Annotated Text of UN Security Council Resolution imposing phased sanctions on Iran

From an official UN Press Release –  SECURITY COUNCIL IMPOSES SANCTIONS ON IRAN FOR FAILURE TO HALT URANIUM ENRICHMENT, UNANIMOUSLY ADOPTING RESOLUTION 1737 (2006): Measures Will Be Lifted if Iran Suspends Suspect Activities; Report Due from Atomic Energy Agency on Compliance within 60 Days

… The meeting began at 11:25 a.m. and adjourned at 12:41 p.m. [unusually expeditious — even for a Saturday morning, and the day before Christmas eve]

The Security Council met today to act on a draft resolution sponsored by France, Germany and the United Kingdom, which reads as follows:

“The Security Council,

“Recalling the Statement of its President, S/PRST/2006/15, of 29 March 2006, and its resolution 1696 (2006) of 31 July 2006,

“Reaffirming its commitment to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and recalling the right of States Party, in conformity with Articles I and II of that Treaty, to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination,

“Reiterating its serious concern over the many reports of the IAEA Director General and resolutions of the IAEA Board of Governors related to Iran’s nuclear programme, reported to it by the IAEA Director General, including IAEA Board resolution GOV/2006/14,

“Reiterating its serious concern that the IAEA Director General’s report of 27 February 2006 (GOV/2006/15) lists a number of outstanding issues and concerns on Iran’s nuclear programme, including topics which could have a military nuclear dimension, and that the IAEA is unable to conclude that there are no undeclared nuclear materials or activities in Iran,

“Reiterating its serious concern over the IAEA Director General’s report of 28 April 2006 (GOV/2006/27) and its findings, including that, after more than three years of Agency efforts to seek clarity about all aspects of Iran’s nuclear programme, the existing gaps in knowledge continue to be a matter of concern, and that the IAEA is unable to make progress in its efforts to provide assurances about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran,

“Noting with serious concern that, as confirmed by the IAEA Director General’s reports of 8 June 2006 (GOV/2006/38), 31 August 2006 (GOV/2006/53) and 14 November 2006 (GOV/2006/64), Iran has not established full and sustained suspension of all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities as set out in resolution 1696 (2006), nor resumed its cooperation with the IAEA under the Additional Protocol, nor taken the other steps required of it by the IAEA Board of Governors, nor complied with the provisions of Security Council resolution 1696 (2006) and which are essential to build confidence, and deploring Iran’s refusal to take these steps,

“Emphasizing the importance of political and diplomatic efforts to find a negotiated solution guaranteeing that Iran’s nuclear programme is exclusively for peaceful purposes, and noting that such a solution would benefit nuclear non-proliferation elsewhere, and welcoming the continuing commitment of China, France, Germany, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States, with the support of the European Union’s High Representative to seek a negotiated solution,

“Determined to give effect to its decisions by adopting appropriate measures to persuade Iran to comply with resolution 1696 (2006) and with the requirements of the IAEA, and also to constrain Iran’s development of sensitive technologies in support of its nuclear and missile programmes, until such time as the Security Council determines that the objectives of this resolution have been met,

“Concerned by the proliferation risks presented by the Iranian nuclear programme and, in this context, by Iran’s continuing failure to meet the requirements of the IAEA Board of Governors and to comply with the provisions of Security Council resolution 1696 (2006), mindful of its primary responsibility under the Charter of the United Nations for the maintenance of international peace and security,

“Acting under Article 41 of Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,

“1.   Affirms that Iran shall without further delay take the steps required by the IAEA Board of Governors in its resolution GOV/2006/14, which are essential to build confidence in the exclusively peaceful purpose of its nuclear programme and to resolve outstanding questions;

“2.   Decides, in this context, that Iran shall without further delay suspend the following proliferation sensitive nuclear activities:

(a)   all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, including research and development, to be verified by the IAEA; and

(b)   work on all heavy water-related projects, including the construction of a research reactor moderated by heavy water, also to be verified by the IAEA;

“3.   Decides that all States shall take the necessary measures to prevent the supply, sale or transfer directly or indirectly from their territories, or by their nationals or using their flag vessels or aircraft to, or for the use in or benefit of, Iran, and whether or not originating in their territories, of all items, materials, equipment, goods and technology which could contribute to Iran’s enrichment-related, reprocessing or heavy water-related activities, or to the development of nuclear weapon delivery systems, namely:

(a)   those set out in sections B.2, B.3, B.4, B.5, B.6 and B.7 of INFCIRC/254/Rev.8/Part 1 in document S/2006/814;

(b)   those set out in sections A.1 and B.1 of INFCIRC/254/Rev.8/Part 1 in document S/2006/814, except the supply, sale or transfer of:

(i)   equipment covered by B.1 when such equipment is for light water reactors;

(ii)  low-enriched uranium covered by A.1.2 when it is incorporated in assembled nuclear fuel elements for such reactors;

(c)   those set out in document S/2006/815, except the supply, sale or transfer of items covered by 19.A.3 of Category II;

(d)   any additional items, materials, equipment, goods and technology, determined as necessary by the Security Council or the Committee established by paragraph 18 below (herein “the Committee”), which could contribute to enrichment-related, or reprocessing, or heavy water-related activities, or to the development of nuclear weapon delivery systems;

“4.   Decides that all States shall take the necessary measures to prevent the supply, sale or transfer directly or indirectly from their territories, or by their nationals or using their flag vessels or aircraft to, or for the use in or benefit of, Iran, and whether or not originating in their territories, of the following items, materials, equipment, goods and technology:

(a)   those set out in INFCIRC/254/Rev.7/Part2 of document S/2006/814 if the State determines that they would contribute to enrichment-related, reprocessing or heavy water-related activities;

(b)   any other items not listed in documents S/2006/814 or S/2006/815 if the State determines that they would contribute to enrichment-related, reprocessing or heavy water-related activities, or to the development of nuclear weapon delivery systems;

(c)   any further items if the State determines that they would contribute to the pursuit of activities related to other topics about which the IAEA has expressed concerns or identified as outstanding;

“5.   Decides that, for the supply, sale or transfer of all items, materials, equipment, goods and technology covered by documents S/2006/814 and S/2006/815 the export of which to Iran is not prohibited by subparagraphs 3 (b), 3 (c) or 4 (a) above, States shall ensure that:

(a)   the requirements, as appropriate, of the Guidelines as set out in documents S/2006/814 and S/2006/985 have been met; and

(b)   they have obtained and are in a position to exercise effectively a right to verify the end-use and end-use location of any supplied item; and

(c)   they notify the Committee within ten days of the supply, sale or transfer; and

(d)   in the case of items, materials, equipment, goods and technology contained in document S/2006/814, they also notify the IAEA within ten days of the supply, sale or transfer;

“6.   Decides that all States shall also take the necessary measures to prevent the provision to Iran of any technical assistance or training, financial assistance, investment, brokering or other services, and the transfer of financial resources or services, related to the supply, sale, transfer, manufacture or use of the prohibited items, materials, equipment, goods and technology specified in paragraphs 3 and 4 above;

“7.   Decides that Iran shall not export any of the items in documents S/2006/814 and S/2006/815 and that all Member States shall prohibit the procurement of such items from Iran by their nationals, or using their flag vessels or aircraft, and whether or not originating in the territory of Iran;

“8.   Decides that Iran shall provide such access and cooperation as the IAEA requests to be able to verify the suspension outlined in paragraph 2 and to resolve all outstanding issues, as identified in IAEA reports, and calls upon Iran to ratify promptly the Additional Protocol;

“9.   Decides that the measures imposed by paragraphs 3, 4 and 6 above shall not apply where the Committee determines in advance and on a case-by-case basis that such supply, sale, transfer or provision of such items or assistance would clearly not contribute to the development of Iran’s technologies in support of its proliferation sensitive nuclear activities and of development of nuclear weapon delivery systems, including where such items or assistance are for food, agricultural, medical or other humanitarian purposes, provided that:

(a)   contracts for delivery of such items or assistance include appropriate end-user guarantees; and

(b)   Iran has committed not to use such items in proliferation sensitive nuclear activities or for development of nuclear weapon delivery systems;

“10.  Calls upon all States to exercise vigilance regarding the entry into or transit through their territories of individuals who are engaged in, directly associated with or providing support for Iran’s proliferation sensitive nuclear activities or for the development of nuclear weapon delivery systems, and decides in this regard that all States shall notify the Committee of the entry into or transit through their territories of the persons designated in the Annex to this resolution (herein “the Annex”), as well as of additional persons designated by the Security Council or the Committee as being engaged in, directly associated with or providing support for Iran’s proliferation sensitive nuclear activities and for the development of nuclear weapon delivery systems, including through the involvement in procurement of the prohibited items, goods, equipment, materials and technology specified by and under the measures in paragraphs 3 and 4 above, except where such travel is for activities directly related to the items in subparagraphs 3 (b) (i) and (ii) above;

“11.  Underlines that nothing in the above paragraph requires a State to refuse its own nationals entry into its territory, and that all States shall, in the implementation of the above paragraph, take into account humanitarian considerations as well as the necessity to meet the objectives of this resolution, including where Article XV of the IAEA Statute is engaged;

“12.  Decides that all States shall freeze the funds, other financial assets and economic resources which are on their territories at the date of adoption of this resolution or at any time thereafter, that are owned or controlled by the persons or entities designated in the Annex, as well as those of additional persons or entities designated by the Security Council or by the Committee as being engaged in, directly associated with or providing support for Iran’s proliferation sensitive nuclear activities or the development of nuclear weapon delivery systems, or by persons or entities acting on their behalf or at their direction, or by entities owned or controlled by them, including through illicit means, and that the measures in this paragraph shall cease to apply in respect of such persons or entities if, and at such time as, the Security Council or the Committee removes them from the Annex, and decides further that all States shall ensure that any funds, financial assets or economic resources are prevented from being made available by their nationals or by any persons or entities within their territories, to or for the benefit of these persons and entities;

“13.  Decides that the measures imposed by paragraph 12 above do not apply to funds, other financial assets or economic resources that have been determined by relevant States:

(a)   to be necessary for basic expenses, including payment for foodstuffs, rent or mortgage, medicines and medical treatment, taxes, insurance premiums, and public utility charges or exclusively for payment of reasonable professional fees and reimbursement of incurred expenses associated with the provision of legal services, or fees or service charges, in accordance with national laws, for routine holding or maintenance of frozen funds, other financial assets and economic resources, after notification by the relevant States to the Committee of the intention to authorize, where appropriate, access to such funds, other financial assets or economic resources and in the absence of a negative decision by the Committee within five working days of such notification;

(b)   to be necessary for extraordinary expenses, provided that such determination has been notified by the relevant States to the Committee and has been approved by the Committee;

(c)   to be the subject of a judicial, administrative or arbitral lien or judgement, in which case the funds, other financial assets and economic resources may be used to satisfy that lien or judgement provided that the lien or judgement was entered into prior to the date of the present resolution, is not for the benefit of a person or entity designated pursuant to paragraphs 10 and 12 above, and has been notified by the relevant States to the Committee;

(d)   to be necessary for activities directly related to the items specified in subparagraphs 3 (b) (i) and (ii) and have been notified by the relevant States to the Committee;

“14.  Decides that States may permit the addition to the accounts frozen pursuant to the provisions of paragraph 12 above of interests or other earnings due on those accounts or payments due under contracts, agreements or obligations that arose prior to the date on which those accounts became subject to the provisions of this resolution, provided that any such interest, other earnings and payments continue to be subject to these provisions and are frozen;

“15.  Decides that the measures in paragraph 12 above shall not prevent a designated person or entity from making payment due under a contract entered into prior to the listing of such a person or entity, provided that the relevant States have determined that:

(a)   the contract is not related to any of the prohibited items, materials, equipment, goods, technologies, assistance, training, financial assistance, investment, brokering or services referred to in paragraphs 3, 4 and 6 above;

(b)   the payment is not directly or indirectly received by a person or entity designated pursuant to paragraph 12 above;

and after notification by the relevant States to the Committee of the intention to make or receive such payments or to authorize, where appropriate, the unfreezing of funds, other financial assets or economic resources for this purpose, 10 working days prior to such authorization;

“16.  Decides that technical cooperation provided to Iran by the IAEA or under its auspices shall only be for food, agricultural, medical, safety or other humanitarian purposes, or where it is necessary for projects directly related to the items specified in subparagraphs 3 (b) (i) and (ii) above, but that no such technical cooperation shall be provided that relates to the proliferation sensitive nuclear activities set out in paragraph 2 above;

“17.  Calls upon all States to exercise vigilance and prevent specialized teaching or training of Iranian nationals, within their territories or by their nationals, of disciplines which would contribute to Iran’s proliferation sensitive nuclear activities and development of nuclear weapon delivery systems;

“18.  Decides to establish, in accordance with rule 28 of its provisional rules of procedure, a Committee of the Security Council consisting of all the members of the Council, to undertake the following tasks:

(a)   to seek from all States, in particular those in the region and those producing the items, materials, equipment, goods and technology referred to in paragraphs 3 and 4 above, information regarding the actions taken by them to implement effectively the measures imposed by paragraphs 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10 and 12 of this resolution and whatever further information it may consider useful in this regard;

(b)   to seek from the secretariat of the IAEA information regarding the actions taken by the IAEA to implement effectively the measures imposed by paragraph 17 of this resolution and whatever further information it may consider useful in this regard;

(c)   to examine and take appropriate action on information regarding alleged violations of measures imposed by paragraphs 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10 and 12 of this resolution;

(d)   to consider and decide upon requests for exemptions set out in paragraphs 9, 13 and 15 above;

(e)   to determine as may be necessary additional items, materials, equipment, goods and technology to be specified for the purpose of paragraph 3 above;

(f)   to designate as may be necessary additional individuals and entities subject to the measures imposed by paragraphs 10 and 12 above;

(g)   to promulgate guidelines as may be necessary to facilitate the implementation of the measures imposed by this resolution and include in such guidelines a requirement on States to provide information where possible as to why any individuals and/or entities meet the criteria set out in paragraphs 10 and 12 and any relevant identifying information;

(h)   to report at least every 90 days to the Security Council on its work and on the implementation of this resolution, with its observations and recommendations, in particular on ways to strengthen the effectiveness of the measures imposed by paragraphs 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10 and 12 above;

“19.  Decides that all States shall report to the Committee within 60 days of the adoption of this resolution on the steps they have taken with a view to implementing effectively paragraphs 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 12 and 17 above;

“20.  Expresses the conviction that the suspension set out in paragraph 2 above as well as full, verified Iranian compliance with the requirements set out by the IAEA Board of Governors, would contribute to a diplomatic, negotiated solution that guarantees Iran’s nuclear programme is for exclusively peaceful purposes, underlines the willingness of the international community to work positively for such a solution, encourages Iran, in conforming to the above provisions, to re-engage with the international community and with the IAEA, and stresses that such engagement will be beneficial to Iran;

“21.  Welcomes the commitment of China, France, Germany, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States, with the support of the European Union’s High Representative, to a negotiated solution to this issue and encourages Iran to engage with their June 2006 proposals (S/2006/521), which were endorsed by the Security Council in resolution 1696 (2006), for a long-term comprehensive agreement which would allow for the development of relations and cooperation with Iran based on mutual respect and the establishment of international confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme;

“22.  Reiterates its determination to reinforce the authority of the IAEA, strongly supports the role of the IAEA Board of Governors, commends and encourages the Director General of the IAEA and its secretariat for their ongoing professional and impartial efforts to resolve all remaining outstanding issues in Iran within the framework of the IAEA, underlines the necessity of the IAEA continuing its work to clarify all outstanding issues relating to Iran’s nuclear programme;

“23.  Requests within 60 days a report from the Director General of the IAEA on whether Iran has established full and sustained suspension of all activities mentioned in this resolution, as well as on the process of Iranian compliance with all the steps required by the IAEA Board and with the other provisions of this resolution, to the IAEA Board of Governors and in parallel to the Security Council for its consideration;

“24.  Affirms that it shall review Iran’s actions in the light of the report referred to in paragraph 23 above, to be submitted within 60 days, and:

(a)   that it shall suspend the implementation of measures if and for so long as Iran suspends all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, including research and development, as verified by the IAEA, to allow for negotiations;

(b)   that it shall terminate the measures specified in paragraphs 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10 and 12 of this resolution as soon as it determines that Iran has fully complied with its obligations under the relevant resolutions of the Security Council and met the requirements of the IAEA Board of Governors, as confirmed by the IAEA Board;

(c)   that it shall, in the event that the report in paragraph 23 above shows that Iran has not complied with this resolution, adopt further appropriate measures under Article 41 of Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations to persuade Iran to comply with this resolution and the requirements of the IAEA, and underlines that further decisions will be required should such additional measures be necessary;

“25.  Decides to remain seized of the matter.”

Resolution Annex [Information gleaned after an internet search by a junior official of the U.S. State Department — see Washington Post article of 11 December by Dafna Linzer, mentioned in a post below]

A. Entities involved in the nuclear programme

1.    Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran
2.    Mesbah Energy Company (provider for A40 research reactor — Arak)
3.    Kala-Electric (aka Kalaye Electric) (provider for PFEP — Natanz)
4.    Pars Trash Company (involved in centrifuge programme, identified in IAEA reports)
5.    Farayand Technique (involved in centrifuge programme, identified in IAEA reports)
6.    Defence Industries Organisation (overarching MODAFL-controlled entity, some of whose subordinates have been involved in the centrifuge programme making components, and in the missile programme)
7.    7th of Tir (subordinate of DIO, widely recognized as being directly involved in the nuclear programme)
B.    Entities involved in the ballistic missile programme

1.    Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group (SHIG) (subordinate entity of AIO)
2.    Shahid Bagheri Industrial Group (SBIG) (subordinate entity of AIO)
3.    Fajr Industrial Group (formerly Instrumentation Factory Plant, subordinate entity of AIO)
C.    Persons involved in the nuclear programme

1.    Mohammad Qannadi, AEOI Vice President for Research & Development
2.    Behman Asgarpour, Operational Manager ( Arak)
3.    Dawood Agha-Jani, Head of the PFEP (Natanz)
4.    Ehsan Monajemi, Construction Project Manager, Natanz
5.    Jafar Mohammadi, Technical Adviser to the AEOI (in charge of managing the production of valves for centrifuges)
6.    Ali Hajinia Leilabadi, Director General of Mesbah Energy Company
7.    Lt Gen Mohammad Mehdi Nejad Nouri, Rector of Malek Ashtar University of Defence Technology (chemistry dept, affiliated to MODALF, has conducted experiments on beryllium)
D.    Persons involved in the ballistic missile programme

1.    Gen Hosein Salimi, Commander of the Air Force, IRGC (Pasdaran)
2.    Ahmad Vahid Dastjerdi, Head of the AIO
3.    Reza-Gholi Esmaeli, Head of Trade & International Affairs Dept, AIO
4.    Bahmanyar Morteza Bahmanyar, Head of Finance & Budget Dept, AIO

E.    Persons involved in both the nuclear and ballistic missile programmes

1.    Maj Gen Yahya Rahim Safavi, Commander, IRGC (Pasdaran) [reference found in anonymously-authored Asia Times article of 25 April 2006:  “Last week, speaking on the sidelines of a Palestinian solidarity conference, Major-General Yehyia Rahim Safavi, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commander, sent a warning to the US and British intelligence services he accuses of using Iraq and Kuwait to infiltrate Iran. ‘I tell them that their agents can be our agents too, and they should not waste their money so casually’.”]

Juan Cole predicts covert activities in Iran — actually, they’re already been going on, several sources report

Posted today on Juan Cole’s Informed Comment blog: “Iran will defy the United Nations Security Council and press ahead with its uranium enrichment program. The UNSC demanded that Iran clear up the unresolved question of whether it has a military nuclear weapons program in addition to its announced and fairly transparent civilian energy research program. The International Atomic Energy Agency has been unable to prove a weapons program but has been unable to rule one out, either. Iran is now threatening to withdraw from the IAEA. Iran does not yet have the capability to enrich uranium to the grade necessary to run nuclear energy plants. It would take many times that level of enrichment to make a bomb. The US National Intelligence Estimate is that Iran is 10 years away from that capacity even if it is trying hard and assuming the international atmosphere was permissive. The UNSC resolution is aimed at denying Iran the equipment necessary for a weapons program, assuming it has one.  The Bush administration, now hobbled in pressing for any further formal wars by a Democratic Congress, may take a leaf from Reagan’s playbook and engage in illegal, covert activities in Iran aimed at overthrowing the theocratic government.”  posted by Juan @ 12/25/2006 06:33:00 AM

Seymour Hersh has been reporting on this in several high-profile stories in The New Yorker, which the Bush Administration has tried to dismiss as speculative and inaccuratee:

What the Pentagon can now do in secret.
Issue of 2005-01-24 and 31
Posted 2005-01-17

“The President has signed a series of findings and executive orders authorizing secret commando groups and other Special Forces units to conduct covert operations against suspected terrorist targets in as many as ten nations in the Middle East and South Asia……The Administration has been conducting secret reconnaissance missions inside Iran at least since last summer. Much of the focus is on the accumulation of intelligence and targeting information on Iranian nuclear, chemical, and missile sites, both declared and suspected. The goal is to identify and isolate three dozen, and perhaps more, such targets that could be destroyed by precision strikes and short-term commando raids.  Some of the missions involve extraordinary coöperation. For example, the former high-level intelligence official told me that an American commando task force has been set up in South Asia and is now working closely with a group of Pakistani scientists and technicians who had dealt with Iranian counterparts. (In 2003, the I.A.E.A. disclosed that Iran had been secretly receiving nuclear technology from Pakistan for more than a decade, and had withheld that information from inspectors.) The American task force, aided by the information from Pakistan, has been penetrating eastern Iran from Afghanistan in a hunt for underground installations. The task-force members, or their locally recruited agents, secreted remote detection devices—known as sniffers—capable of sampling the atmosphere for radioactive emissions and other evidence of nuclear-enrichment programs.  The official added that the government of Pervez Musharraf, the Pakistani President, has won a high price for its cooperation—American assurance that Pakistan will not have to hand over A. Q. Khan, known as the father of Pakistan’s nuclear bomb, to the I.A.E.A. or to any other international authorities for questioning. For two decades, Khan has been linked to a vast consortium of nuclear-black-market activities. Last year, Musharraf professed to be shocked when Khan, in the face of overwhelming evidence, ‘confessed’ to his activities. A few days later, Musharraf pardoned him, and so far he has refused to allow the I.A.E.A. or American intelligence to interview him. Khan is now said to be living under house arrest in a villa in Islamabad.  ‘It’s a deal—a trade-off,’ the former high-level intelligence official explained.  ‘Tell us what you know about Iran and we will let your A. Q. Khan guys go.’..”  There has also been close, and largely unacknowledged, cooperation with Israel. The government consultant with ties to the Pentagon said that the Defense Department civilians, under the leadership of Douglas Feith, have been working with Israeli planners and consultants to develop and refine potential nuclear, chemical-weapons, and missile targets inside Iran. (After Osirak, Iran situated many of its nuclear sites in remote areas of the east, in an attempt to keep them out of striking range of other countries, especially Israel. Distance no longer lends such protection, however: Israel has acquired three submarines capable of launching cruise missiles and has equipped some of its aircraft with additional fuel tanks, putting Israeli F-16I fighters within the range of most Iranian targets.)

(2) PLAN B
As June 30th approaches, Israel looks to the Kurds.
Issue of 2004-06-28
Posted 2004-06-21

…”In a series of interviews in Europe, the Middle East, and the United States, officials told me that by the end of last year Israel had concluded that the Bush Administration would not be able to bring stability or democracy to Iraq, and that Israel needed other options. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s government decided, I was told, to minimize the damage that the war was causing to Israel’s strategic position by expanding its long-standing relationship with Iraq’s Kurds and establishing a significant presence on the ground in the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan. Several officials depicted Sharon’s decision, which involves a heavy financial commitment, as a potentially reckless move that could create even more chaos and violence as the insurgency in Iraq continues to grow.  Israeli intelligence and military operatives are now quietly at work in Kurdistan, providing training for Kurdish commando units and, most important in Israel’s view, running covert operations inside Kurdish areas of Iran and Syria. Israel feels particularly threatened by Iran, whose position in the region has been strengthened by the war. The Israeli operatives include members of the Mossad, Israel’s clandestine foreign-intelligence service, who work undercover in Kurdistan as businessmen and, in some cases, do not carry Israeli passports.  Asked to comment, Mark Regev, the spokesman for the Israeli Embassy in Washington, said, “The story is simply untrue and the relevant governments know it’s untrue.”  Kurdish officials declined to comment, as did a spokesman for the State Department.  However, a senior C.I.A. official acknowledged in an interview last week that the Israelis were indeed operating in Kurdistan. He told me that the Israelis felt that they had little choice: “They think they have to be there.” Asked whether the Israelis had sought approval from Washington, the official laughed and said, “Do you know anybody who can tell the Israelis what to do? They’re always going to do what is in their best interest.” The C.I.A. official added that the Israeli presence was widely known in the American intelligence community.  The Israeli decision to seek a bigger foothold in Kurdistan—characterized by the former Israeli intelligence officer as “Plan B”—has also raised tensions between Israel and Turkey. It has provoked bitter statements from Turkish politicians and, in a major regional shift, a new alliance among Iran, Syria, and Turkey, all of which have significant Kurdish minorities…The former Israeli intelligence officer acknowledged that since late last year Israel has been training Kurdish commando units to operate in the same manner and with the same effectiveness as Israel’s most secretive commando units, the Mistaravim. The initial goal of the Israeli assistance to the Kurds, the former officer said, was to allow them to do what American commando units had been unable to do—penetrate, gather intelligence on, and then kill off the leadership of the Shiite and Sunni insurgencies in Iraq. (I was unable to learn whether any such mission had yet taken place.) ‘The feeling was that this was a more effective way to get at the insurgency,’ the former officer said. ‘But the growing Kurdish-Israeli relationship began upsetting the Turks no end. Their issue is that the very same Kurdish commandos trained for Iraq could infiltrate and attack in Turkey’   The Kurdish-Israeli collaboration inevitably expanded, the Israeli said. Some Israeli operatives have crossed the border into Iran, accompanied by Kurdish commandos, to install sensors and other sensitive devices that primarily target suspected Iranian nuclear facilities. The former officer said, ‘Look, Israel has always supported the Kurds in a Machiavellian way—as balance against Saddam. It’s Realpolitik.’ He added, ‘By aligning with the Kurds, Israel gains eyes and ears in Iran, Iraq, and Syria.’ He went on, ‘What Israel was doing with the Kurds was not so unacceptable in the Bush Administration.’ … Over breakfast in Ankara, a senior Turkish official explained, ‘Before the war, Israel was active in Kurdistan, and now it is active again. This is very dangerous for us, and for them, too. We do not want to see Iraq divided, and we will not ignore it.’ Then, citing a popular Turkish proverb—’We will burn a blanket to kill a flea’—he said, ‘We have told the Kurds, “We are not afraid of you, but you should be afraid of us.” ‘ (A Turkish diplomat I spoke to later was more direct: ‘We tell our Israeli and Kurdish friends that Turkey’s good will lies in keeping Iraq together. We will not support alternative solutions.’) … In Ankara, another senior Turkish official explained that his government had ‘openly shared its worries’ about the Israeli military activities inside Kurdistan with the Israeli Foreign Ministry. ‘They deny the training and the purchase of property and claim it’s not official but done by private persons. Obviously, our intelligence community is aware that it was not so. This policy is not good for America, Iraq, or Israel and the Jews.’

(3) And, Asia Times published an interesting anonymously-written article earlier this year from Tehran, which goes even further —Tehran insider tells of US black ops, by an Asia Times Online Special Correspondent, published 25 April 2006 : “A former Iranian ambassador and Islamic Republic insider has provided intriguing details to Asia Times Online about  US covert operations inside Iran aimed at destabilizing the country and toppling the regime – or preparing for an American attack.   ‘The Iranian government knows and is aware of such infiltration. It means that the Iranian government has identified them [the covert operatives] but for some reason does not want to show [this],’ said the former diplomat on condition of anonymity.  Speaking in Tehran, the ex-Foreign Ministry official said the agents being used by the US ‘were originally Iranians and not Americans’ possibly recruited in the United States or through US embassies in Dubai and Ankara…The confirmation that the US is carrying out covert activities inside Iran makes more sense out of a series of suspicious events that have occurred along Iran’s borders this year. In early January, a military airplane belonging to Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards went down close to the Iraqi border. The plane was carrying 11 of the Guard’s top commanders, including General Ahmad Kazemi, the commander of the IRGC’s ground forces, and Brigadier-General Nabiollah Shahmoradi, who was deputy commander for intelligence.  Although a spokesman blamed bad weather and dilapidated engines for the crash, the private intelligence company Stratfor noted that there are several reasons to suspect foul play, not least of which was that any aircraft carrying so many of Iran’s elite military luminaries would undergo ‘thorough tests for technical issues before flight’. Later, Iran’s defense minister accused Britain and the US of bringing the plane down through ‘electronic jamming’.  ‘Given all intelligence information that we have gathered, we can say that agents of the United States, Britain and Israel are seeking to destabilize Iran through a coordinated plan,’ Minister of Interior Mustafa Pour-Mohammadi said. This sentiment was echoed on websites such as, where one reader commented, ‘We couldn’t have made a better hit on the IRGC’s leadership if planned … sure it was just an accident?’ Then, in late January, a previously unknown Sunni Muslim group called Jundallah (Soldier of Allah) captured nine Iranian soldiers in the remote badlands of Sistan-Balochistan province that borders Afghanistan and Pakistan. And in mid-February, another airplane crashed just inside Iraq after taking off from Azerbaijan and transiting Iranian airspace. The Iranian Mehr news agency reported that the ‘passengers on board were possibly of Israeli origin’. It added that US troops have restricted access to the site to Iraqi Kurdish officials and that Western media were reporting the passengers aboard as having been German. The Iranian government has not sat idly by and just taken these breaches of sovereignty. Early this month, an unidentified source in the Interior Ministry was quoted by the hardline Kayhan newspaper as saying that the leader and 11 members of the Jundallah group had been killed by Iranian troops. Then last Friday, Iranian missile batteries shelled Iranian Kurdish rebel positions inside Iraqi territory. They were targeting a militant group called PJAK that seeks more autonomy for Iran’s Kurdish population and has been operating out of Iraq since 1999.  … “The Americans are pushing Iran to become a nuclear state. Iran just wants to be a supplier of nuclear fuel. But [with their threats] they are pushing it further.”

Look for next big development in early February, Iranian officials say Sunday

The Islamic Repubic News Agency (IRNA) reported from Tehran that “Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad-Ali Hosseini said here Sunday that Iran has acquired necessary capability to carry out peaceful nuclear activities.  Hosseini made the remark while speaking to domestic and foreign reporters at his weekly press briefing.  He said Iran would celebrate its nuclear victory during the `Ten-Day Dawn’ celebrations (February 1-10) marking the victory of the Islamic Revolution, stressing it would be held to mark completion of Iran’s peaceful nuclear program.  Asked about a resolution adopted by the UN Security Council Saturday night against Iran’s peaceful nuclear activities, he added, “The resolution was a result of an incorrect path they (the five permanent member of the Security Council — Russia, China, Britain, France and the US — plus Germany) have chosen.  ‘The resolution was completely politically-motivated, illegal discriminatory and unfair.’  Hosseini stated, ‘The resolution was adopted against a country which is a signatory to and a committed member of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) which observes regulations of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).  The resolution was adopted against a country which had transparent peaceful nuclear activities and had necessary cooperation with the IAEA’.  He noted that the IAEA inspectors and supervisors made regular visits to Tehran, stressing that Iran’s peaceful nuclear activities have been conducted under their supervision.”

The Iranian Student News Agency (ISNA) reported on Sunday that “Iran’s President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stated that nuclear technology belonged to the Iranian nation and no one could take it from them.  He also asserted that the Security Council would soon regret its superficial decisions…’Nuclear technology belongs to Iran and no one could take it from us. The entire nation will celebrate Iran’s nuclear day on the days of Islamic Revolution anniversary this year [Please note: 11 February – also see statement by spokesman of Iranian Foreign Ministry just above] and your meetings and summits are of no good but taking away the honor and validity among you,’ he went on to say.
He also asserted once again that the West was using Iran’s nuclear issue as pretence for activating opposition against Iran.  ‘It is in the nature of the evil to rule and govern by intimidating. All they want to do is to activate opposition against Iran to disintegrate its unity, but they must know that they are wrong once again and that Iran persists on its nuclear activities now more than ever. Whether they like it or not, Iran is a nuclear country and it’s more advantageous for them to stand by Iran than to face it,’ he concluded.

Earlier, various Iranian officials, including Iranian President Ahmedinejad, sent Christmas greetings to Christians in Iran and in the world:  ‘Greetings to all on the birth anniversary of the divine prophet, Jesus Christ, who brought the message of peace and love, based on unity and justice,’ he said, adding that Prophet Jesus invited all mankind toward goodness and asked them to shun evil and aggression…’In honoring the birth of the prophet of love and friendship, Jesus Christ, and sending greetings for the new Christian year, I pray the Merciful and Wise God to grant everyone, especially all Christians of Iran and the world, happiness, health and a year filled with blessings and love,’ he said.

Iranian Ambassador says that Sponsors of UN Security Council sanctions resolution are off whack

Iran’s Ambassador to the UN Javad Zarif told the UN Security Council on Saturday, as it adopted a resolution starting sanctions against Iran for refusing to abandon its uranium enrichment program, that “The sponsors tell you that they do not trust our ‘intentions.’ But the problem is that their ‘intention-o-meter’ has a rather abysmal record of chronic malfunction. Suffice it to say that the former US Director of Central Intelligence, Robert Gates, in a testimony before Congress in March 1992 claimed that Iran was trying to acquire a nuclear weapons capability, and added that this goal was unlikely to be achieved before the year 2000. Later, in November of the same year, a draft National Intelligence Estimate by the same CIA, concluded that Iran was making progress on a nuclear arms program and could develop a nuclear weapon by 2000. Now the same intelligence establishment is saying not before 2015. Accusing Iran of having ‘the intention’ of acquiring nuclear weapons has, since the early 1980s, been a tool used to deprive Iran of any nuclear technology, even a light water reactor or fuel for the American-built research reactor. I wonder which ‘Iranian intention’ or which ‘proliferation concern’ has prompted the main proponents of today’s resolution to prevent Iran, throughout the past 27 years, from buying civilian aircrafts or even their spare parts, thereby jeopardizing the lives and safety of Iranian civilians whom they hypostatically try to court these days. And I might add, to no avail.
As the IAEA Director-General recently said ‘a lot of what you see about Iran right now is assessment of intentions…But one of the lessons we learned from Iraq is that we really need to be very, very careful coming to conclusions because these issues make the difference between war and peace’…We believe that the days of bullying, pressure and intimidation by some nuclear-weapon holders are gone. We are told we need to build confidence. Indeed. We all do, in this tumultuous world. But confidence could only be built through respect for and non-discriminatory application of the law. That is the only objective criteria; anything else would be to accept the whim of the powerful. And, international law and international treaties cannot be the subject of arbitrary, fluctuating and self-serving re-interpretations, adjustments or red lines even if they are onnivingly imposed through resolutions. Such a precedent is dangerous for every one.”

The UN Security Council has “primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security” — and it’s stoking conflicts

Being mad at Iran is not a good reason to use the UN Security Council against that country’s nuclear programme — which Iranian officals insist is not and will never be aimed at making weapons.  But, the U.S. still can’t get over the seizure of its Embassy in Tehran after the 1979 Islamic Revolution that overthrew the Shah of Iran, a major U.S. ally.  OK, U.S. Embassy personnel were held hostage for 444 days, and some were threatened with death.  OK, this is a big violation of diplomatic conventions.  But, a different approach then might have shortened if not avoided the Embassy seizure and the hostage-taking.  And a different approach now might have avoided the confrontation between Iran and the UN Security Council — a body that was biased in favor of Iraq during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war that Iran always called the “imposed war” and that still underlies a lot of Iranian resentment against the West.

In response to Saturday’s vote (unanimous, as it happens) in the UN Security Council to begin phased sanctions against Iran unless it halts its not-illegal uranium enrichment activities, Iran has not immediately decided to stop what it’s doing — oh no, quite the contrary.   The Associated Press (AP) news agency is reporting that: ” ‘From Sunday morning, we will begin activities at Natanz — site of 3,000-centrifuge machines — and we will drive it with full speed. It will be our immediate response to the resolution,’ Ali Larijani told the Kayhan newspaper…Larijani noted that Iran has ‘said many times before that if the Westerners want to use the Security Council as an instrument, it will not affect our will. And it will make us more decisive in realizing our nuclear aims.’  He said the Security Council had discredited itself by approving the resolution.  The resolution orders all countries to stop supplying Iran with materials and technology that could contribute to its nuclear and missile programs. It also freezes the Iranian assets of 10 key companies and 12 individuals related to those programs.  If Iran refuses to comply, the council warned it would adopt further nonmilitary sanctions, but the resolution emphasized the importance of diplomacy in seeking guarantees ‘that Iran’s nuclear program is exclusively for peaceful purposes.’  The U.S. has said it hopes the resolution will clear the way for tougher measures by individual countries, particularly Russia.  The Bush administration had pushed for tougher penalties. But Russia and China, which both have strong commercial ties to Tehran, balked.  To get their votes, the resolution dropped a ban on international travel by Iranian officials involved in nuclear and missile development and specified the banned items and technologies.” 

Agence France Presse is reporting that “AFP President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said those who backed the U.N. resolution, drawn up by Britain, France and Germany but supported unanimously by the Security Council, would soon regret their ‘superficial act.’  ‘It is a piece of torn paper … by which they aim to scare Iranians … It is in the Westerners’ interest to live with a nuclear Iran,’ the semi-official Fars news agency quoted Ahmadinejad as saying.  ‘Give up this Muppet game. You (the backers of the resolution) cannot send secret friendly messages to us and at the same time show your teeth and claws. End this dual game,’ Ahmadinejad was quoted by the official IRNA news agency as saying in a speech at the former U.S. embassy in Tehran.

Are they stupid? UN Security Council votes to sanction Iran

A resolution was passed unanimously by the UN Security Council on Saturday, the day before Christmas eve, imposing sanctions-lite on Iran for pursuing attempts to produce industrial-scale quantities of enriched uranium.

The current Iranian administration has made its efforts to produce its own enriched uranium a matter of national pride.  Iranians in an out of government say that, since the 1979 Islamic Revolution which caused the Shah to flee into exile, the country has been subjected to sanctions and international isolation — as well as a devastating 8-year war with Iraq, and that they simply cannot rely on any outside source of the enriched uranium they say will be needed to fuel the country’s planned production of nuclear energy. 

The problem is that enriching uranium for use in nuclear power plants is essentially the same process as enriching uranium for use in nuclear weapons.  Iran says admantly that it is not pursuing, and will not make, nuclear weapons.  But some other countries — led by the United States — are convinced that Iran has a secret nuclear weapons program.

Iran, under the Shah, signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which prohibits the development of weapons, in exchange for facilitated access to nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.  Iranian officials now say that this means they have the right to pursue their own uranium enrichment program.  But American officials argue that, even under the NPT,  there is no “right to enrich”.

The resolution that was adopted in the UN Security Council on Saturday was negotiated for four long months. 

The NY Times reported Saturday that “For years, some officials within the American government have pressed for the Security Council to adopt sanctions to halt Tehran’s nuclear pursuits.   In June, the five permanent Security Council members plus Germany offered Iran a package of economic and political incentives to halt its nuclear program. The offer was rejected, setting the stage for the Aug. 31 deadline and, ultimately, the sanctions resolution.”  The NY Times story said that “In an effort to maintain their sometimes fragile coalition, the Americans and Europeans also agreed to eliminate a mandatory travel ban on those people said to be involved in nuclear activities. While older drafts had mandated that all states ‘prevent entry’ of such people, the final version of the resolution simply ‘calls upon’ states to ‘exercise vigilance’ over who crosses their borders.  In another nod to Russia’s concerns, the resolution was amended to exclude any sanctions against a nuclear power plant that Russia is building at Bushehr, in southern Iran…
As recently as Friday morning, Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations, Vitaly I. Churkin, voiced concerns that the text continued to threaten legitimate business deals.  Mr. Churkin maintained that the resolution was intended to prod Iran to negotiate, not punish it. Several small 11th-hour revisions, however, allayed Moscow’s concerns.”

The BBC World Service reported that “The resolution, under Chapter Seven of Article 41 of the UN Charter, makes enforcement obligatory but limits action to non-military measures…But acting US ambassador to the UN, Alejandro Wolff, said the resolution sent a strong warning that there would be serious repercussions to Iran’s continued defiance of the international community.
‘Today we are placing Iran in the small category of states under Security Council sanctions,’ Mr Wolff said.  ‘If necessary, we will not hesitate to return to this body if Iran does not take further steps to comply.’ … Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman, Mohammad Ali Hosseini, condemned the resolution as illegal.  He told state-run television that the decision ‘cannot affect or limit Iran’s peaceful nuclear activities but will discredit the decisions of the Security Council, whose power is deteriorating.’   The resolution, which demands that Tehran end all uranium enrichment work – which can produce fuel for nuclear plants as well as bombs – was the result of months of protracted negotiations…In a statement before the Security Council, Russia’s ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, emphasised that the resolution did not authorise the use of force.  But he said the sanctions sent a “strong message” to Iran about the need to comply with the UN’s nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).  The resolution demands that Tehran end all uranium enrichment work, which can produce fuel for nuclear plants as well as for bombs.  BBC –

An Associated Press (AP) story, which was published in the Jerusalem Post, reported that “Russia’s UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said Moscow voted ‘yes’ because it wants to send ‘a serious message’ to Iran ‘to lift remaining concerns over its nuclear program.’ He stressed that the goal must be to resume talks. If Iran suspends enrichment and reprocessing, the resolution calls for a suspension of sanctions ‘which would pave the way for a negotiated solution,’ Churkin said. Israel praised the UN Security Council’s decision to impose sanction on Iran, saying it’s an important step toward preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.  Israel considers Iran the biggest threat to its existence, and has repeatedly called for tougher action against its foe…Israeli officials welcomed the Security Council’s decision. Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev said it sends ‘a clear message to the Iranian leadership that Iran’s nuclear program is total unacceptable and the community of nations will act to prevent the Iranian regime from obtaining nuclear weapons.’   Israel’s Defense Ministry said the international community ‘will need to continue to show determination to reach the goal of blocking Iran’s nuclear plan.’  If Iran refuses to comply, the resolution warns Iran that the council will adopt further non-military sanctions…Qatar’s UN Ambassador Nassir Al-Nassir, the only Arab member of the council and its current president, was the last to make his country’s intentions known, telling members just before the vote that Qatar would vote yes ‘because we are concerned about the safety of Iranian nuclear facilities.’  … The resolution authorizes action under Article 41 of Chapter 7 of the UN Charter. It allows the Security Council to impose nonmilitary sanctions such as completely or partially severing diplomatic and economic relations, transportation and communications links.  If Iran fails to comply with the resolution, the draft says the council will adopt ‘further appropriate measures’ under Article 41.  During negotiations, a mandatory travel ban was dropped at Russia’s insistence.  Instead, the resolution calls on all states ‘to exercise vigilance’ regarding the entry or transit through their territory of those on a UN list that names 12 top Iranians involved in the country’s nuclear and missile programs. It asks the 191 other UN member states to notify a Security Council committee that will be created to monitor sanctions when those Iranians show up in their country.  The resolution also says the council will review Iran’s actions in light of a report from the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, requested within 60 days, on whether Iran has suspended uranium enrichment and complied with other IAEA demands.  To meet concerns of Russia and China that the original resolution was too broad, it was changed to specify in greater detail exactly what materials and technology would be prohibited from being supplied to Iran and to name those individuals and companies that would be affected’.”

In a later story, AP reported that “In a final attempt to win Russian support, the measure dropped one Iranian company from the list of those facing an asset freeze.”

In another later story, AP added that Iran’s Ambassador to the UN, Javad Zarif, made a statement to the UN Security Council after the vote, tjat was “filled with lists of grievances: allegations of war crimes and nuclear irresponsibility by Israel, Iranian proposals he claims were ignored by the Europeans and Americans, and crimes against Iran he charged were ignored by the Security Council.  In an emotional moment, Zarif remembered a colleague, Mahdi Vahidi, who recently died from cancer he said was caused by chemical weapons used by Iraq against Iran during their 1980-88 war. He said the council, because it failed to take action against Iraq at the time, ‘shouldered responsibility’ for Vihidi’s and others’ deaths.  Zarif also questioned the sincerity of the Security Council’s claim that it wanted Iran to suspend enrichment in order to build confidence and trust between Iran and the international community. The United States’ ‘stated objective has always been to use the council as an instrument of pressure and intimidation to compel Iran to abandon its rights,’ Zarif said.”

The AP story added, with reporting from Tehran, that “Iran has said it intends to move toward large-scale uranium enrichment involving 3,000 centrifuges by late 2006, and then expand the program to 54,000 centrifuges, which spin uranium gas into enriched material to produce nuclear fuel.  Iranian nuclear officials say 54,000 centrifuges would produce enough enriched uranium to fuel a 1,000-megawatt reactor, such as the one Iran has built with Russian assistance at Bushehr, southern Iran. The reactor is due to begin operating next year.”

In what must surely be purely coincidental, the UN Security Council action was taken a day after a U.S. federal judge ruled “that Iran is responsible for the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing and ordered that the government pay $254 million to the families of 17 Americans who died in the attack in Saudi Arabia…U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth’s ruling yesterday was the first time an American court found that Iranian government agencies and senior ministers financed and directed the bombing by a militant Saudi wing of the Islamist terrorist group Hezbollah.  ‘The totality of the evidence at trial . . . firmly establishes that the Khobar Towers bombing was planned, funded, and sponsored by senior leadership in the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran,’ Lamberth wrote. ‘The defendants’ conduct in facilitating, financing, and providing material support to bring about this attack was intentional, extreme, and outrageous.’  Lamberth’s decision in the lawsuit, which was filed in 2002 by the families of 17 victims, reverses a lower magistrate judge who said evidence linking the Iranian government to the bombing was not convincing.
Lamberth said the leading experts on Hezbollah, a Shiite militant group based in Lebanon, presented ‘overwhelming’ evidence that the Iranian military worked with Saudi Hezbollah members to execute the attack, and the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security provided money, plans and maps to help carry out the bombing. Six Hezbollah members captured after the attacks implicated Iranian officials.

Two weeks earlier, the Washington Post reported that the list of Iranian individuals and organizations to be included in the UN Security Council resolution was compiled after a junior staff member of the U.S. Department of State was ordered to do a Google Search.  The Washinton Post article, entitled  Seeking Iran Intelligence, U.S. Tries Google – Internet Search Yields Names Cited in U.N. Draft Resolution, written by Dafna Linzer, was published on 11 December: “When the State Department recently asked the CIA for names of Iranians who could be sanctioned for their involvement in a clandestine nuclear weapons program, the agency refused, citing a large workload and a desire to protect its sources and tradecraft.  Frustrated, the State Department assigned a junior Foreign Service officer to find the names another way — by using Google. Those with the most hits under search terms such as ‘Iran and nuclear,’ three officials said, became targets for international rebuke Friday when a sanctions resolution circulated at the United Nations.  …
None of the 12 Iranians that the State Department eventually singled out for potential bans on international travel and business dealings is believed by the CIA to be directly connected to Iran’s most suspicious nuclear activities.
‘There is nothing that proves involvement in a clandestine weapons program, and there is very little out there at all that even connects people to a clandestine weapons program,’ said one official familiar with the intelligence on Iran. Like others interviewed for this story, the official insisted on anonymity when discussing the use of intelligence.  What little information there is has been guarded at CIA headquarters. The agency declined to discuss the case in detail, but a senior intelligence official said: ‘There were several factors that made it a complicated and time-consuming request, not the least of which were well-founded concerns’ about revealing the way the CIA gathers intelligence on Iran.  That may be why the junior State Department officer, who has been with the nonproliferation bureau for only a few months, was put in front of a computer.  An initial Internet search yielded over 100 names, including dozens of Iranian diplomats who have publicly defended their country’s efforts as intended to produce energy, not bombs, the sources said. The list also included names of Iranians who have spoken with U.N. inspectors or have traveled to Vienna to attend International Atomic Energy Agency meetings about Iran.
It was submitted to the CIA for approval but the agency refused to look up such a large number of people, according to three government sources. Too time-consuming, the intelligence community said, for the CIA’s Iran desk staff of 140 people. The list would need to be pared down. So the State Department cut the list in half and resubmitted the names.  In the end, the CIA approved a handful of individuals, though none is believed connected to Project 1-11 — Iran’s secret military effort to design a weapons system capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. The names of Project 1-11 staff members have never been released by any government and doing so may have raised questions that the CIA was not willing or fully able to answer. But the agency had no qualms about approving names already publicly available on the Internet…U.S., French and British officials came to agree that it was better to stay away from names that would have to be justified with sensitive information from intelligence programs, and instead put forward names of Iranians whose jobs were publicly connected to the country’s nuclear energy and missile programs. European officials said their governments did not rely on Google searches but came up with nearly identical lists to the one U.S. officials offered…The U.S.-backed draft resolution, formally offered by Britain and France, would impose a travel ban and freeze the assets of 11 institutions and 12 individuals, including the commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, the directors of Iran’s chief nuclear energy facilities, and several people involved in the missile program. It would prohibit the sale of nuclear technologies to Iran and urges states to ‘prevent specialised teaching or training’ of Iranian nationals in disciplines that could further Tehran’s understanding of banned nuclear activities. The text says the council will be prepared to lift the sanctions if Mohamed ElBaradei, the IAEA’s director general, concludes within 60 days that Iran has suspended its enrichment and reprocessing of uranium and has halted efforts to produce a heavy-water nuclear energy reactor.  Many Security Council members are uneasy about the sanctions. The Russians and the Chinese — whose support is essential for the resolution to be approved — have told the United States, Britain and France they will not support the travel-ban element of the resolution, according to three officials involved in the negotiations. Russia is building a light-water nuclear reactor in Iran and some people on the sanctions list are connected to the project.  ‘The Russians have already told us it would be demeaning for people to ask the Security Council for permission to travel to Russia to discuss an ongoing project,’ a European diplomat said yesterday…” Staff writer Colum Lynch at the United Nations contributed to this report.