IAEA close weapons probe of Iran, US Congress calls for additional sanctions

UN closes over decade investigation; US Congress calls for additional sanctions as Iran violated UN Security Council resolutions with ballistic missile test

World powers and Iran in nuclear talks in Geneva (Reuters)

World powers and Iran in nuclear talks in Geneva (Reuters)

The United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency has closed its over decade investigation on whether Iran had secret nuclear weapons until 2003. The Agency voted to close the investigation on the same day of the ‘implementation day” in which majority of sanctions on the Islamic Republic were to be lifted despite a report from the International Atomic Energy Agency that Iran did in fact have a nuclear weapons program for years leading up to 2003.

However the United States Congress has called for additional sanctions on Iran due to its violation of UN Security Council resolutions when Iran tested a ballistic missile near Chabahar on the border with Pakistan on October 10th, violating two United Nations Security Council resolutions.

The Obama Administration was reportedly set to honor the “implementation day” Tuesday, Congress intervening and calling for additional sanctions. Additionally the Security Council’s Panel of Experts on Iran released a report last week that the missile launch in fact met requirements for launching a nuclear weapon and further more that missile launches in 2012 and 2013 violated United Nation resolutions banning the testing of ballistic missiles.

The Panel released the statement “On the basis of its analysis and findings the Panel concludes that Emad launch is a violation by Iran of paragraph 9 of Security Council resolution 1929… The Panel assesses that the launch of the Emad has a range of not less than 1,000 km with a payload of at least 1,000 kg using ballistic missile technology.”

While the launches reportedly did not violate the July nuclear deal made between Iran and world powers, the missile testing violates UN Security Council sanctions, specifically Resolution 1929 implemented in 2010 which prohibits ballistic missile testing.

Russia, which has already completed its arms deal with Iran for S-300 missile systems, stated last week that it expects sanctions to be removed by January of 2016. Russia has already begun transferring the missile system to Iran.

Additionally, Russian President Vladimir Putin met with the head of the Quds Force of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, General Qassem Soleimani, last week in Moscow. According to the Iranian media “General Soleimani held a meeting with President Putin and high-ranking Russian military and security officials during a three-day visit last week… They discussed the latest developments in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Lebanon.”

This is Soleimani’s second illegal visit to Moscow, his last visit in July. Soleimani is banned from traveling outside of Iran as per restriction set by United Nations Security Council resolution. Soleimani additionally met with Putin during the Russian President’s visit to Tehran last month.