While the US slaps sanctions on Iran for its human rights abuses, a new UN report shows the determination and ease by which the Islamist state avoids the sanctions’ intended effects.
The sanctions by the US State and Treasury Departments were issued in an attempt to punish Iran for its brutal crackdown on its ongoing protest movement, one which originally arose out of the disputed 2009 Iranian presidential election.
Specifically, the sanctions were aimed at three Iranian security institutions: the Iranian national police force; the Revolutionary Guard; and the Basiji militia. Consequently, all their assets that are under American jurisdiction will be frozen and any American citizens or institutions will be prohibited from conducting business with them.
Also on the same day that the US announced its sanctions, the European Union published an updated roster of 111 blacklisted Iranian companies and banks.
Even though most Iranian leaders harshly denounced both moves, perhaps a more accurate assessment of their feelings were expressed by a top Iranian lawmaker, Kazzem Jalali, who called the US sanctions in particular a “humorous act.”
Sadly, at this point in time, it’s difficult for the Iranian leadership to not find some humor in the latest Western-imposed sanctions to be dropped on them. After all, as evidence continues to show, the litany of imposed economic sanctions have not deterred the Iranians from abandoning their repressive tactics; slowing down their military build-up; or halting their pursuit of nuclear weapons.
The latest evidence of their failure has come in a new, soon-to-be released UN report, one prepared months back and submitted three weeks ago to the UN Security Council. In addition to monitoring Iran’s nuclear program, the report also tracked Iranian efforts to develop medium and long-range missiles.
To that end, the UN report revealed that since mid-2010 Iran has increased its efforts to develop long-range missiles, specifically citing Iranian test trials on its Shabab-3 and Sejil-1 missiles, both which have a range of 1,000 kilometers.
In addition, the Iranians also tested the medium-range Fateh-110 missile. Disturbingly, Fateh-110 missiles have been supplied in recent years to Hezbollah and have the capacity to reach Tel Aviv and beyond if launched from Lebanon.
On top of that, Iran also recently and successfully tested its newly constructed air defense system, Mersad. That system — designed by Iranians — has an advanced launcher; electronic targeting and guidance systems; and is capable of hitting jet fighters traveling at supersonic speeds.
Furthermore, Iran has now promised to use the Mersad system to defend not only it but other Muslim nations. According to Iranian Parliamentarian Speaker Ali Larijani, “We do not hide our defensive advancement and (we) have designed advanced missile systems…Israel and the US should know that if they want to act violently toward Muslims, we will stand in their way.”
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