The United States found nearly no support in its efforts to sanction Iran.
Iran, IAEA Reach Agreement
Attempting to unilaterally snapback sanctions would be a dangerous escalation in the Trump administration’s already irresponsible policy toward Iran that could have serious ramifications for the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and the future of the Security Council.
The UN Security Council rejected a U.S. resolution to extend the UN arms embargo on Iran. Iran demonstrated its new missile capability and Elliot Abrams as named the U.S. Special Envoy for Iran, replacing Brian Hook.
Iran’s recent steps to breach the limits imposed on its nuclear program under the JCPOA have rekindled the debate about how quickly its nuclear program could “breakout,” or produce enough nuclear material for a bomb.
An explosion at Iran’s Natanz enrichment facility appears to have impacted the country’s nuclear program, but the IAEA said its safeguards activities at that site were unimpeded. The U.S. continues its push to extend the arms embargo on Iran at the UN Security Council, and Iran’s parliament has approved a plan to halt implementation of the additional protocol to the country’s safeguards agreement with the IAEA.
The IAEA Board of Governors approved a resolution calling on Iran to provide more information about its past nuclear activities.
Tehran has enriched and stored more reactor-grade uranium while allowing the IAEA to monitor its nuclear activities.
Though concerning, possible violations of arms-related provisions of Resolution 2231 by Iran are not grounds for the unilateral U.S. actions to prevent the embargo’s expiration.
The IAEA Board of Governors passed a resolution calling on Iran to cooperate fully with the Agency, including on the Agency's investigation into inconsistencies related to Iran’s pre-2003 nuclear activities. An IAEA report revealed that Iran’s low-enriched uranium stockpile continues to grow, and the Trump administration terminated additional non-proliferation sanctions waivers.
The June 5 IAEA report provides additional detail about the agency's investigation into possible undeclared nuclear materials and activities tied to Iran's past nuclear weapons development efforts and noted that Tehran has yet to comply with the agency’s requests for information and access.
The IAEA's latest report assessing Iran’s compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal noted that Tehran’s stockpile of low enriched uranium continues to increase beyond limits set by the accord.
The United States may try to claim participation in the 2015 Iran nuclear deal to ensure the continuation of a UN embargo against Tehran.
The Trump administration is considering a range of options to prevent the October 2020 expiration of a UN embargo that restricts arms sales to and from Iran, including by making a legal case that the United States remains a participant of the JCPOA. The United States is continuing its maximum pressure campaign against Iran throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite facing economic hardship, Iran unveiled a new military-led space program and launched a new satellite in April.
Kelsey Davenport, director for nonproliferation policy, discusses the aftermath of the Trump administration withdrawing the United States from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the 2015 multilateral agreement that placed limits on Iran's nuclear program. (May 13, 2020)