Iran Watch Newsletter: September 2019

September 26, 2019

Publication Type: 

  • Newsletters

This month’s newsletter features a report on Iran's missile development and arms exports in the context of soon-to-be-expiring restrictions established by U.N. Security Council resolution 2231, which endorsed the Iran nuclear deal. The newsletter also includes a detailed timeline of Iran's missile development from 1985 to the present day.

In addition, the newsletter features documents detailing Iran's reduced commitments to the JCPOA and a series of U.S. sanctions targeting Iran's space program, paramilitary groups, and the financial networks supporting these activities. The newsletter also highlights profiles of entities connected to global proliferation networks supporting Iran's centrifuge development, news briefs on stories involving Iran's illicit procurement activities, traces of radioactive material found at a site in Tehran, and more.

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Iran Watch Publications


Time is Running Out to Reign in Iran's Arms Transfers and Missile Development

Recent attacks by Iran and its paramilitary supporters have sharpened the focus on the ways in which Iran is using its missile capabilities and arms exports to destabilize the Middle East, including through activities that violate U.N. Security Council resolutions. U.N. reports on the implementation of resolution 2231describe these activities in detail. The problem will only compound when the resolution's limited restrictions on missile development and arms trade expire over the next five years.

Read the full report here.

Iran Missile Milestones: 1985-2019

A chronology of milestones in Iran's missile program since 1985, including Iran's development of liquid- and solid-fueled ballistic and cruise missiles and space launch vehicles, and the imports that have helped improve these systems. The chronology also tracks efforts by the United States and other countries to punish entities that support Iran's missile program.

Read the updated milestones here.

Iran Watch Library


E3 countries condemn alleged Iranian attacks on Saudi oil facilities – September 23, 2019

France leads efforts to save JCPOA, floating $15 billion bailout – September 3, 2019

Iran takes third step in reducing JCPOA commitments:

U.S. ramps up sanctions on Iran, targeting:

Entities of Proliferation Concern


Two Iranian proliferation networks worked with Chinese companies to acquire aluminum and other metals for the Iran Centrifuge Technology Company (TESA), which produces centrifuges for Iran's uranium enrichment program. The first network involved an Iranian company which facilitated the purchase of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of Chinese aluminum products for TESA. The second network saw a different Iranian company secure tens of thousands of dollars worth of Chinese metals, also for TESA.

Suspect Entities:

Suspect Suppliers:

In the News


German Intel: Iran Sought to Acquire Weapons of Mass Destruction in 2018

September 19, 2019: A new intelligence report from the German state of Hesse found that Iran engaged in proliferation efforts connected with weapons of mass destruction in 2018. The report states that Iran "attempted to acquire and redistribute such weapons in the context of proliferation," as did North Korea, Pakistan, and Syria. It details the use of foreign academics in fields such as electrical engineering and chemical-biological processes in support of proliferation. The report also highlights Iran and China's use of cyber activities to facilitate "scientific goals." The conclusions are similar to those in reports released earlier in 2019 from the German states of Bavaria and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

Saudi Oil Attack Photos Implicate Iran, U.S. Says

September 15, 2019: The United States says that Iran was likely behind attacks on key Saudi Arabian oil facilities. The U.S. government released satellite photos showing at least 17 points of impact on the facilities which indicate that the strikes came from the north or northwest. These findings suggest that the attack likely originated in Iranian or Iraqi territory rather than in Yemen, where Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for the strikes. According to U.S. intelligence, the attacks involved a combination of drones and cruise missiles, which also indicates a level of military sophistication beyond that which Houthi rebels alone have shown. Iran rejected the accusations, while Iraq affirmed that Iranian operatives did not initiate the attacks from Iraqi territory.

Photo courtesy of Planet Labs.

Iran Curbs U.N. Probe Into Tehran Nuclear Equipment Site

September 2, 2019: Iran prevented a U.N. probe into the alleged storage of nuclear-related equipment and radioactive material at a site in Tehran. According to diplomats involved with the matter, Iran refused to answer questions from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) over Israeli allegations regarding the former Tehran storage facility. IAEA inspectors found traces of radioactive material when they visited the site in April. Diplomats noted, however, that the radioactive material at the site is most likely left over from previous work and not part of an ongoing nuclear weapons program. This action appears to be the first time that Iran has refused to cooperate with the IAEA since the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was implemented in January 2016.