Iran’s efforts to develop a nuclear weapons program have threatened regional and global security and presented significant challenges to the United States. In response to these and other actions, the United States and other nations imposed sanctions on Iran that have adversely affected the Iranian economy. In July 2015, multilateral talks with Iran culminated in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in which the United States and several other countries agreed to ease certain sanctions on Iran in exchange for Iran’s commitment to limit its nuclear program as detailed in JCPOA. Also in July 2015, the United Nations called upon Iran not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons—including launches using such ballistic missile technology—until 8 years after October 18, 2015.
On January 16, 2016—JCPOA’s Implementation Day (Implementation Day)—the International Atomic Energy Agency verified that Iran had implemented certain commitments under JCPOA. Also on that day, U.S., European Union, and United Nations nuclear-related sanctions on Iran specified in JCPOA were lifted, but U.S. sanctions on ballistic missile procurement and transfers—including those that can be imposed pursuant to Executive Orders (EO) 12938 and 13382 and the Iran, North Korea, and Syria Nonproliferation Act (INKSNA)—were not. The Departments of State (State) and the Treasury (Treasury) implement and enforce U.S. sanctions on Iran. In 2015, we reported on State’s and Treasury’s processes for imposing sanctions on entities involved in activities related to ballistic missiles. This report provides a brief overview of Iran’s nuclear program and describes the legal basis for the actions taken by the IAEA board and the Security Council. It will be updated as events warrant.
Read the full report below.