Iran Watch Newsletter: January 2019

January 9, 2019

Publication Type: 

  • Newsletters

New Year's greetings from Iran Watch! This month's newsletter includes a report on the entities supporting proliferation – largely linked to Iran's military and missile programs – that remain blacklisted by the United Nations and/or the European Union, a spreadsheet listing the 700+ entities designated by the United States in November 2018 as part of the re-imposition of sanctions on Iran, and news about Iran's recently announced satellite launch plans. View the newsletter in your browser and sign-up to receive it in your inbox here.

Iran Watch Publications

U.N-EU Sanctions Tally and U.S. Sanctions Spreadsheet 

The European Union this week blacklisted three Iranian entities connected to the country's intelligence service for their role in attacks and assassinations in Europe—the first targeted sanctions on Iran by the EU since the nuclear agreement took effect in January 2016. 

However, neither the EU nor the United Nations has adopted any new proliferation-related sanctions since then, despite actions by Iran – including arms transfers and ballistic missile tests – that contravene the missile and military-related prohibitions in U.N. Security Council resolution 2231. As a result, the EU and U.N. sanctions lists have remained static. Read our report on the proliferation-related entities that remain sanctioned by the U.N. and/or the EU. 

Meanwhile, U.S. sanctions on Iran continue to expand, notably on November 5, when over 700 entities were added to the Treasury Department's Specially Designated Nationals List. Download a spreadsheet listing the 700+ entities designated by the United States last November.

Crackdown on Iranian Network Underscores Pattern in Illicit Procurement

A federal indictment unsealed in November illustrates the methods used by Iranian procurement agents to illicitly obtain U.S.-origin goods for export to Iran. This case details how Iranian citizen Arash Sepehri conspired with individuals and companies operating in Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates, and Iran to send hundreds of thousands of dollars of U.S. technology to Iran between 2010 and 2011. While the U.S. case concerns military-related procurement and embargo violations, the network has also supported Iran's nuclear program: Three of the companies involved in the conspiracy have conducted illicit nuclear procurement, according to the European Union. Learn more about the case here

Iran Watch Library

Iran condemns EU sanctions and vows to take reciprocal measures – January 9, 2019

Letter from Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs explains that January 8 EU sanctions targeting three Iranian entities motivated by their role in attacks and assassinations in Europe – January 8, 2019

France details new EU sanctions on Iran and voices concern following Iran’s December launch of a medium-range ballistic missile – January 8, 2019

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo condemns Iran's plans to launch three Space Launch Vehicles in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolution 2231 - January 3, 2019

U.S. criticizes failure of latest U.N. resolution on Yemen to hold Iran accountable for its "destructive agenda," including sending weapons to the Houthis - December 21, 2018

U.N. Secretary General and Facilitator report on status of Iran’s compliance with Security Council resolution 2231; voice concerns over ballistic missile developments and arms transfer - December 2018

Entities of Proliferation Concern

Kiyan Saynpaniz International (KSP) 
An Iranian government engineering firm connected to the Ministry of Defense involved in a conspiracy to procure U.S.-origin items with military applications. Also involved in the conspiracy were KSP employee Reza Rejali, along with companies and individuals in China, Portugal, and Turkey. 

Reza Rejali 
An Iranian national connected to Iran's Ministry of Defense and an employee of KSP International.

Jehad Daneshgahi Organization 
A science and technology institution, subordinate to Iran’s Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution, that supports research and development for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC). It receives about 20% of its funding from the Iranian government and operates branches across Iran, each of which is linked to a university.

In the News

Iranian Space Satellites Pass Pre-Launch Tests 
Iran announced that several satellites are ready to be launched after concluding pre-launch testing. The Payam imagery satellite, manufactured by Amirkabir University of Technology, weighs 90 kg and will be sent into 500 km orbit using the Simorgh rocket. The Dousti imagery satellite will also be sent into 500 km orbit and was manufactured at Sharif University of Technology. The Nahid-1 telecommunications satellite was manufactured at the Iranian Space Agency. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo criticized the announcement, saying that satellite launches defy a U.N. Security Council resolution restricting activity related to ballistic missiles.

Iran Approves Anti-Money Laundering Bill 
Iran's Expediency Council approved, with some changes, an anti-money laundering bill intended to help the country meet standards set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). This approval resolves a dispute between Iran's Parliament, which passed the bill last year, and the Guardian Council, which subsequently rejected the bill. Iran's compliance with FATF standards and its removal from the organization's blacklist are critical to facilitating foreign trade, including through the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) payment mechanism planned by the European Union.