Iran Watch Newsletter: May 2024

May 29, 2024

Publication Type: 

  • Newsletters

This month’s newsletter features an update to a running timeline of Iran’s nuclear milestones. Since the last update, some U.N. sanctions on Iran’s nuclear program expired, but European countries decided not to lift their own proliferation-related sanctions as stipulated in the 2015 nuclear agreement. The newsletter also features a table containing information on Iran’s known nuclear sites and facilities. The table has been updated to reflect the status of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) verification and monitoring activities at each location.

The newsletter also includes profiles of three companies that have supported the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Aerospace Force’s missile and drone programs, as well as news about the most recent IAEA reports on Iran’s nuclear program, the death of the Iranian president and foreign minister, comments on Iran’s nuclear doctrine made by an adviser to Iran’s supreme leader, and remarks by a U.S. Treasury official about Malaysian firms’ involvement in Iranian oil sales. Additions to the Iran Watch library include documents related to the European Union’s Iran sanctions and an advisory from the U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).

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Rafael Grossi and Mohammad Eslami hold a press conference on April 7 in Esfahan, Iran. (Credit: Atomic Energy Organization of Iran)

Background Report | Iran's Nuclear Milestones

Over the last year, some U.N. sanctions on Iran’s nuclear program expired in accordance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), although European countries decided not to lift their own proliferation-related sanctions as stipulated in the agreement. Meanwhile, although the IAEA closed its inquiry into an undeclared nuclear site at Marivan, it has made no progress in its investigations into two other sites at Turquzabad and Varamin. Iran’s stockpile of highly enriched uranium also continued to grow.

Background Report | Table of Iranian Nuclear Sites and Related Facilities

Iran is home to dozens of nuclear-related sites and facilities, some connected to fissile material production, nuclear research, and energy generation and others connected to suspected nuclear weaponization work. This updated background report lists each facility as well as its location, function, and the status of IAEA verification efforts or investigations there.




The United States continues to sanction Iranian companies supplying the IRGC and its Aerospace Force Self-Sufficiency Jihad Organization (SSJO), which is involved in Iran’s missile and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) research and production.

Pishgam Electronic Safeh Company

Has procured thousands of servomotors for the IRGC-ASF SSJO; purchased more than one million dollars’ worth of servomotors from the China-based company Hongkong Himark Electron Model Limited.

Fanavaran Sanat Ertebatat Company

Has produced jam-resistant guidance systems for the IRGC-ASF SSJO; products include digital communications links, GPS and GLONASS positioning devices, digital compasses, range finders, and measurement devices.

Saberin Kish Company

According to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, is owned by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC); has procured U.S.- and Japan-origin dual-use electronics through intermediaries in China and Hong Kong in support of the IRGC’s missile and UAV programs.




Members of Iran’s armed forces carry the casket of the late president Ebrahim Raisi. (Photo credit: Islamic Republic News Agency)

Iran's Near-Bomb-Grade Uranium Stock Grows, Talks Stall, IAEA Reports Say | Reuters

May 27, 2024: According to a quarterly report of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Iran has added more than 20 kg to its stockpile of uranium enriched to 60 percent purity since the last report in February, for a total of 142.1 kg enriched to that level. The report also noted that the deaths of Iran's president and foreign minister have caused a pause in talks between Iran and the IAEA over improving cooperation. France and the United Kingdom have reportedly pushed to adopt a new resolution censuring Iran at the upcoming IAEA board meeting, but the United States has so far not supported the move.

"Technical Failure" Caused Helicopter Crash That Killed Iranʼs President, State News Agency Reports | New York Times

May 19, 2024: Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian died in a helicopter crash resulting from a “technical failure,” according to Iranian state media. Raisi and Amir Abdollahian were traveling from the border of Azerbaijan when their helicopter crashed in the mountains near Jolfa. The first vice president, Mohammad Mokhber, assumed the role of acting president and will organize elections for a new president within 50 days.

Iran to Change Nuclear Doctrine if Existence Threatened, Adviser to Supreme Leader Says | Reuters

May 9, 2024: An adviser to Iran’s supreme leader, Kamal Kharrazi, said that Iran will change its nuclear doctrine and build a nuclear weapon if its existence is threatened. Kharrazi added that if Israel attacks Iran’s nuclear facilities, "our deterrence will change."

Iran's Capacity to Move Oil Reliant on Malaysian Providers, US Official Says | Reuters

May 7, 2024: Iran relies on service providers based in Malaysia to sell its oil, a senior U.S. Treasury official said. The official also expressed concerns about Iran and its proxies raising funds and moving money in the region, sometimes using charities.




The European Union announced new measures aimed at restricting Iran’s arms transfers to state and non-state actors alike.


The U.S. FinCEN issued a new advisory to help financial institutions detect illicit transactions related to Iran-backed militias and terrorist organizations.