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Report: Iran Continuing to Violate Sanctions

New UN report reveals that Iran is continuing to circumvent the sanctions that have been imposed on it due to its nuclear program.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 5/11/2011, 5:16 AM / Last Update: 5/11/2011, 5:12 AM

According to a new report by the United Nations, Iran is continuing to use front companies, financial transactions and concealed shipping methods to circumvent the sanctions that have been imposed on it.

The report has not yet been made public but its contents were obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press. It says that while the sanctions have made it harder, costlier and riskier for Iran to acquire items needed for its banned nuclear and missile activities, “At the same time, Iran’s circumvention of sanctions across all areas, in particular the use of front companies, concealment methods in shipping, financial transactions and the transfer of conventional arms and related material is willful.”

The panel of experts who composed the report also noted that “Iran maintains its uranium enrichment and heavy water related activities ... and in the area of ballistic missiles, continues to test missiles and engage in prohibited procurement.”

The UN Security Council imposed a fourth round of sanctions against the Islamic Republic last June. They include tougher rules on financial transactions with Iran’s banks, as well as an asset freeze and travel ban on the head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Agency, Javad Rahiqi. 40 firms linked to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and other sections of the military elite also had their assets frozen as part of the sanctions.

The report recommends that the council impose additional sanctions on two individuals and two trading companies involved in Iran’s illegal shipment of conventional weapons. The report also noted that most of Iran’s violations of the conventional arms ban involve Syria.

Security Council diplomats were quoted by AP as saying that the report could be made public as early as Thursday.

The UN report comes after Iran announced on Monday that its Bushehr nuclear power plant is up and running after months of delays and malfunctions.

Reports said that Iranian and Russian scientists had finished loading fuel into the reactor and that “nuclear fuel consumption has started in the power plant, meaning that it is now running actively.”

Iran’s state-run FNA news agency reported that the facility operates “under the full supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).