Iran confirmed this Wednesday that UN sanctions on Iran’s missile-related activities were officially lifted by the organizations Security Council.
This Wednesday, and as provisioned in the text of UN Security Council resolution 2231 related to Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with the world powers, the Council announced the official termination of the UN sanctions on Iran’s missile program.
According to the context of the 2231 resolution, which was issued following the conclusion of Iran’s nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Iran’s missile related sanctions “shall terminate 8 years after the adoption of this resolution.”
Confirming the UN Security Council’s announcement the same day, Iran said that the “unconditional” end of the restrictions imposed by the Security Council on its missile-related activities.
In a statement published on its website, the Iranian Foreign Ministry said that “today, the last part of the anti-Iran restrictions, including assets freeze and financial restrictions on certain Iranian individuals and entities, imposed for years by the UNSC in the areas related to missile activities and exchange of relevant services and technologies, were terminated unconditionally.”
The statement warned that any action from the West with the aim of imposing sanctions or restrictions on Iran’s defense interactions and cooperation is now in contradiction with the termination of the restrictions under UNSC Resolution 2231. The statement also stressed Iran’s right to implement the necessary measures to safeguard its national interests following the sanctions’ termination.
Back in July 2015, Iran inked a nuclear deal, formally known as JCPOA, with world powers, agreeing to put some curbs on its nuclear program in return for the removal of sanctions on the country. The US, however, pulled out of the deal in May 2018 and re-imposed its unilateral sanctions on Tehran, prompting the Islamic Republic to drop some of its nuclear commitments under the deal.
US and EU oppose to UN Security Council resolution
While UN Security Council resolution are mandatory for all UN members to abide by, the EU and US clearly opposed the UNSC announcement, with the former maintaining similar sanctions on Iran and the latter even imposing new ones.
In a statement published on its website on Tuesday, the European Council said it “decided to take the necessary steps to maintain the restrictive measures under the EU non-proliferation regime on Iran.”
“The Council adopted legal acts to maintain the designations, that had initially been imposed by the United Nations for individuals and entities involved in nuclear or ballistic missiles activities or affiliated to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC),” the statement said. “The council evaluated that there are valid reasons to refrain from lifting these restrictions on Transition Day (Oct. 18, 2023), as originally foreseen under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA),” it added.
Likewise, the US took a series of measures to imply that Iran’s missile program would remain sanctioned even despite the expiration of the UNSC restrictions under its 2231 resolution. Washington even announced on Wednesday a series of new sanctions on a group of people and firms over alleged links to Iran’s ballistic missile and drone programs.
Rebuking the EU Council announcement, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Nasser Kanaani reacted to the Council’s decision and described it as “unilateral, illegal and politically unjustifiable.”