The West Is Turning a Blind Eye to Iran's Sanctions Busting

2015-06-11T124416Z_2_LYNXMPEB5A0IJ_RTROPTP_4_IRAN-NUCLEAR-ZARIF
The flag of the International Atomic Energy Agency flies in front of its headquarters in Vienna on May 28, 2015. Heinz-Peter Bader/Reuters

Countries monitoring the Iranian nuclear program are failing to report Iran for violating sanctions imposed against it, according to a United Nations report.

The report also suggests that violations of the United Nations Security Council's sanctions by the Iranian regime are going unreported because it would reflect poorly on Tehran as they negotiate a nuclear deal with the U.S. and other world powers.

According to Bloomberg, the United Nations report states: "The current situation with reporting could reflect a general reduction of procurement activities by the Iranian side or a political decision by some member states to refrain from reporting to avoid a possible negative impact on ongoing negotiations [between Iran and the P5 +1]."

The P5+1 negotiating group is comprised of the U.S., United Kingdom, France, Russia, China and Germany. It is assisted by the European Union.

James Phillips, an expert on the Middle East at The Heritage Foundation, said that "the report raises questions about whether the Obama administration and European allies have looked the other way on some sanctions violations."

"United Nations monitors issued a report that expressed frustration about the failure of United Nations member states to report back to the United Nations about new incidents of Iran violating Security Council sanctions against its nuclear program, even though some have unfolded in plain sight," Phillips said.

"As an example, the United Nations report cited the failure of member states to report the highly publicized presence of Iranian General Qassem Suleimani—the leader of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps elite Quds Force—in Iraq. His Iraq visit was a violation of the United Nations–imposed travel ban on key Iranian officials."

Phillips added: "The United Nations report underscores the danger that the Obama administration and other governments may purposely ignore Iranian cheating on the impending nuclear agreement, just as they already apparently are ignoring Iranian violations of United Nations sanctions resolutions."

The Security Council imposed the sanctions against Iran to inhibit Tehran's ability to develop nuclear weapons, despite claims by Tehran that its enrichment program is merely intended for peaceful purposes.

The report comes just weeks before the June 30 deadline for a nuclear deal with Iran.

Kate Scanlon is a news reporter for The Daily Signal, which is where this article first appeared.

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