New sanctions against Iran over its suspect nuclear program that target the country's powerful Revolutionary Guard, ballistic missiles, and nuclear-related investments were approved by the UN Security Council Wednesday.I can understand Turkey's no vote as they have slipped into Iran's sphere of influence and it furthers Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan's own Islamist vision for his country, but Brazil's no vote is less clear. Curiously, Lebanon abstained, even with the threat of Iran's proxy Hizbullah looming large over the Lebanese polity.
The resolution imposing a fourth round of sanctions against Iran was approved with 12 "yes" votes, two "no" votes from Brazil and Turkey, and one abstention from Lebanon.
The text of the draft resolution is here. It specifically expands the sanctions to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and lists other entities and locations that are subject to sanctions.
In the draft resolution, just one scientist was singled out for an asset freeze and travel ban: Javad Rahiqi, 56, the head of the Isfahan Nuclear Technology Center. The resolution also strengthens the travel ban against 40 officials already blacklisted.
Just one bank is listed: First East Export Bank, which has handled hefty transactions linked to Iran’s military establishment. The United States sought to include more banks, including the Central Bank, but settled for one reference in the introduction saying United Nations member states should “exercise vigilance” in dealing with the Central Bank. China and others argued that singling out banks would unfairly harm the economy.
The list names 23 industrial companies, many of them involved in military contracts or the nuclear industry. Skeptics of the sanctions note that is just a fraction of the Iranian economy, which has been booming.
In addition, 15 companies listed are linked to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. The I.R.G.C., as it is commonly known, is increasingly the military power that runs Iran, and it led the repression against pro-democracy protesters.
The most prominent company, Khatam al-Anbiya Construction, has won billions of dollars in civil and military projects, including a secret nuclear enrichment facility near the holy city of Qum.