program. The Resolution 1737 imposed financial sanctions on individuals and companies engaged with Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile industries2. Speaking after the vote, UK representative Emyr Jones Parry mentioned that however, the door was not closed for Iran. He said that the United Kingdom, France and Germany, with the European Union High Representative, Javier Solana, had led negotiations with Iran and remained committed to seeking a diplomatically negotiated solution based on cooperation. A new relationship between Europe and Iran was „on the table“, but that must be with an Iran that eschewed nuclear ambition3.
French representative mentioned that the text -- developed on the basis of a draft submitted by France, Germany and United Kingdom -- confirmed the mandatory nature of the suspension of proliferation sensitive activities in the nuclear field. He said that should Iran suspend all its sensitive activities and conform to relevant resolutions of the Council and IAEA, the measures just adopted would be suspended. Should the country persist, however, other measures would be taken under 1 2 3
1 „Middle East, Iran“, Security Council Report, Monthly Forecast, November 2006,
http: //www. securitycouncilreport. org/monthly-forecast/2006-n/lookup_c_glKWLeMTIsG_b_2 193 647. php (accessed on 15 June 2014)
2 Resolution 1737 (2006), UN SC, 23 December 2006, http: //www. un. org/ga/search/view_doc. asp7symbonS/ RES/1737(2006) (accessed on 16 June 2014)
3 Security Council 5612th Meeting, 23 December 2006, http: //www. un. org/press/en/2006/sc8928. doc. htm
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Article 41. The resolution sent a clear message to Iran, which was now facing a strategic choice: cooperation with the international community or growing isolation1.
On February 22, 2007, El Baradei reported that Iran continued to enrich uranium at the Natanz facility and refused to provide details required for verification purposes per IAEA BG Document GOV/2008/8 (February 22, 2007). The U.S. and its partners sought a ban on arms sales to Iran and limits on export credits for firms involved in commercial deals in the country. This posed particular problems for PRC, which had existing contracts to supply the IRI with various weapons, including anti -warship and surface-to-air missiles. China’s exports to Iran as a whole had increased dramatically, rising from $ 713 million in 2000 to $ 7. 29 billion in 2007. As a result, on March 9, Wang Guangya said that he did not „see the need to expand [the measures] to an arms embargo“ and objected to a prohibition on export credits2.
UNSC Embargo on Arms Exports from ban: Resolution 1747-
EUEmbargo on Arms Exports to Iran
After the negotiations, on 24 of March 2007, the Security Council at its 5647th meeting adopted Resolution 1747 (2007) which decided that Iran must not supply, sell or transfer any arms or related materiel. It called upon all states and international financial institutions not to enter into new commitments for grants, financial assistance, and concessional loans, to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, except for humanitarian and development purposes. The new list of 13 entities and 15 persons involved in nuclear or ballistic missiles activities to be subjected to financial limitations was added to the Resolution 17 473. If Iran was prohibited to sell, supply or transfer weapons, all other countries were called for „vigilance“ in arms sales to Iran and to omit a ban on export credits. What was the problem that EU and USA, though temporary, agreed not to prohibit but abstain from selling weapons to Iran? The reason was Russia and China that could have put a veto if the USA tried to include this point into the resolution text. With this regard the USA, Great Britain and France insured themselves from the possible veto of Russia and China. 1 2 3
1 Ibid.
2 Joel Wuthnow, Beyond the Veto: Chinese Diplomacy in the United Nations Security Council, Columbia University 2011, p. 183, http: //academiccommons. columbia. edu/catalog/ac:132 019 (accessed on 15 July 2014)
3 Resolution 1747 (2007), UN SC, 24 March 2007.
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China’s ambassador in UN Wang Guangya said that his country had all along supported safeguarding the international nuclear non-proliferation mechanism and opposed the proliferation of nuclear weapons. UK representative Emyr Jones Parry made statement that as requested by resolution 1737 IAEA Director General Mo-hamed El Baradei had reported on February 22, 2007 that Iran had continued to pursue these sensitive technologies, in defiance of its obligations under international law. That was the backdrop to the intensive and constructive deliberations that had led to the resolution today. By adopting the resolution, the Council had continued its incremental and proportionate approach, increasing gradually the pressure on Iran to address the concerns shared across the international community. He added that the path of proliferation by Iran is not one that the international community can accept. French representative Jean-Marc De La Sabliere added that nobody in the Council wished to deny Iran its right to, or prevent the Iranian people from benefiting from, nuclear energy for peaceful purposes It was unacceptable that Iranian officials shirked their obligations under the NPT. Iran’s choice, he said, was to meet the international community’s demands or face growing isolation1. However Iran’s foreign minister Manoucheher Mottaki, mentioned. „Iran's nuclear program is completely peaceful“.
In April 2007 the EU extended the prohibition to include arms and related materiel of all types, including weapons and ammunition, military vehicles and equipment, paramilitary equipment and spare parts for the aforementioned2.
UNSC increased vigilance over Iranian banks: calling lor voluntary cargo inspection: Resolution 1803
Movement towards further UN SC sanctions was spurred by an Iranian rocket launch on February 4, 2008 that the U.S. and, notably, Russia were concerned might be a test of ballistic missile technology3.
1 Security Council, 5647th Meeting (PM), SC/8980, http: //www. un. org/News/Press/docs/2007/sc8980. doc. htm
2 EU Arms Embargo on Iran, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, 22 November 2012, http: //www. sipri. org/databases/embargoes/eu_arms_embargoes/iran/eu-arms-embargo-on-iran-pdf/ at_download/file
3 Joel Wuthnow, Beyond the Veto: Chinese Diplomacy in the United Nations Security Council, op. cit,
p. 186
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On 3 March 2008 the Security Council adopted Resolution 1803 at its 5848th meeting. The resolution provided that all states shall take the necessary measures to prevent the supply, sale or transfer materials which can be used for producing nuclear weapons. It called upon all states to exercise vigilance over the activities of financial institutions in their territories with all banks domiciled in Iran, and their branches and subsidiaries abroad, in order to avoid such activities contributing to the proliferation sensitive nuclear activities. It also called for voluntary cargo inspections. A new list of officials, individuals and entities that were involved in nuclear or ballistic missiles activities and were subjected to financial restrictions was attached in Annexes I, II, and III of the Resolution 18 031. After the voting, the UK representative John Sawers noted that Proposals presented to Iran in June 2006 offered „substantial opportunities“ for political, security and economic benefits to Iran and the region, and he urged Iran to take the opportunity to find a negotiated way forward. He added that the United Kingdom does not have confidence that Iran’s program is for exclusively peaceful purposes. French representative Jean-Pierre Lacroix mentioned that Iran had concealed an underground nuclear program. While enrichment was going on, Iran was working on techniques that could be used to develop nuclear weapons2. The representative of Belgium Johan Verbeke stressed that new resolution was part of a gradual approach aimed at urging Iranian authorities to adopt a more cooperative and transparent position. The resolution also made clear that the path of good faith negotiations remained open to Iran3.
Resolution 1835
On June 14, 2008 Secretary General and high representative of the EU Javier Solana delivered to Iranian government the text of the letter compiled by China, Russia, France, United Kingdom, Russian Federation, Germany, Untied States, the UN Secretary General and high representatives of the EU. The six powers offered Iran provision of technological and financial assistance necessary for Iran’s peaceful use of nuclear energy, support for the resumption of technical cooperation plans in Iran by the
1 Resolution 1803 (2008), UN SC, 3 March 2008,
http: //www. iaea. org/newscenter/focus/iaeairan/unsc_res1803−2008. pdf
2 UN SC, SC/9268, 3 March 2008. http: //www. un. org/News/Press/docs/2008/sc9268. doc. htm (accessed on June 18, 2014)
3 Ibid.
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IAEA, support for the construction of the light-water reactor, provision of legally binding nuclear fuel supply guaranty, cooperation in regard with the management of spent fuel and radioactive waste, if Iran fulfills the requirements of resolutions adopted by UN SC1. Iran asked to give information in details and UN SC decided that Iran tries to gain time, and adopted Resolution 1835 (2008), which called Iran to comply fully and without delay with its obligations under the above-mentioned resolutions of the Security Council, and to meet the requirements of the IAEA Board of Governors2. Long-lasting negotiations between P5+Germany and Iran were unsuccessful. The negotiating parties were unable to find new ways for solving Iranian nuclear dispute. The patience of Western powers, however, had dissipated by mid-July, 2009. A joint statement issued by the G8 countries following a summit in Italy set a deadline of September 15, 2009 for Iran to engage in negotiations or face the possibility of increased sanctions. Obama asserted that the U.S. was „not going to just wait indefinitely“ for Iran to respond. With Western strategy reverting to a punitive approach, the basis of a diplomatic confrontation with China was laid. Unlike prior cases, which were resolved relatively quickly, it would take nine months for the P5+1 to secure an agreement on added pressure against Tehran3.
UN SC arms embargo: Resolution 1929
In May 2010, Iran, Brazil and Turkey signed a joint declaration in Tehran to exchange much of Iran’s low-enriched uranium for fuel for the Tehran Research Reactor. The accord main points were in effect identical to the failed 2009 swap proposal. Iran agreed to ship 1,200 kilograms of LEU to Turkey for a later exchange of 120 kg of fuel for the Tehran Research Reactor. But the declaration was immediately rejected by the US4.
On June 9, 2010, the UN SC approved the Resolution 1929 by a vote of 12 in favor, while Turkey and Brazil opposed, and Lebanon abstained. Like the three reso-
1 IAEA Information Circular INFCIRC/730, 1 July 2008. http: //www. iaea. org/Publications/Documents/ Infcircs/2008/infcirc730. pdf. (accessed on June 20 2014)
2 Resolution 1835 (2008) UN SC, 27 September 2008, http: //www. iaea. org/newscenter/focus/iaeairan/ unsc_res1835−2008. pdf (accessed on 20 2014)
3 Joel Wuthnow, Beyond the Veto: Chinese Diplomacy in the United Nations Security Council, op. cit, p. 191.
4 Negotiations with P5+1(2006 present), Iranian Nuclear History Program, http: //nuclearenergy. ir/history/ #Pre-Revolution_Endeavors
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lutions that preceded it since 2006, by the Resolution 1929 UN SC decided that Iran should not acquire an interest in any commercial activities in other states involving uranium mining and must halt its uranium enrichment activities in accordance with the IAEA inspection guidelines. The Resolution decided that all states should prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer to Iran of any battle tanks, armored combat vehicles, large caliber artillery systems, combat aircraft, attack helicopters, warships, and missile systems. Resolution 1929 called upon all states to inspect all cargo en route to and from Iran. The Resolution called upon the states to take appropriate measures to prohibit opening of new branches of Iranian banks in their territories which could have any connection with Iranian proliferation issue. The resolution imposed financial restrictions on some Iranian entities and individuals1.
UK representative Mark Lyall Grant mentioned that the adoption of the resolution „keeps the door open for continued engagement between the EU3+3 and Iran.“ He went on to say that the Ministers were prepared to continue dialogue and interaction with Iran in the context of implementing the understandings reached during their meeting in Geneva on October 1, 2009. They had asked Baroness Ashton, European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, to pursue that dialogue with Saeed Jalili, Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, at the earliest opportunity. „We expect Iran to demonstrate a pragmatic attitude and to respond positively to our openness towards dialogue and negotiations“. He said that resolution had been made necessary by Iran’s own actions. French representative Gerard Araud welcomed the adoption of the text, saying there was no doubt about what was going on: Iran had built a clandestine military facility that was far too small for civilian purposes, and had also begun to enrich its uranium to 20 per cent, bringing it „dangerously close“ to military grade. He added that Iran was using the Tehran Declaration as an alibi to avoid discussing the program with the EU3+3, and to buy time for continued enrichment, he said, adding that Iran was using it to ignore the will of the wider international community. He added that with all that in mind, the Security Council had adopted a text that would slow down the progress of Iran’s nuclear program and allow diplomacy more time2.
1 Resolution 1929 (2010), UN SC, 9 June, 2010.
http: //www. iaea. org/newscenter/focus/iaeairan/unsc_res1929−2010. pdf (accessed on 22 June 2014)
2 Security Council, 6335th Meeting (AM), Security Council Imposes Additional Sanctions on Iran, 9 June 2010, http: //www. un. org/News/Press/docs/2010/sc9948. doc. htm (accessed on 14 July 2014)
M. Sahakyan
& lt-21st CENTURY“, № 1 (17), 2015
EU3 voting record on United Nation Security Council Resolutions relating to Iran
Affirmative Abstain Against
Total 6 0 0
EU Sanctions on Iran and the results
While economic sanctions have a long and disputed history in foreign policy, the EU formally acquired this tool only in 1993 with the Maastricht Treaty and the emergence of a Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP)1. The EU Council followed suit and regularly went beyond the UN’s mandate by extending the list of targets, compiling a long and detailed list of technologies which were not supposed to be sold to Iran due to the risk of them being used to support either the nuclear or missile program, and imposing a number of financial restrictions on Iranian financial institutions as well as an embargo on oil and gas in 2012. The oil and gas embargo clearly went beyond the mandate of the Security Council, as denounced by Russia and China on several occasions. A number of sectors, such as graphite, and raw or semi-finished metals, such as aluminum and steel, fell under the ban which also included software for integrating industrial processes and key naval equipment and technology for ship-building, maintenance or refit. States were also prohibited to enter into new commitments with Iran, either to provide financial support or to construct new oil tankers. Finally, financial transactions between EU and Iranian banks and other financial institutions were not allowed unless authorized by Member States2.
1 Cornelius Adebahr, „Easing EU Sanctions on Iran“, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 16 June 2014, http: //carnegieendowment. org/2014/06/16/easing-eu-sanctions-on-iran/he34
2 Francesco Giumelli and Paul Ivan, „The Effectiveness of EU sanctions: An Analysis of Iran, Belarus, Syria and Myanmar (Burma)“, European Policy Centre, Issue Paper No. 76, November 2013, p. 13, http: // www. epc. eu/documents/uploads/pub_3928_epc_issue_paper76_-_the_effectiveness_of_eu_sanctions. pdf (accessed on 6 August 2014)
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In 2011, the EU was Iran’s first trading partner, accounting for almost a third of Iran'-s exports and for about 23% of Iran'-s oil exports, with Italy, Spain and Greece as its top customers. More than 90% of the EU’s imports from Iran were represented by fuels and mineral products. The entry into force of the EU embargo on oil imports in July 2012 has led to a sharp drop in EU imports from Iran. As a result, the EU dropped to the fourth position among Iran’s largest trading partners1. The embargo has also been strengthened by other measures. For instance, the EU has stopped European Protection and Indemnity Clubs (P& amp-I Clubs) providing Iranian oil carriers with insurance and reinsurance, given that more than 90% of the market is covered by EU companies. Oil imports from Iran accounted for about 5% of EU consumption, but this figure was considerably higher in some of the southern EU member states- Greece, Italy and Spain accounted for about 68% of Iranian oil exports to Europe. Iran’s crude oil represented about 30% of Greece’s oil imports, and about 14% for Italy and 12% for Spain. Severely hit by the economic crisis, in 2011 Greece encountered difficult conditions in the oil market, with banks refusing to provide financing for fear that Athens would default on its debt. Iran offered very good credit conditions to Greece and the share of Iranian oil in Greece’s oil imports grew during 2011 to more than 50%, up from 16% in 20 102.
1 Ibid 17.
2 Ibid., p. 18.
M. Sahakyan
& lt-21st CENTURY», № 1 (17), 2015
The European Union imported about 450,000 barrels of Iranian oil per day in 2011 before the European oil embargo started in July 2012. Tehran cut off oil to France and the United Kingdom. That was bad enough: It pushed the price of gasoline in the United Kingdom to 135. 39 ppl ($ 2. 1262 per liter), up from 132. 25 ppl ($ 2,077 per liter) at the beginning of January. It also resulted in near-record oil prices across Europe1.
Though Iranian leaders like to mention that sanctions are not a problem, but Iranian economy has effectively been harmed because of sanctions. Iranian economy largely declined when EU member states imposed an oil embargo on Iran. China also reduced its average oil import levels from Iran because of the disagreement on Iran'-s nuclear program. According to Iran’s Central Bank, in 2013, inflation was running at 44 percent, youth unemployment was 28 percent, and, in 2012, the country’s economy had contracted by 5.4 percent. Under the impact of the European Union’s embargo Iran’s oil exports had fallen to a meager 1 million barrels per day, down from 2.5 million as recently as 20 112. The inflation of Iranian Rial, reduction of oil export and shortcut of foreign currency has created hard social-economic situation in Iran. So sanctions are working and it was the main reason that in November 2013 Iran agreed on Joint Plan of Action (Interim agreement), which put limits on Tehran’s nuclear program. In return, the EU3+3 will provide sanctions relief that the Washington values $ 7bn. Iran agreed to change its nuclear policy which will give an opportunity to suspend heavy sanctions on Iranian economy and will save Iranian political system from the final collapse. Many times I have traveled to Iran for studying and field work. I can definitely tell that till 2010 Iran was the country where the government confronted Western powers, but Iranian people liked European values, USA and «the American dream». This situation changed, when through the U.S. great efforts UN SC, EU adopted heavy sanctions against Iranian economy. After this sanctions hyperinflation, the currency crash, product shortages hit and harmed ordinary Iranians life. The Iranian government was able to make a propaganda case that all Iranians' difficulties were coming from the West. Thus, in 2012 when I was in Iran, people’s attitude towards EU and USA
1 Rory Miller, & quot-The European Union'-s Counterproductive Iran Sanctions. "-Foreign Affairs, 23 February 2012. http: //www. foreignaffairs. com/articles/137 298/rory-miller/the-european-unions-counterproductive-iran-sanctions (accessed on 27 July 2014)
2 Robert Litwak, Iran'-s Nuclear Chess: Calculating America'-s Moves, op. cit, p. 44
«21st CENTURY», № 1 (17), 2015
M. Sahakyan
has totally changed. Ordinary people like to mention that after this sanctions government or ruling elite are still living very well and only the Iranian people suffer under the sanctions imposed by the West.
Joint Plan of Action: When will be the Solution?
After some long multilateral negotiations on November 24, 2013 Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif and Catherine Ashtone (EU3+3), signed the proposal known as the Joint Plan of Action.
What has Iran voluntarily committed to undertake as a first step?
As a first step, Iran commits to undertake measures in the following areas to address the international community'-s most pressing concerns regarding Iran'-s nuclear activities:
• Suspend enrichment above 5% everywhere in Iran
• Freeze its enrichment capacity (i.e. no installation of new centrifuges, no new centrifuges with natural uranium, production of centrifuges only for replacement of damaged machines)
• Reduce significantly its stockpile of enriched uranium (all the 20% enriched uranium stockpile needs to be converted or diluted- all newly enriched below 5% uranium will be converted to uranium oxide).
• Make no further advances in the development of the Heavy Water Reactor at Arak (no commissioning of the reactor, no installation of further components, no production and testing of fuel, no transfer of heavy water to the reactor).
• No reprocessing or construction of a facility capable of reprocessing.
• Allow enhanced monitoring and verification measures which go beyond the current level of cooperation with the IAEA (provision of information about their nuclear facilities to the IAEA, more access for IAEA inspectors to key nuclear sites).
What have the P5+1 voluntarily committed to undertake as a first step?
In response, the P5+1 will undertake the voluntary measures as specified in the Joint Plan of Action. This includes measures at the level of the EU and the US, as well as the commitment not to pursue new nuclear-related UN SC sanctions. In this context, the European Union will undertake the following measures:
M. Sahakyan
& lt-21st CENTURY", № 1 (17), 2015
• Not pursue new nuclear-related EU sanctions. This commitment will be without prejudice to the full implementation of the restrictive measures which will remain in force.
• Suspend certain nuclear-related sanctions (petrochemicals and gold and precious metals). The EU will suspend the prohibition on the import, purchase or transport of Iranian petrochemical products. The suspension will also cover the provision of all related services such as financing, financial assistance, insurance and reinsurance, including for third States. The EU will suspend the prohibition on trade in gold and precious metals with the government of Iran, its public bodies and the Central Bank of Iran, or persons and entities acting on their behalf. The suspension will also cover related services such as transportation. The items concerned are listed in the EU legislation.
• Facilitate financial transfers for non-sanctioned trade, including for humanitarian purposes, such as food and medicines
EU will increase tenfold all the EU authorization thresholds with a view to allowing more financial transfers to and from Iran to be processed without authorization requirements and therefore facilitating non-sanctioned transactions.
• Oil sanctions
The EU will suspend the prohibition on the provision of insurance and transport in relation to Iranian crude oil «E3/EU +3 nuclear negotiations with Iran1. However on July 2014, after the negotiation process Iran and EU3+3 announced that there were still significant gaps on some core issues which would require more time and effort. The negotiating parties mentioned that they will extend the implementation of measures of the Joint Plan of Action until 24 November 2014
Alea iacta est & quot-The die is cast& quot-)
It can be summarized that from the very beginning of the escalation of the Iranian nuclear issue the EU tried to exclude military solution and initiated direct negotiations with Iranian counterpart. Three European superpowers France, Germany and
1 Terms of the agreement on a Joint Plan of Action, including measures to be undertaken by the European Union», European Union External Action System,
http: //eeas. europa. eu/statements/docs/2013/131 21902_en. pdf (accessed on 1 August 2014)
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UK started these negotiations in 2003 and in 2006 China, Russia and USA also joined the «nuclear diplomacy».
After the long confrontations it seems that the EU3+3 and Iran are ready to find the final solution for Iranian nuclear issue. The Joint plan of Action underlined the ways which are necessary to achieve final modus vivendi. This road map for peace gave another chance to find solution without military actions, which still exist in the speeches of Israeli government and in the statements of some US hawks. Now it seems that after the long lasting and heavy sanctions Ayatollah Khamenei and other Iranian decision makers decided to curb their nuclear ambitions. It can be argued that they agreed to make some concessions in 2013 when Ayatollah Khamenei let Rouhani to run for presidency, who was advocating that Iranian economy could be saved from final destruction if Iran agreed with the EU3+3 demands and in result achieved suspension on certain nuclear-related sanctions. Rouhani and his political team understand that if they do not eliminate sanctions on Iranian economy and if they do not stop destruction of their economy, it will threaten and put under the question the survival of modern Iranian political system. This kind of changes in Iranian leadership and nuclear policy must be used by the EU3+3, if they really want to solve Iranian nuclear issue peacefully. As Iranian political group of hardliners is still strong in Iran and they are against the negotiated limitations on Iran’s nuclear capabilities at an acceptable political price.
As ex-foreign minister of Russian Federation Igor Ivanov mentioned, «The question remains: is there any guarantee that the current leaders in Tehran will not give way to another, more conservative and anti-Western grouping? The answer, of course, is no. But a failure of the Iranian government must also be seen as a failure of its negotiating partners — a failure of those Western political powers who, knowingly or otherwise, play into the hands of the conservative critics of President Rou-hani. If Rouhani fails, then we all fail. This would set the P5+1 negotiations back significantly, greatly impede the settlement of the Syrian conflict, affect Arab-Israeli relations, create additional risks in Iraq, etc. Those politicians who are calling for a resumption of the „hard-line“ stance of the West toward Tehran might be better served by considering the costs of such an approach1. So due to the Joint Plan of
1 Игорь Иванов, Возвращение Ирана, 16 July 2014, The Russian International Affairs Council, http: //russiancouncil. ru/inner/?id4=4068#top
M. Sahakyan
& lt-21st CENTURY», № 1 (17), 2015
Action Iran is ready to suspend enrichment above 5%, freeze its enrichment capacity, make no further advances in the development of the Heavy Water Reactor at Arak in exchange for the EU suspension of sanctions on petrochemicals and gold and precious metals and on some financial transactions and assistance. Some sanctions on Iranian political, military, economic sectors still will remain untill the final Comprehensive agreement on Iranian nuclear program is signed by the EU3+3 and Iran. I would like to describe the EU policy on Iranian nuclear issue on the following way. The EU put diplomacy on the first place excluding war. The EU chose dual -track approach: on one hand it continues to use diplomacy as the main tool for the solution of the problem, on the other hand EU imposes sanctions for returning Tehran to negotiations' table. The most powerful shock for Iranian economy was EU embargo on Iranian energy sources. The sanctions imposed by EU, USA, UN SC and another states on Iranian financial and economic sectors actually left out Iran from international economic and financial systems, for this reason Iranian government agreed to make some compromises and concessions on its nuclear program. This example prompts once again that it is very hard to confront with the countries which are creators and designers of the Western-dominated international financial and economic order. I think that «West-Russia confrontation» can give another reason to the EU to solve Iranian problem, because EU is interested to find energy sources to substitute the Russian oil and gas. The second reason which can give added impetus to solve Iranian nuclear issue is the chaos in Iraq. Iraq exports its 20% of crude oil to Europe. So, solution of Iranian nuclear issue is good for EU and for Iran. It will give opportunity to EU to strengthen its energy security and it will give Iran a chance to revive its weakened economy.
Avgust 2014
References and Literature
1. Jjjk? jlj.1 Cijljj ^ ilj^
2. Francesco Giumelli and Paul Ivan, «The Effectiveness of EU sanctions: An Analysis of Iran, Belarus, Syria and Myanmar (Burma)», European Policy Centre, Issue Paper No. 76, November 2013.
3. Cornelius Adebahr, «EU-Iran Relations: A strategic Assessment», Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 23 June 2014.
4. Rory Miller, & quot-The European Union'-s Counterproductive Iran Sanctions. "-Foreign Affairs, 23 February 2012.
«21st CENTURY», № 1 (17), 2015
M. Sahakyan
5. EU Arms Embargo on Iran, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, 22 November 2012.
6 «E3/EU +3 nuclear negotiations with Iran: Terms of the agreement on a Joint Plan of Action, including measures to be undertaken by the European Union».
7. Cornelius Adebahr, «Easing EU Sanctions on Iran», Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 16 June 2014.
8. Kelsey Devenport, History of Official Proposals on the Iranian Nuclear Issue, Arms Control Association, Janu. ary 2014.
9. Statement by the Iranian Government and Visiting EU Foreign ministers, IAEA and Iran, 21 October 2003.
10. Reported by IAEA Director General, Implementation of the NPT safeguards agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran, 6 June 2003.
11. Reported by IAEA Director General, Implementation of the NPT safeguards agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran, 10 November 2003.
12. Statement by the Iranian Government and Visiting EU Foreign ministers, IAEA and Iran, 21 October 2003.
13. John Bolton, Surrender Is Not An Option- Defending America At The United Nations And Abroad., New York, Threshold Edition, July 2008.
14. Joel Wuthnow, Beyond the Veto: Chinese Diplomacy in the United Nations Security Council, Columbia University 2011.
15. Gideon Rose (ed.), Iran and Bomb 2: A New Hope, Council on Foreign Relations, 3 February 2014.
16. Robert Litwak, Iran'-s Nuclear Chess: Calculating America'-s Moves, Wilson Center, Middle East Program, July 2014.
17. Mohammad Javad Zarif What Iran really wants, Foreign Affairs, Vol. 93 No. 3, May/June 2014.
18. Iran Non Proliferation Act of 2000, U. S Department of State, 14 March 2000.
19. «Middle East, Iran», Security Council Report, Monthly Forecast, November 2006.
20. Implementation of The NPT Safeguards Agreements in the Islamic Republic of Iran, 4 February 2006.
21. Resolution 1696 (2006), UN SC, 31 July 2006.
22. Resolution 1737 (2006), UN SC, 23 December 2006.
23. Resolution 1747 (2007), UN SC, 24 March 2007.
24. Resolution 1803 (2008), UN SC, 3 March 2008.
25. Resolution 1835 (2008) UN SC, 27 September 2008.
26. IAEA Information Circular INFCIRC/730,1 July 2008.
27. Resolution 1929 (2010), UN SC, 9 June, 2010.
28. Игорь Иванов, Возвращение Ирана, Российский совет по международным делам, 16 July 2014.
29. Берг И С, Оценка Роли Германии и России в Иранской Ядерной Программе, Институт Ближнего Востока, 27 July 2009.

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