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Illicit Procurement Network Used Firms in China, Portugal, and Turkey to Supply Iran

A recently unsealed indictment provides detail on Iran’s use of deceptive practices to procure export controlled items with military applications from the United States and elsewhere. The indictment details an elaborate, multi-year conspiracy directed by an Iranian-born Canadian to procure such items for an Iranian firm, with help from co-conspirators in China, Portugal, and Turkey.​

Using a network of agents and front companies, the conspirators were able to falsify shipping documents and mislead U.S. manufacturers by claiming that the procured items were intended for end users in Portugal and Turkey. Furthermore, this network enabled the Iranian end users to pay for the items and finance the scheme using Chinese front companies. By transshipping goods through China and Turkey, and exploiting the ability of Portuguese firms to more easily acquire licensed U.S. technology, the conspirators were able to procure and in some cases successfully send to Iran a variety of items controlled for export by the United States.

This case highlights the extent to which Iran relies on a global network of front companies and procurement agents to acquire U.S.-origin goods, the procurement methods used to mask Iran as the intended destination, and the need for heightened vigilance by U.S. companies and by governments vulnerable to being exploited by these illicit networks.

The Players

The conspiracy, which took place from about December 2011 through March 2017, was orchestrated by three key individuals: Iranian-born Canadian-national Ghobad Ghasempour, Chinese national Yi Xiong, and Iranian national Reza Rejali. The scheme’s origins can be traced as far back as December 2011, when Ghasempour established a company in China (NHD) and proposed that it be used to handle trade between Iran and China. Ghasempour reasoned that NHD could use money owed to Iran for oil purchases as a means of payment.

In the following years, Ghasempour and Xiong established several front companies, including International Business Center (IBC Trade), Modo International (Modo), and Todi Enterprises (Todi). These China-based companies were primarily used to procure goods for the benefit of Rejali and his employer, Isfahan-based Kiyan Saynpaniz International (KSP). KSP is alleged to be a government-controlled engineering company that purchases items for Iranian government agencies.

The front companies enabled Ghasempour to purchase and transship sensitive items to KSP while disguising the true end user, as well as to move money from Iran to China in order to finance the scheme. Xiong managed the day-to-day operations of the Chinese front companies, including establishing bank accounts to handle Iranian funds and handling the transshipment of goods from the United States, Europe, and China to Iran. Rejali used Ghasempour, Xiong, and their front companies to procure goods for Iranian end users and to launder money for KSP. Rejali often used Xiong’s name in e-mails to hide from KSP that he was profiting off of the transactions.

Also involved in the conspiracy were Goktan Gokdag and his Turkey-based company Gokdag Foreign Trade and Consultancy; Portuguese-national Paulo Vincente and his company Firstfield Engineering; and Portuguese engineer Joao Manuel Pereira Da Fonseca. The Portuguese node in this supply network played an integral role by purchasing high-end controlled equipment from U.S. and German manufacturers on behalf of Rejali and KSP; obscuring the ultimate end user; and facilitating Fonseca’s travels to the U.S., where he received training to assist Iran in the installation and operation of some of the procured items.

The Schemes

High-End Machines and Training

Sometime in 2014, Firstfield, at the behest of Rejali, agreed to procure multiple high-end machines from the United States and Germany, some of which required on-site training from the manufacturer. These included two German-origin Optotech machines, one German-origin Taylor Hobson Luphoscan machine, and one U.S.-origin Nanotech 250 UPL (ultra-precision lathe) machine. The functions of these machines are complementary: Optotech machines are used for grinding and polishing lenses manufactured by the lathe, with the Luphoscan machine used for testing the lenses.

Firstfield planned to disassemble and transfer the machines to Iran after installation by the manufacturer in Portugal. KSP rented a warehouse for Firstfield in Portugal in order to demonstrate a legitimate end-use location for the machines. The plan was for Firstfield to breakdown the machines and to ship them through Turkey or China to KSP in Iran, where Fonseca would install and calibrate the machines, and then train Iranian end users.

In the first half of 2014, Rejali, Vincente, and Gokdag procured and shipped to KSP two Optotech machines. In June 2014, Gokdag helped facilitate Fonseca’s travel to Iran to install these machines and provide training in their use. Fonseca flew to Turkey to meet Gokdag, who accompanied the Portuguese engineer to meet Rejali in Isfahan.

Also as part of the scheme, Fonseca arranged to receive training from Taylor Hobson engineers on a German-origin Luphoscan machine procured by Firstfield for KSP sometime in 2014. The company’s engineers traveled from Germany to the KSP-funded warehouse in Portugal to train Fonseca. The training was secretly recorded and in February 2015 Fonseca uploaded the videos and photographs to the cloud for the benefit of Iranian engineers.

In 2015, Firstfield attempted to purchase, but ultimately failed to ship to Iran, a U.S.-origin Nanotech 250 UPL (Ultra Precision Lathe) – an item controlled by the United States for export to Iran on national security, nuclear non-proliferation, and anti-terrorism grounds. Firstfield certified to the U.S. company that the lathe would be installed at warehouse in Portugal and would not be sold, transferred, or exported, except to the United States or to another specific country, not including Iran. Fonseca traveled to the United States in October 2015 for training on the system.

In December 2015, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, contacted the U.S. company about the UPL sale. The company informed HSI that Firstfield had paid $411,300 in total for the machine, training, and installation at Firstfield’s warehouse in Portugal. This contrasts with the approximately $788,000 KSP paid for the machine – indicating a hefty mark up by agents in the procurement network and by Rejali himself. The lathe was seized by HSI in February 2016 at New York’s JFK International Airport and never made it to Portugal.

Inertial Guidance System Test Table

In June 2014, Rejali contacted Ghasempour and Xiong to begin the process of procuring an inertial guidance test table from a North Dakota-based manufacturer. This machine is controlled for export by the United States because it can be used for military-grade navigation devices and missiles.

Nearly a year later, Rejali – pretending to be Xiong – used an IBC Trade company e-mail address to contact Firstfield’s Vincente and request a bid on the system, specifically a 2002PG two-axis positioning and rate table system with an AERO 4000 motion controller. Firstfield quoted the price as 315,000 euro; Rejali told KSP that Todi could sell the system for over 550,000 euros, again planning to pocket the difference. In June 2015, Rejali transferred nearly 300,000 euros from Iran to China in order to finance the purchase.

Using Modo, Ghasempour and Xiong transferred to Firstfield the 30 percent down payment required to start manufacturing the test table, with the intention of using the Portuguese company to forward the payment to the U.S. company. Firstfield was in the best position to secure an export license from the U.S. Department of Commerce, which it did in October 2015.

HSI contacted the U.S. manufacturer in January 2016 to investigate this purchase. Two months later, Fonseca traveled to the United States for a week-long training on the system. He was scheduled to leave the United States on April 3, 2016, but was detained by HSI at the airport for violating the Visa Waiver Program and lying to the U.S. government. The test table was never exported from the United States.

Thin Film Measurement System

Between September 2013 and April 2015, the co-conspirators attempted twice – failing the first time and succeeding the second – to procure and export to Iran a thin film measurement system. The system, which can be used to take microscopic measurements of liquid coatings and parts in missiles, is controlled by the United States for export to Iran on anti-terrorism grounds.

In September 2013, Rejali requested that Ghasempour and Xiong submit Modo’s best offer for the purchase of the system from a California-based manufacturer on behalf of KSP. Xiong sent his two co-conspirators an invoice a month later pricing the system at $93,000 and requiring a 50 percent down payment. Rejali transferred over $115,000 from Iran to Modo’s account in China in February 2014 to cover the required down payment. Two months later, Rejali contacted his two co-conspirators and an Iranian freight forwarding company to arrange for the system’s transshipment from the United States to its ultimate destination in Iran.

The system departed the United States in May 2014, but was intercepted by Dutch law enforcement officials during the shipping process the following month. Concerned that Modo’s role in procuring U.S.-origin controlled items had been detected, Ghasempour suggested to Xiong that they establish a new company. Indeed, Homeland Security in San Diego had been notified about the intercepted system and opened an investigation into Modo’s export activities. Xiong established two additional front companies – Todi and IBC Trade – in the ensuing months.

In November 2014, Rejali contacted his co-conspirators suggesting a second attempt to procure a thin film measurement system – this time from Canada. Ghasempour argued that this was too risky, instead suggesting that they use Turkey-based Gokdag Foreign Trade and Consultancy to procure the system. Xiong wired about 25,000 euros to Gokdag in December 2014 to purchase the measurement system for Rejali and KSP. Gokdag successfully exported the system to Iran around April 2015. However, the model delivered to Iran was different than the one KSP and Rejali had requested.

TAU 2 640 Cameras

Between January 2015 and February 2016, Rejali, Ghasempour, and Xiong on three occasions illicitly exported a total of 110 U.S.-origin TAU 2 640 thermal imaging cameras to Iran, via China. TAU 2 640 9Hz cameras are controlled by the United States for export to Iran for anti-terrorism purposes; TAU 2 640 30Hz cameras are controlled for national security, regional stability, and anti-terrorism reasons. Both cameras can be used in commercial security systems and military drones.

On the first occasion, in January 2015, the three co-conspirators used Todi to procure for KSP and transship to Iran ten cameras from an Oregon-based company. Todi’s pro forma invoice quoted a price of 349,320 yuan (about $50,448) for the ten cameras. An air waybill indicated the cameras were successfully shipped to Iran in February 2015.

In July 2015, Vicente contacted Rejali and said that Firstfield could sell IBC Trade one camera for 8,047 euros. Rejali, in turn, offered the camera to KSP for double that price, and transmitted the communication to KSP on Todi letterhead. On August 19, 2015, Firstfield shipped the camera from Portugal to IBC Trade in China; Xiong shipped the camera to Iran less than a week later.

Having successfully procured and transshipped the cameras twice, the three co-conspirators devised a scheme to export additional cameras in a plan intended to yield them about $20,000 each. Operations for a third round of camera purchases began in October 2015, when Firstfield contacted Xiong and offered to sell 1,000 TAU 2 640 cameras for the price of 3.7 million euros using a Chinese front company. Rejali proposed selling 500 cameras to KSP in five increments of 100 cameras per shipment, totaling about 2.4 million euros. In February 2016, Firstfield exported 99 cameras to a Chinese front company that then transshipped them to Iran.

Case Status

Ghasempour was arrested in Blaine, Washington on March 28, 2017 when crossing into the United States from Canada. He pleaded guilty on May 4, 2018 to one count of conspiracy to unlawfully export U.S. goods and technology to Iran and to defraud the United States, in violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations (ITSR). On August 20, 2018, he was sentenced to 42 months in prison.

Fonseca was detained on April 3, 2016 upon attempting to leave the United States. He pleaded guilty on July 17, 2017 to one count of conspiracy to unlawfully export U.S. goods and technology to Iran and to defraud the United States. He was sentenced on September 14, 2017 to 20 months in prison and one year of supervised release.


References:

Indictment, United States of America v. Ghobad Ghasempour, Case No. 17-cr-00081, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia, April 26, 2017, available at https://www.iranwatch.org/library/governments/united-states/executive-branch/department-justice/indictment-united-states-america-v-ghobad-ghasempour, accessed October 11, 2018.

Indictment, United States of America v. Joao Manuel Pereira Da Fonseca, Case No. 16-cr-00089, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia, May 25, 2016, available at https://www.iranwatch.org/library/governments/united-states/executive-branch/department-justice/indictment-united-states-america-v-joao-manuel-pereira-da-fonseca , accessed October 11, 2018.

Affidavit in Support of Criminal Complaint, United States of America v. Ghobad Ghasempour, Case No. 17-cr-00081, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia, March 28, 2017, available at  https://www.iranwatch.org/library/governments/united-states/executive-branch/department-justice/affidavit-support-criminal-complaint-united-states-america-v-ghobad-ghasempour, accessed October 11, 2018.

Affidavit in Support of Criminal Complaint, United States of America v. Joao Manuel Pereira Da Fonseca, Case No. 16-cr-00089, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia, April 3, 2016, available at https://www.iranwatch.org/library/governments/united-states/executive-branch/department-justice/affidavit-support-criminal-complaint-united-states-america-v-joao-manuel-pereira, accessed October 11, 2018.

Plea Agreement, United States of America v. Ghobad Ghasempour, Case No. 18-cr-00080, U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington, April 19, 2018, available at  https://www.iranwatch.org/library/governments/united-states/executive-branch/department-justice/plea-agreement-united-states-america-v-ghobad-ghasempour, accessed October 11, 2018.

Statement of Offense, United States of America v. Joao Pereira da Fonseca, Case No. 16-cr-00089, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia, July 17, 2017, available at https://www.iranwatch.org/library/governments/united-states/executive-branch/department-justice/statement-offense-united-states-america-v-joao-pereira-da-fonseca, accessed October 11, 2018.

Defendant’s Motion for Bill of Particulars, United States of America v. Joao Pereira da Fonseca, Case No. 16-cr-00089, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia, March 24, 2017, available at  https://www.iranwatch.org/library/governments/united-states/executive-branch/department-justice/defendants-motion-bill-particulars-united-states-america-v-joao-pereira-da, accessed October 11, 2018.

Government’s Motion and Notice of Intention to Introduce Co-Conspirator Statements at Trial, United States of America v. Joao Manuel Pereira Da Fonseca, Case No. 16-cr-00089, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia, March 24, 2017, p. 2, available at  https://www.iranwatch.org/library/governments/united-states/executive-branch/department-justice/governments-motion-notice-intention-introduce-co-conspirator-statements-trial, accessed October 11, 2018.

Iran Dodges FATF Countermeasures but Looming U.S. Sanctions May Achieve Similar Outcome

Iran was once again on the agenda at a plenary meeting of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) last week in Paris. The body decided not to re-impose the severe restrictions on financial dealings with Iran that were suspended in 2016, despite U.S. efforts to build a case for such action in the weeks leading up to the meeting. These restrictions, or “countermeasures,” expand on the FATF’s existing due diligence requirements on Iran and may include preventing Iranian banks from establishing overseas subsidiary branches, requiring banks to review and terminate correspondent accounts with Iranian banks, and limiting business relationships or imposing enhanced monitoring and reporting requirements on transactions involving Iran.[1] The re-imposition of these restrictions would deal a further blow to Iran’s economy, which has been crippled by the U.S. decision to withdraw from the nuclear agreement and re-impose sanctions.

In Friday’s public statement, the FATF rebuked Iran for its failure to implement most of the Action Plan enacted in July 2016 to redress Iran’s strategic Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) deficiencies. While acknowledging some legislative progress, the FATF listed nine items from the Action Plan that remain outstanding and warned of “further steps” in February 2019 if Iran fails to address these deficiencies through legislation and regulatory reform.[2] These items include a failure to criminalize terrorist financing and money laundering offenses, to identify and freeze terrorist assets, to enforce a customer due diligence regime, and to stand up an independent financial intelligence unit, among other deficiencies. In the interim, the FATF called on its members to continue urging financial institutions to conduct enhanced due diligence when dealing with Iran, including robust monitoring of business relationships and transactions with Iranian entities.

In the lead up to the FATF plenary – and a few weeks before the full snapback of U.S. sanctions – the United States announced a series of measures intended to illustrate how Iran exploits the international financial system to fuel terrorism, proliferation, human rights abuses, and destabilizing actions in Syria, Yemen, and beyond. The measures also reveal how the United States will implement its “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran, including through enforcement actions and the application of anti-money-laundering authorities, primary sanctions, and the threat of secondary sanctions in an effort to induce governments, banks, and industry around the world to stop dealing with Iran.

On October 11, 2018, the U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued an advisory to help financial institutions detect potentially illicit transactions with Iran. Specifically, the advisory provides useful red flags designed to “help foreign financial institutions better understand the obligations of their U.S. correspondents, avoid exposure to U.S. sanctions, and address the AML/CFT risks that Iranian activity poses to the international financial system.”[3]

This advisory was followed by another round of U.S. Treasury Department sanctions on October 16, targeting “a vast network of businesses providing financial support to the Basij Resistance Force, a paramilitary force subordinate to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).”[4] In addition, the U.S. administration is debating whether or not to sanction the Belgium-based SWIFT financial messaging service if it fails to disconnect all Iranian financial institutions.

The FATF decision to maintain Iran’s status as a high-risk jurisdiction, but not to re-impose economic countermeasures on Iran, provides temporary support for efforts by the remaining parties in the nuclear agreement with Iran, or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), to preserve the agreement. The decision also reflects an ongoing struggle between the European Union’s effort to find a financial mechanism to allow European business to continue trading with Iran and U.S. efforts to end almost all such ties. The EU has created a “Special Purpose Vehicle” to support continued trade – essentially a channel to facilitate payments related to Iran’s exports (including oil) and imports, and which also could be open to countries outside the EU.[5] But it is unclear whether any business with ties to the United States would consider using this vehicle, particularly if the FATF re-imposes countermeasures in February.

U.S. Warns Foreign Firms against Iran

The October 11 FinCEN advisory describes typologies used by Iran to illicitly access the financial system, including: the misuse of banks and exchange houses; exploitation of commercial shipping; reliance on shell or front companies within complex procurement networks; reliance on senior officials from the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) to mask illicit transactions; and the use of precious metals and perhaps virtual currencies to evade sanctions.

Red flags for each of these deceptive behaviors are described as well, such as: the routing of transactions to personal accounts by CBI officials where funds may be withdrawn by entities with no affiliation to the Iranian government; the use of multiple exchange houses to conceal the origin of funds, accumulating fees and costs that are atypical of standard commercial practices; and the involvement of companies with opaque ownership structures, obscure names, or located at residential or multi-party addresses.

The advisory includes a description of U.S. sanctions that may be imposed following the U.S. withdrawal from the JCPOA and the subsequent 90- and 180 day wind-down periods. It warns foreign financial institutions that, as of November 5, they will be subject to “correspondent or payable-through account sanctions” for “knowingly conducting significant transactions for or with certain Iran-related persons,” and to “blocking sanctions” for “providing material support to designated persons.”[6]

The advisory serves not only as clarification to foreign financial institutions regarding the obligations of their U.S. counterparts, but also as a warning to non-U.S. banks and companies that may be doing business with Iran about the enforcement measures that U.S. authorities will focus on going forward.

U.S. Sanctions Target Iran’s Financial Networks

Last week saw the first major re-imposition of U.S. sanctions on Iranian state owned enterprises and financial institutions. Some 20 entities supporting the IRGC’s Basij paramilitary force were designated for supporting global terrorism, which allows for the imposition of secondary sanctions. The sanctioned entities included three Iranian financial institutions – Bank Mellat, Sina Bank, and Parsian Bank – that were removed from the U.S. blacklist following the implementation of the JCPOA. The United States has made clear that it intends to re-designate most or all of the entities that were removed as part of the JCPOA. However, the decision to begin doing so several weeks before the end of a 180-day wind-down period suggests that it will use the designation tool aggressively.

The United States also appears prepared to use the designation tool expansively. Last week’s sanctions targeted the Bonyad Taavon Basij network, which according to the Treasury Department “employs shell companies and other measures to mask Basij ownership and control over a variety of multibillion-dollar business interests in Iran’s automotive, mining, metals, and banking industries.”[7] Treasury designated four of the entities – Esfahan’s Mobarakeh Steel Company, Bahman Group, Sina Bank, and Parsian Bank – for their financial support to the network. Treasury’s use of the material support criterion rather than ownership or control to support the action demonstrates an expansive designation policy. A network map published with these sanctions illustrates this expansive targeting: Sina Bank and Parsian Bank, for example, are separated by several degrees from the Basij and the IRGC – the designated terrorist entities.[8]

This move follows narrower sanctions actions against financial networks in May, days after the U.S. withdrawal from the JCPOA. On May 10, in cooperation with the United Arab Emirates, the Treasury Department designated six individuals and three entities in an effort to disrupt a currency exchange network in Iran and UAE that transferred U.S. dollar-denominated bulk cash to the sanctioned IRGC Qods Force (IRGC-QF).[9] And on May 15, Treasury designated Iran’s Central Bank governor and part of Iraq’s banking sector for moving millions of dollars on behalf of IRGC-QF to Hezbollah.[10]

Both of these actions ultimately take aim at Iran’s Central Bank and preceded two key sanctions milestones: the re-imposition, on August 7, of secondary sanctions related to the purchase or acquisition of U.S. dollar banknotes by the Iranian government;[11] and the forthcoming re-imposition of secondary sanctions on persons engaging in certain significant transactions with the CBI on November 5.

The Specter of Secondary Sanctions against SWIFT

There is disagreement within the U.S. administration about how aggressively to target SWIFT, the Belgium-based financial messaging service that facilitates cross-border payments worldwide. SWIFT cooperated with U.S. and EU in the sanctions campaign during the years that preceded the nuclear agreement, by cutting off the CBI and other Iranian banks. However, SWIFT may be reluctant to do so at present, given the EU goal of maintaining the JCPOA and the economic sanctions relief the agreement is meant to deliver to Iran. Some in the United States conclude that SWIFT’s failure to disconnect Iran by a November 5 deadline would undermine the administration’s maximum pressure campaign; they argue that the banks represented on the SWIFT board and SWIFT officials should be targeted with sanctions. Others argue that such sanctions would pose a risk to the global financial system and would damage the U.S. ability to monitor illicit finance through information-sharing from SWIFT.[12]

The unusually public discussion of a potential target of U.S. secondary sanctions, especially against a high-profile entity like SWIFT, underscores the administration’s aggressive posture toward allies and foes alike in implementing its maximum pressure campaign.

Expected Enforcement Actions

The U.S. government may also use substantial financial penalties and the threat of criminal prosecution to deter major banks. One such expected enforcement action looms for Standard Chartered. The British bank disclosed that an ongoing U.S. government investigation into its past sanctions violations could yield considerable fines – reportedly up to 1.5 billion dollars. Since 2012, the bank has been operating with an independent monitor under terms from a deferred prosecution agreement with the Department of Justice and New York County’s District Attorney’s office for facilitating business with Iranian parties. Standard Chartered also entered into settlement agreements in 2012 with Treasury for these sanctions violations. Recently, there have been press reports that two former Standard Chartered employees could face criminal charges for their role in the alleged sanctions violations with Iranian-linked companies.

Conclusion

Despite the FATF decision to maintain the status quo, the United States is seeking to compel foreign financial institutions to avoid dealing with Iran’s financial sector through the threat and application of sanctions. This is one part of a broader U.S. campaign to exert maximum pressure on Iran, with the stated aim of creating conditions for negotiations on a comprehensive agreement that addresses the full range of threats posed by Iran.

The coming weeks and months will be critical in this campaign. Hundreds of entities that are part of or supporting the Iranian government will be returned to the U.S. blacklist. These designations will include the ability for the United States to sanction foreign banks and companies for dealing with such sanctioned parties. In addition, countries that fail to sufficiently reduce their purchases of Iranian oil may find themselves the subject of U.S. sanctions. Despite EU efforts to facilitate ongoing trade and investment with Iran, the overwhelming majority of firms in Europe and beyond are reluctant to jeopardize their much larger trade and investment with the United States. As a result, by the time the FATF meets next February to consider the re-imposition of countermeasures, Iran may already be cut off from the international financial system.


Footnotes:

[1] “High-risk and non-cooperative jurisdictions,” Financial Action Task Force, available at http://www.fatf-gafi.org/publications/high-riskandnon-cooperativejurisdictions/more/more-on-high-risk-and-non-cooperative-jurisdictions.html?hf=10&b=0&s=desc(fatf_releasedate).

[2] “Public Statement – October 2018,” Financial Action Task Force, October 19, 2018, available at https://www.iranwatch.org/library/multilateral-organizations/other-multilateral-organizations/financial-action-task-force/fatf-public-statement-october-2018-excerpts.

[3] “Advisory on the Iranian Regime’s Illicit and Malign Activities and Attempts to Exploit the Financial System,” FinCEN Advisory FIN-2018-A006, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, U.S. Department of the Treasury, October 11, 2018, available via https://www.iranwatch.org/library/governments/united-states/executive-branch/department-treasury/advisory-iranian-regimes-illicit-malign-activities-attempts-exploit-financial.

[4] “Treasury Sanctions Vast Financial Network Supporting Iranian Paramilitary Force That Recruits and Trains Child Soldiers,” Press Release, U.S. Department of the Treasury, October 16, 2018, available via https://www.iranwatch.org/library/governments/united-states/executive-branch/department-treasury/treasury-sanctions-vast-iranian-financial-network.

[5] Implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action: Joint Ministerial Statement, European Union External Action Service, September 24, 2018, available via https://www.iranwatch.org/library/multilateral-organizations/european-union/implementation-joint-comprehensive-plan-action-joint-ministerial-statement.

[6] “Advisory on the Iranian Regime’s Illicit and Malign Activities and Attempts to Exploit the Financial System,” FinCEN Advisory FIN-2018-A006, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, U.S. Department of the Treasury, October 11, 2018, available via https://www.iranwatch.org/library/governments/united-states/executive-branch/department-treasury/advisory-iranian-regimes-illicit-malign-activities-attempts-exploit-financial.

[7] “Treasury Sanctions Vast Financial Network Supporting Iranian Paramilitary Force That Recruits and Trains Child Soldiers,” Press Release, U.S. Department of the Treasury, October 16, 2018, available via https://www.iranwatch.org/library/governments/united-states/executive-branch/department-treasury/treasury-sanctions-vast-iranian-financial-network.

[8] “Bonyad Support Network: IRGC’s Financial Lifeline,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, October 16, 2018, available via https://www.iranwatch.org/sites/default/files/irgc_chart_10162018.pdf.

[9] “United States and United Arab Emirates Disrupt Large Scale Currency Exchange Network Transferring Millions of Dollars to the IRGC-QF,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, May 10, 2018, available via https://www.iranwatch.org/library/governments/united-states/executive-branch/department-treasury/united-states-united-arab-emirates-disrupt-large-scale-currency-exchange.

[10] “Treasury Targets Iran’s Central Bank Governor and an Iraqi Bank Moving Millions of Dollars for IRGC-Qods Force,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, May 15, 2018, available via https://www.iranwatch.org/library/governments/united-states/executive-branch/department-treasury/treasury-targets-irans-central-bank-governor-iraqi-bank-moving-millions-dollars.

[11] “Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Executive Order of August 6, 2018, Reimposing Certain Sanctions With Respect to Iran,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, August 6, 2018, available via https://www.iranwatch.org/library/governments/united-states/executive-branch/department-treasury/frequently-asked-questions-regarding-executive-order-august-6-2018-reimposing.

[12] Mark Dubowitz, “SWIFT Sanctions: Frequently Asked Questions,” Foundation for Defense of Democracies, October 10, 2018, available via https://www.thefdd.org/analysis/2018/10/10/swift-sanctions-frequently-asked-questions/.

Letting ZTE Off the Hook, Again? Implications for Iran Sanctions Enforcement

The plight of Chinese telecommunications giant Zhongxing Telecommunications Equipment Corporation (ZTE) may have eased this week, as U.S. and Chinese officials met in Washington for high-level trade talks.

On April 15, 2018, the U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) reactivated trade restrictions and re-imposed a $300 million fine against ZTE – barring the company from procuring critical U.S. components and effectively suspending the company’s business operations. The Commerce action came following the discovery that ZTE had continued to mislead investigators both during a probationary period and following March 2017 settlement agreements struck with the U.S. Departments of Commerce, Justice, and Treasury, for a combined penalty of $1.19 billion.[1] As part of the settlement, ZTE admitted to knowingly violating U.S. sanctions and export control laws by selling sensitive U.S. technology to Iran and to making false statements about the trade. ZTE falsely claimed that it had reprimanded employees complicit in the scheme. The company came clean only when pressed, which led Commerce to conclude that “ZTE still cannot be relied upon to make truthful statements” and to reactivate the trade restrictions.[2]

However, what was initially seen as an enforcement action separate from a broader trade conflict between the United States and China shifted following two presidential tweets earlier this week. In a tweet on May 13, President Donald Trump linked the two, saying that he is working with the Chinese president to “give massive Chinese phone company, ZTE, a way to get back into business, fast” and that the “Commerce Department has been instructed to get it done!” And in a May 14 tweet, President Trump wrote that the issue “is also reflective of the larger trade deal we are negotiating with China.”

The timing of this possible accommodation raises a number of questions. It comes fewer than two weeks after President Trump announced the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear accord and the re-imposition of sweeping U.S. sanctions – notably those targeting companies and governments around the world doing business with Iran. In this context, why would the U.S. administration be willing to ease impactful trade restrictions against a Chinese firm that knowingly and repeatedly violated U.S. sanctions and export controls? Why would the administration seek to cushion the blow of these restrictions by looking for “alternative remedies,” as Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross reportedly suggested earlier this week?[3] And does this mingling of sanctions enforcement and trade policy indicate that other companies might see similar penalties eased or waived as part of broader trade deals? How does such easing fit into the administration’s newly declared “maximum pressure” policy on Iran?[4]

A group of 33 Senate Democrats expressed concern about the administration’s shift on ZTE. In a May 15 letter to the President, they argued that “bargaining away law enforcement power over bad actors such as ZTE undermines the historically sharp distinction between sanctions and export control enforcement and routine trade decisions.”[5] Republican Senator Marco Rubio warned against allowing ZTE “to operate in U.S. without tighter restrictions,” given national security and espionage concerns.[6] Indeed, a multi-year investigation by the House Select Committee on Intelligence concluded in October 2012 that ZTE “cannot be trusted to be free of foreign state influence and thus pose[s] a security threat to the United States and to our systems.”[7] During the investigation, ZTE refused to answer Congressional questions about its contracts with Iran and its compliance with U.S. export control laws.

ZTE’s Sanctions Evasion Scheme[8]

Over a period of six years, ZTE exported over 20 million U.S.-origin items to Iran, worth over $2 billion, in violation of U.S. export control laws and sanctions.[9] The scheme began in 2010, when ZTE’s Tehran-based affiliate, ZTE Parsian, negotiated a contract with the Telecommunication Company of Iran (TCI) to further expand TCI’s telecommunication network. Fulfilling the contract required U.S.-origin goods and components, many of which are controlled by the Commerce Department for national security or anti-terrorism reasons. ZTE signed a second contract in 2010 with another Iranian telecommunications company, Ertebatat Tamin Shams Novin (Tamin), to provide equipment for 1,000 cell towers in Iran. This contract, too, required U.S.-origin, Commerce-controlled goods.

To circumvent U.S. license requirements and trade rules, ZTE established an elaborate re-export scheme that involved lying to U.S. suppliers by declaring China to be the end-use destination, co-mingling U.S.-origin products with ZTE products in shipments to Iran, and deliberately falsifying customs declarations to omit the U.S.-origin goods. ZTE executives also tasked a committee with finding “isolation companies,” or third-party companies, that were used to facilitate the procurement of U.S. goods and their re-export to Iran while concealing ZTE’s involvement. In order to pursue trade with Iran despite several U.S. government investigations, ZTE created a “contract data induction team” (CDIT) to sanitize all documentation related to the Iran deals. The company also lied to its own defense counsel about its trade with Iran, causing its counsel to make false statements to U.S. investigators.

False Statements Continue

As part of the March 2017 settlement, ZTE promised to initiate disciplinary action against 39 individuals identified as complicit in the scheme. This action – issuing letters of reprimand and docking 2016 bonuses – was, according to ZTE, “necessary to achieve the Company’s goals of disciplining those involved and sending a strong message to ZTE employees about the Company’s commitment to compliance.” In letters to BIS dated November 30, 2016 and July 20, 2017, ZTE described the disciplinary action it had allegedly taken or would take.[10]

However, ZTE’s claims about disciplinary action proved to be false. The letters of reprimand were not issued until March 2018 – following a query by BIS the previous month. On March 6, ZTE admitted to making false statements in its earlier letters to BIS. In addition, all but one of the 39 individuals received their full 2016 bonus, indicating that these individuals were rewarded for their complicity in the scheme.[11]

When faced with ZTE’s violations under the settlement, the Commerce Department determined that severe trade restrictions were needed. Imposing the $300 million suspended fine alone would be unlikely to induce the company to implement promised compliance steps or submit truthful disclosures. Cutting off the U.S. import and export market to ZTE, however, is a crippling blow to the company. ZTE is critically reliant on U.S.-origin technology for the smartphones and telecommunications equipment the company sells around the world, as American companies reportedly supply up to 30 percent of the components.[12] In addition, ZTE is the fourth largest smartphone supplier in the United States.[13]

Following the re-imposition of trade restrictions in mid-April, which added both ZTE and its China-based subsidiary ZTE Kangxun to the BIS Denied Persons List,[14] trade in the company’s shares was suspended in Hong Kong and Shenzhen.[15] In a statement on May 9, the company said that because of the U.S. restrictions “the major operating activities of the company have ceased.”[16] It has since provided additional information to the Commerce Department and has asked Commerce to ease the trade restrictions. The company’s fate now appears to be contingent on the outcome of the high-level trade talks between the U.S. and China.

Business as Usual

The absence of severe trade restrictions until now may have contributed to ZTE’s failure to change its duplicitous behavior. An April 2017 Iran Watch report (Lesson Learned or Business as Usual?) anticipated this outcome, arguing that record financial penalties and mandated compliance changes might not be enough to incite a true change in corporate culture. The report pointed to inadequate changes in ZTE’s leadership, the failure of Commerce to penalize all complicit third-party companies involved in the scheme, and the fact that the financial penalties, while hefty, were less than what ZTE earned by illegally trading with Iran.

Several ZTE executives in place during the scheme continue to hold significant positions at the company. Zhao Xianming took over as CEO in April 2016; he has been at the company since 2001 and previously served as ZTE’s Chief Technology Officer and an executive vice president.[17] Yin Yinmin, who held various executive positions at the company since 2004, was appointed Chairman of the Board in March 2017.[18]

Moreover, all of the directors, supervisors, senior management, and key employees profiled in the company’s 2017 Annual Report held a position at ZTE, a subsidiary, or a ZTE shareholding organization over the course of the six years the scheme took place. All but one of the 14 individuals listed on ZTE’s Board of Directors served on the board during this time frame as well.[19]

The settlement also failed to hold accountable all third-party companies integral in assisting ZTE with the scheme. ZTE relied on “isolation companies” to facilitate the procurement of U.S. origin-goods and their re-export to Iran, while concealing ZTE’s role.[20] Beijing 8-Star and Far East Cable Co Ltd. were two such companies identified by name in the settlement documents. However, only Beijing 8-Star was added to Commerce’s Entity List.[21] No action was taken against Far East Cable, despite clear evidence that the company knowingly re-exported U.S-origin goods to Iran on behalf of ZTE and was fully aware of U.S. export laws prohibiting such trade.[22] The settlement documents also reference the existence of an unnamed “isolation company” that supported similar trade with North Korea.[23]

Far East Cable continues to do business in the United States, exporting $4.7 million worth of goods between April 2016 and December 2017.[24] The company also continues to engage Iran. It attended Iran’s 17th International Electricity Exhibition in November 2017, “in a bid to expand [its] overseas markets.”[25] A company press release noted that Far East Cable staff “visited many large wire and cable manufacturers in Iran to actively discuss Iran’s […] potential cooperation opportunities.”[26]

Looking Forward

The next chapter for ZTE is unfolding amidst an effort by the U.S. administration to mount a broad economic sanctions campaign against Iran and amidst rising trade tensions between the United States and many of its major trading partners. From statements this week, President Trump appears willing to relent on robust sanctions enforcement against ZTE in the context of larger trade deals. This may lead other companies and governments to seek similar accommodations and may weaken the maximum pressure campaign the administration wants to mount against Iran.

For example, the Justice Department has opened a criminal investigation into whether another Chinese-company – ZTE competitor Huawei Technologies Co. – also violated U.S. sanctions on Iran.[27] This investigation comes on the heels of administrative subpoenas issued by both the Commerce and Treasury Departments.[28] The Huawei investigation may, like ZTE, get caught up in the broader trade dispute between the United States and China. If the investigation finds that Huawei violated U.S. sanctions on a comparable scale to ZTE, the U.S. government would be well served to apply the lessons of the ZTE case, by mandating real leadership change and penalizing all complicit third parties.

The outcome for ZTE may also have a bearing on the approach taken by European governments as they seek a way to preserve the Iran deal following the U.S. withdrawal. These governments also are undertaking high-level trade talks with the United States. Several major European companies have announced plans to pull out of Iran in recent days unless they can come to an arrangement with the U.S. government. The French oil firm Total, for instance, said it is “engaging with the French and U.S. authorities to examine the possibility of a project waiver” to continue a $1 billion natural gas development project in Iran.[29] Total plans to wind down operations in Iran if it fails to win such a waiver.

If the United States proves unwilling to let stand penalties against ZTE, a company that knowingly and repeatedly supplied Iran with sensitive U.S. technology, does it intend to penalize firms engaging in trade and investment in Iran’s energy sector – in particular given that until recently the U.S. supported such business in the context of the nuclear accord?


Footnotes:

[1] “ZTE Corporation Agrees to Plead Guilty and Pay Over $430.4 Million for Violating U.S. Sanctions by Sending U.S.- Origin Items to Iran,” Press Release, U.S. Department of Justice, March 7, 2017, available at https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/zte-corporation-agrees-plead-guilty-and-pay-over-4304-million-violating-us-sanctions-sending.

[2] “Order Activating Suspended Denial Order Relating to Zhongxing Telecommunications Equipment Corporation and Zte Kangxun Telecommunications Ltd.,” U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Industry and Security, Federal Register, Vol. 83, No. 78, April 23, 2018, p. 17646, available at https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2018-04-23/pdf/2018-08354.pdf.

[3] Randy Woods and Jenny Leonard, “Trump Muddies ZTE Role in China Talks as Ross Reviews Sanctions,” Bloomberg, May 14, 2018, available at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-05-14/ross-says-u-s-eyeing-alternatives-to-sanctions-on-china-s-zte.

[4] Press Briefing by Sarah Sanders, White House, May 9, 2018, available at https://www.iranwatch.org/library/governments/united-states/executive-branch/white-house/press-briefing-press-secretary-sarah-sanders-excerpts-0.

[5] “Schumer, Wyden, Brown Lead 33 Senators in Calling on Trump Administration to Put American Jobs, National Security Before China,” Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, May 15, 2018, available at https://www.democrats.senate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/schumer-wyden-brown-lead-33-senators-in-calling-on-trump-administration-to-put-american-jobs-national-security-before-china.

[6] Jacob Pramuk, “Republican Sen. Marco Rubio Warns: Trump’s Reversal on China’s ZTE is a National Security Risk,” CNBC, May 14, 2018, available at https://www.cnbc.com/2018/05/14/marco-rubio-slams-trump-reversal-on-chinese-company-zte.html.

[7] “Investigative Report on the U.S. National Security Issues Posed by Chinese Telecommunications Companies Huawei and ZTE,” Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, U.S. House of Representatives, 112th Congress, p. 45, October 8, 2012, available at https://intelligence.house.gov/sites/intelligence.house.gov/files/documents/huaweizte%20investigative%20report%20(final).pdf.

[8] An Iran Watch report published in April 2017 describes the sanctions evasion scheme, which is summarized here, in detail. See Jerrica Goodson and Valerie Lincy, “Lesson Learned or Business as Usual?,” April 4, 2017, available at https://www.iranwatch.org/sites/default/files/zte_report_complete_1.pdf.

[9] Settlement Agreement between Zhongxing Telecommunications Equipment Corporation, et al. and the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), ENF 40001, p. 4, March 7, 2017, available at https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/CivPen/Documents/20170307_zte_settlement.pdf; “ZTE Corporation Agrees to Plead Guilty and Pay Over $430.4 Million for Violating U.S. Sanctions by Sending U.S.- Origin Items to Iran,” Press Release, U.S. Department of Justice, March 7, 2017, available at https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/zte-corporation-agrees-plead-guilty-and-pay-over-4304-million-violating-us-sanctions-sending.

[10] “Order Activating Suspended Denial Order Relating to Zhongxing Telecommunications Equipment Corporation and Zte Kangxun Telecommunications Ltd.,” U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Industry and Security, Federal Register, Vol. 83, No. 78, April 23, 2018, pp. 17644-17648, available at https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2018-04-23/pdf/2018-08354.pdf.

[11] IBID

[12] Valerie Volcovici and Michael Martina, “In concession, Trump will help China’s ZTE ‘get back into business’,” Reuters, May 13, 2018, available at https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-usa-china-zte/trump-working-with-chinese-president-to-help-chinas-zte-get-back-into-business-idUSKCN1IE0QI.

[13] U.S. Smartphone Share: By Quarter,” Counterpoint, February 27, 2018, available at https://www.counterpointresearch.com/us-market-smartphone-share/.

[14] “Recent Changes to the Denied Persons List, Bureau of Industry and Security,” U.S. Department of Commerce, April 24, 2018, available at https://www.bis.doc.gov/index.php/the-denied-persons-list.

[15] “Overseas Regulatory Announcement Progress of Material Matter in relation to Suspension of Trading,” ZTE Corporation, May 16, 2018, available at http://www.hkexnews.hk/listedco/listconews/SEHK/2018/0516/LTN20180516235.pdf.

[16] Sijia Jiang, China’s ZTE Says Main Business Operations Cease Due to U.S. Ban, Reuters, May 9, 2018, available at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-zte-ban/chinas-zte-corp-says-main-business-operations-have-ceased-due-to-u-s-ban-idUSKBN1IA1XF

[17] “ZTE Corporation Reaches Settlement with U.S. Authorities,” Press Release, March 7, 2017, ZTE via PR Newswire, https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/zte-corporation-reaches-settlement-with-us-authorities-300419401.html; “Zhao Xianming-President/Executive Director, ZTE Corp,” Bloomberg, available at https://www.bloomberg.com/profiles/people/16021560-xianming-zhao..

[18] “ZTE Names Yin as Chairman,” Global Telecoms Business, March 14, 2017, available at http://www.globaltelecomsbusiness.com/article/3669244/ZTE-names-Yin-as-chairman.html#/.WMw3JVUrLcs.

[19] ZTE Annual Report 2017, ZTE Corporation, pp. 113-122, 141, 2017, available at http://res.www.zte.com.cn/mediares/zte/Investor/20180326/E1.pdf.

[20] Settlement Agreement between Zhongxing Telecommunications Equipment Corporation, et al. and the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), ENF 40001, pp. 8-9, March 7, 2017, available at https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/CivPen/Documents/20170307_zte_settlement.pdf.

[21] IBID; Additions to the Entity List, U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), Federal Register Vol. 81 No. 45, March 8, 2016, available at https://www.bis.doc.gov/index.php/forms-documents/aboutbis/newsroom/1440-81-fr-12004-entity-list-final-rule/file.

[22] United States of America v. ZTE Corporation, United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas Dallas Division, 3-17CR-0120K, Factual Resume, pp. 3, 16, March 7, 2017, available at https://www.justice.gov/opa/press-release/file/946281/download.

[23] “Report Regarding Comprehensive Reorganization and the Standardization of the Company Export Control Related Matters,” ZTE Corporation,” ZTE Corporate Document, August 25, 2011, available at https://www.iranwatch.org/sites/default/files/report_regarding_comprehensive_reorganization_and_the_standardization_of_the_company_export_control_related_matters.pdf.

[24] Far East Cable Co. Ltd, Shipments, April 2016-December 2016, accessed via Panjiva on May 2, 2018.

[25] “Smarter Energy attends the 17th Iran International Electricity Exhibition 2017,” New Far East Cable Co., Ltd., November 8, 2017, http://en.newfareast.com.cn/news/670.html.

[26] IBID

[27] Stu Woo, Aruna Viswanatha, “Huawei Under Criminal Investigation Over Iran Sanctions,” The Wall Street Journal, April 25, 2018, https://www.wsj.com/articles/huawei-under-criminal-investigation-over-iran-sanctions-1524663728.

[28] Stu Woo, Aruna Viswanatha, “Huawei Under Criminal Investigation Over Iran Sanctions,” The Wall Street Journal, April 25, 2018, https://www.wsj.com/articles/huawei-under-criminal-investigation-over-iran-sanctions-1524663728.

[29] “US withdrawal from the JCPOA: Total’s position related to the South Pars 11 project in Iran,” Total Press Release, May 16, 2018, available at https://www.total.com/en/media/news/press-releases/us-withdrawal-jcpoa-totals-position-related-south-pars-11-project-iran.

A Resilient Threat: SSRC’s Role in Syria’s Chemical Weapon Program

Introduction

After nearly seven years of fighting, it appears that the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad has gained the upper hand in Syria’s civil war, which has claimed nearly half a million lives.[1] In his ruthless campaign to hold on to power, Assad repeatedly has targeted civilian populations with chemical weapons. Since 2012, some 130 instances of chemical weapons use have been reported in Syria. The vast majority of the confirmed attacks have been attributed to the Assad regime.[2][3]

Click to view report infographic

Two of the most deadly attacks involved sarin gas, a highly toxic nerve agent. The first occurred in August 2013 in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta. The Syrian military launched a barrage of rockets and artillery armed with sarin at a rebel-controlled area, killing over 1,400 people, including at least 426 children.[4] The second attack occurred in April 2017 in Khan Sheikhoun. In this attack the Syrian Air Force dropped aerial bombs containing sarin on a civilian area, killing approximately 100 people.[5]

The Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC), which oversees the production of chemical weapons in Syria, contributed to these attacks. The SSRC operates a number of facilities across Syria, where it produces chemical weapons, missiles, and artillery. It also relies on a network of companies inside and outside of Syria through which it procures the equipment and materials necessary for production. This network continues to operate despite U.S. and other government sanctions and international efforts to dismantle Syria’s chemical weapons.

This report describes the SSRC’s role in the development of Syria’s chemical weapons and chemical weapon delivery systems, as well as the structure and operation of its procurement network.

The History of SSRC Chemical Weapons Development

The SSRC was established in 1971. While it performs civilian duties, one of its primary functions is to oversee Syria’s chemical weapon and missile programs.[6] Due to its involvement in these activities, the SSRC has been publicly sanctioned by the governments of Australia, Canada, the European Union, Japan, Norway, South Korea, Switzerland, and the United States.[7] The organization was also recommended for sanction in a draft U.N. Security Council resolution in February 2017. The resolution was vetoed by Russia and China.[8]

Declassified U.S. intelligence documents indicate that before 1983, the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia provided Syria with chemical agents and relevant training.[9] According to a recent report in the French investigative journal Mediapart, which was based on interviews with exiled SSRC scientists, the SSRC also received support for chemical weapon development from entities in West Germany. In the 1970s and early 1980s, Syrian chemists trained at university labs and research centers in Germany. While such training had ceased by 1983, the SSRC continued to import German products for its chemical program well into the 2000s. These imports reportedly included sodium fluoride and hydrogen fluoride, which are used in the synthesis of sarin gas. In the late 1980s, Armenia also provided assistance, including a formula for VX nerve agent and a supply of VX precursors. SSRC was soon producing VX at a secret underground site near Al-Nabk, 75 kilometers northeast of Damascus. According to the exiled scientists, VX production continued at this facility, with few interruptions, until 2012.[10]

By the mid-2000s, Iran was reportedly helping Syria develop its chemical weapon program, providing the blueprints for facilities and equipment used to produce hundreds of tons of precursors for VX and sarin. Tehran has also reportedly supplied Damascus with chemicals that can be used to produce mustard gas, including ethylene glycol, sodium sulfide, and hydrochloric acid. One such exchange occurred in 2002, when Iran’s Defense Industries Organization (DIO) supplied the SSRC with 10 tons of monoethylene glycol (MEG), which can be converted into a precursor for mustard gas and VX.[11] In addition, Tehran is reportedly the primary foreign funder of the SSRC’s weapons activities, even paying for North Korea’s assistance to its chemical weapon program.[12]

The SSRC appears to be Syria’s chief liaison with North Korea for the illicit procurement of equipment and materials for chemical weapons and ballistic missiles. Pyongyang has reportedly been supporting Syria’s chemical weapon program, in the form of equipment and technical assistance, since at least the 1990s. This support is believed to have accelerated in 2007, and to have continued after the outbreak of the civil war.[13] In early 2013, for example, North Korea reportedly transferred a vacuum dryer, which is required to produce chemical weapons, to Syria.[14] According to a leaked report by a U.N. expert panel, the SSRC reportedly received some 40 shipments from North Korea between 2012 and 2017.[15]

In addition, North Korea and Iran have reportedly helped build and operate at least five chemical weapon facilities in Syria,[16] at which the SSRC has overseen the production of large quantities of chemical munitions.

The majority of Syria’s stockpile is composed of sarin nerve agent.[17] The SSRC developed a particular type of sarin that uses hexamine as a stabilizer. This hexamine is a key “signature” of SSRC-developed sarin. This sarin generates diisoproyl methylphosphonate (DIMP) as a byproduct. DIMP is the second “signature” of the SSRC variant.[18] These signatures make it possible to identify SSRC-developed sarin.

In addition, through 2013, Damascus had a stockpile of several hundred tons of mustard gas and several tens of tons of VX nerve agent, according to a report by the French government.

SSRC and Chemical Weapon Delivery Systems

Syria’s missile program, which is also overseen by the SSRC, developed alongside its chemical weapon program.[19] Its arsenal of chemical weapon-capable delivery systems include several variants of liquid-fueled Scud missiles, including from North Korea, solid-fueled missiles of Iranian and Russian origin, as well as artillery rockets and aircraft.[20]

Damascus reportedly first acquired missiles, including the 300 km liquid-fueled Scud B ballistic missile and the Frog-7 artillery rocket, from the Soviet Union in the 1970s. By the 1990s, it had added to its arsenal the liquid-fueled Scud C, which has a range of 500 km.[21] As with its chemical weapon program, Syria received extensive help from Iran and North Korea for missile development.

After acquiring the technology for the 700 km liquid-fueled Scud D from Pyongyang, Syria began producing the missile around 2000.[22] Between 2005 and 2008, North Korea sought to procure raw materials for Syria’s missile and rocket programs on behalf of Damascus, including graphite, nozzle throats, and titanium steel. North Korea also supplied the SSRC with specialty steel and other materials for Scud electronic systems procured from China.[23] Engineers from Pyongyang’s Tangun Trading Company reportedly work with SSRC personnel to integrate the chemical weapons into Scud missile warheads.[24]

Iran has been assisting Syria with missile development since the early 1990s. Iran has cooperated with the SSRC in the construction of solid and liquid propellant production facilities, and reportedly supplies solid propellant equipment and technical expertise. By 2007, Damascus had also acquired the solid-fueled Fateh-110 ballistic missile from Iran, which has a range of 200-300 km. The SSRC reportedly is producing its own version of this system, known as the M600.[25] The Iranian firms Shahid Hemat Industrial Group (SHIG) and Shahid Bakeri Industrial Group (SBIG) reportedly supply explosives, solid propellant-related technology, and technical expertise to the SSRC.[26]

Syria also has received the solid-fueled SS-21 “Tochka” ballistic missile, which has a range of 70 km. Russia reportedly delivered a shipment of some 50 of these missiles in early 2017.[27]

Crossing the Red Line: SSRC and the Use of Chemical Weapons

Exiled SSRC scientists report that in 2009, Damascus, alarmed by potential domestic unrest, ordered the SSRC to begin miniaturizing gas munitions for use against dissidents. It was also reportedly ordered that equipment for storing sarin precursors and arming munitions be set up at seven specially chosen air bases across Syria. In the summer of 2011, as the civil war was ramping up, personnel from the SSRC’s elite Branch 450 began to modify small scale munitions and prepare the sarin precursors for use at the bases.[28] By 2013, the SSRC had dispersed Syria’s chemical agents across many sites, with estimates ranging from 20 to 50.[29]

The first confirmed use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime occurred in April 2013, in the Aleppo region. Sarin was used in that attack. Since then, Damascus is assessed to have launched at least 29 attacks with chemical weapons.[i] Seven involved sarin, while the remainder involved chlorine.[30] In the August 2013 sarin attack in Ghouta, SSRC personnel prepared the munitions prior to their launch, and reportedly developed the short-range rockets used in the attack.[31]

Under a joint U.S.-Russian agreement reached shortly after the August 2013 attack, Damascus was required to destroy all of its chemical weapons production equipment by November of that year. Its entire chemical weapon stockpile was to be removed from the country by July 2014. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) oversaw the implementation of this agreement.[32] In July 2014, the OPCW announced that all 1,300 metric tons of Syria’s declared stockpile had been removed.[33] By October 2017, the OPCW declared that 25 of the 27 chemical weapon production facilities declared by Syria had been destroyed (Syria requested assistance in the destruction of the remaining two facilities).[34]

Despite the OPCW’s efforts, reports soon emerged that Damascus had not surrendered its entire stockpile. OPCW officials reportedly found traces of undeclared VX and sarin at an SSRC facility in 2015.[35] That same year, international inspectors and officials told the Wall Street Journal that the Syrian government obstructed efforts to inspect its chemical facilities, leading U.S. intelligence agents to conclude that Syria had not surrendered its entire stockpile. Officials also said that Syria used its chemical labs to produce weaponized chlorine as the removal process occurred.[36] In October 2017, the OPCW reported that the SSRC still has not provided a complete declaration of its facilities and activities.[37]

The French and U.S. governments suspect that Damascus still has a stockpile of the sarin precursor methylphosphonyl difluoride (DF), the capacity to produce and stockpile sarin, as well as chemical-capable rockets and grenades.[38] An exiled SSRC employee estimates that the organization hid 35 metric tons[ii] of poison gas from the OPCW.[39]

Chemical weapon production under the SSRC continues. A report by a Western intelligence agency leaked to the BBC in May 2017 states that the organization is producing chemical weapons at three sites: Masyaf in Hama province, and two facilities near Damascus – Dummar (also known as Jamraya) and Barzeh. The chemical weapons are reportedly installed on artillery and long range missiles at Masyaf and Barzeh. While OPCW inspectors are present at the two sites near Damascus, they do not have access to all areas, and the weapons are reportedly produced in the restricted sections. The intelligence report also assesses that Russia and Iran are aware of Syria’s illicit activities.[40] The Israeli Air Force has reportedly conducted numerous airstrikes on these facilities over the past year, including at least three on Jamraya and one on Masyaf. It is not clear if these strikes have disrupted Syria’s chemical weapon production.[41]

Chemical weapons produced by the SSRC continue to be used by the Assad regime. Samples taken from Khan Sheikhoun following the April 2017 attack revealed the presence of hexamine and DIMP, the two “signatures” of SSRC sarin.[42] The Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM), established by the UN and the OPCW to investigate chemical weapons use in Syria, assesses that the sarin used in the attack was produced with the DF that came from Syria’s original stockpile.[43]

SSRC engineers also build barrel bombs used by the Syrian armed forces against civilian populations. These barrel bombs were used in chlorine gas attacks via helicopter on several occasions between 2014 and 2015. Since the beginning of 2018, suspected chlorine attacks have occurred in Eastern Ghouta and in Saraqeb, resulting in a number of casualties and at least six deaths.[44] The chlorine used in Saraqeb allegedly was delivered using barrel bombs dropped from a helicopter.[45]

A Resilient Network: SSRC’s Production and Procurement

It is difficult to get a clear picture of the SSRC’s structure and how it uses affiliates, front companies, and procurement agents. Media and government reports have shed some light on how it is organized. Other subdivisions have been identified in open sources. According to these reports, the SSRC has five specialized units working on chemicals weapons and their delivery vehicles:

  1. Division 1000 (Damascus) – development of navigation and guidance systems, as well as other electronics
  2. Division 2000 (Damascus) – engineering and production of launchers for rockets and missiles
    • Branch 410 – production of electronic and mechanical systems
  3. Division 3000 (Baza) – development and production of chemical and biological weapons
    • Department 3100 – synthesis of chemical weapons and their antidotes; chemical weapon detection and decontamination
    • Department 3600 – production of chemical weapons
    • Branch 450 – storage, guarding, and deployment of Syria’s chemical weapon stockpile
  4. Division 4000 (Aleppo) – oversight of all of Syria’s aviation, missile, and rocket programs
    • Project 99 – development of Scud missiles in cooperation with North Korea
    • Project 111 – development of surface-to-air missiles
    • Project 350 – production of surface-to-surface rockets and missiles
    • Project 702 – development of solid propellants, including for the M600, in cooperation with Iran
  5. Advanced Institute of Applied Sciences and Technology (ISSAT) – civilian programs[46]

The SSRC also oversees two major subsidiaries, both of which have been sanctioned by the United States and the European Union. They were also recommended for sanction by the United Nations in the February 2017 draft Security Council resolution:

  1. Higher Institute of Applied Science and Technology (HIAST)
  2. National Standards and Calibration Laboratory (NSCL)[47]

In addition, the SSRC has cultivated a network of front companies and procurement firms (see appendix), many of which also have been sanctioned by the United States and the European Union, notably the General Establishment for Engineering Industries (Handasieh). This firm oversees a group of about 12 engineering firms and has been connected to a number of missile-related shipments from North Korea. Handasieh also sought a casting molding line for a Scud missile project from Iran in 2010.[48]

In the years preceding the civil war, SSRC used its supply network in an effort to import equipment and material necessary for chemical weapon and ballistic missile production, often from Iran and North Korea. Interdicted items destined for SSRC front companies included solid double-base propellant,[49] chemical protection gear,[50] brass discs used to produce artillery ammunition tubes,[51] and machinery used in the production of liquid propellants.[52]

The U.S. Treasury Department also reports that in 2009 and 2010, Mechanical Construction Factory (MCF), one such front company, received components used in the production of solid propellant for rockets and missiles from Iran. Another SSRC front, Business Lab, also sought to procure 500 liters of pinacolyl alcohol, which is a precursor for the nerve agent soman, in 2009.[53]

In 2008, an SSRC affiliate attempted to purchase items that can be used to produce chemical weapon agents from two chemical firms in India. These items included glass components, chemical processing equipment, and heat exchangers.[54]

The SSRC’s procurement network has continued to operate despite the disarmament agreement and OPCW dismantlement work. According to the French government, since 2014 Syria has attempted to acquire dozens of tons of isopropanol, which is used in the manufacture of sarin.[55] Also since 2014, Western governments have identified over 30 SSRC front companies and procurement agents (see appendix for the complete list). In addition, the United States sanctioned 271 SSRC officials in a single action taken in April 2017.[56]

The SSRC uses these entities to make weapon-related procurements, including sarin gas precursors.[57] Such procurements have also reportedly included electronic components, computer numerically-controlled (CNC) machines, and raw materials.[58] In addition, the SSRC has recently sought to procure items under its own name, including carbon dioxide cylinders, cutting machinery,[59] and measuring equipment.[60]

One the most active SSRC front companies, the Metallic Manufacturing Factory (MMF), has issued at least two separate tenders for ammonium nitrate, which can be used as an oxidizer in missile propellants, and can also be used in explosives. The first tender, issued in July 2017, requested 700 tons of ammonium nitrate. The second, issued in January 2018, requested 1,000 tons.[61] Last year, MMF also sought to procure detonators[62] and a number of items with missile production applications, including a CNC lathe.[63] Earlier, in 2014, it sought to procure materials for making gas masks.[64]

The SSRC also has relied on entities based overseas to procure sensitive items on its behalf. For example, in July 2016 the United States sanctioned a Dubai-based network run by Salah Habib. This network acquired and shipped “sensitive merchandise and war materials” to the SSRC. In the same month, the United States targeted the Mahrous Group, another Dubai-based network, for making payments on behalf of SSRC to its foreign suppliers.[65]

Conclusion

Syria has not abandoned chemical weapons despite the partial disarmament in 2013-2014. This is demonstrated by the Assad regime’s continued use of these weapons as well as ongoing efforts, led by the SSRC, to obtain chemical weapon precursors and other weapon-related items.

Unfortunately, creating a robust U.N. sanctions regime in response is not possible, given Russia’s support of the Assad regime. Russian opposition doomed the Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM), which was established by the United Nations and the OPCW in August 2015 to investigate chemical weapons use in Syria. The JIM was terminated in late 2017 after Russia vetoed a series of Security Council resolutions which would have extended its mandate. During its tenure, the JIM issued reports implicating the Assad regime in four chemical weapon attacks: Khan Shaykhun in April 2017 (sarin); Sarmin in March 2016 (chlorine); Qmenas in March 2015 (chlorine); and Talmenes in April 2014 (chlorine).[66]

Thus, sanctions must be imposed by a multinational coalition. Given the SSRC’s reliance on foreign sources, the United States and its partners must continue to identify entities inside and outside of Syria supporting illicit procurement. The French government took such a step last January, identifying two networks comprised of dozens of entities that acted on behalf of the SRRC to procure chemical weapon material, including sarin gas precursors.[67] The entities in these networks operate from China, France, Lebanon, and the United Arab Emirates, as well as from Syria.

The French-initiated Partnership Against the Impunity for the Use of Chemical Weapons, which was launched in Paris in January 2018, is another positive step. The partnership is dedicated to identifying and holding accountable entities that use or proliferate chemical weapons. It has set up a database drawn from national sanctions lists that provides the names of entities involved in chemical weapon use and proliferation. The partnership currently consists of around 30 countries and international organizations, including the United States.[68] Initiatives such as these will be essential to hold the Assad regime accountable and to prevent it from continuing to produce, stockpile, and use chemical weapons in the future.

Appendix^

Entities Identified as SSRC Fronts or Procurement Agents Since 2011

ABC Shipping Co. (Lebanon) [69]
Aziz Allouch (Nationality: Unknown) [70]
Business Lab (Syria)[71]
Chahine Mireille (Nationality: Lebanese) [72]
Denise Company (Lenanon)[73]
EKT Smart Technology (China)
Electronic Katrangi Trading (EKT) (Lenabon)
Electronic System Group (ESG) (Syria) [74]
Expert Partners (Syria)
General Establishment for Engineering Industries (Handasieh)[75]
Golden Star Co. (Syria)
Houranieh Chadi (Nationality: Canadian)
Houranieh Fadi (Nationality: Syrian)
Houranieh Hwaida (Nationality: Canadian)
Houranieh Mohammad Khalil (Nationality: Syrian)
Houranieh Mohammad Nazier (Nationality: Canadian) [76]
Industrial Solutions (Syria)[77]
Joud Trading (UAE)
Kassoum Mohamed (Nationality: Unknown)
Katrangi Amir Hachem (Nationality: Syrian)
Katrangi Houssam Hachem (Nationality: Lebanese)
Katrangi Maher Hachem (Nationality: Syrian)
Lumière Elysées (France) [78]
Mahrous Group (Syria)[79]
Mahrous Trading FZE (UAE)
Mechanical Construction Factory (MCF)[80]
Megatrade (Syria)[81]
Metallic Manufacturing Factory (MMF) (Syria)[82]
MHD Nazier Houranieh & Sons Co (Syria)
MKH Import & Export (Syria)
NKTRONICS (Lenanon) [83]
Organization for Technological Industries (OTI) (Syria)[84]
Salah Habib (Nationality: French and Syrian) [85]
Shadi for Cars Trading (Lebanon)
Sigma Tech Company (Syria) [86]
Smart Green Power (France)
Smart Logistics Offshore (Lenanon)
Smart Pegasus (France)
Steelor Company (Lebanon) [87]
Syrian Arab Co. for Electronic Industries (Syronics) [88]
Technolab (Lebanon)[89]
Yona Star International (UAE, Syria) [90]
Zhou Yishan (Nationality: Chinese)[91]



Footnotes:

[1] Maksymilian Czuperski, et. al., “Distract, Deceive, Destroy: Putin at War in Russia,” Atlantic Council, April 2016, pp. 5, 19-20, available at http://publications.atlanticcouncil.org/distract-deceive-destroy/assets/download/ddd-report.pdf, accessed on January 25, 2018;  Brennan Weiss, “This photo says it all about Russia’s involvement in Syria,” Business Insider, November 21, 2017, available at http://www.businessinsider.com/putin-hugs-assad-photo-syria-russia-2017-11, accessed on January 25, 2018; “Syria: Populations At Risk,” Press Release, Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, November 24, 2017, available at http://www.syriahr.com/en/?p=79314, accessed on December 11, 2017; “Syria envoy claims 400,000 have died in Syria conflict,” United Nations Radio, April 22, 2016, available at http://www.unmultimedia.org/radio/english/2016/04/syria-envoy-claims-400000-have-died-in-syria-conflict/#.WnnyOmnwaUn, accessed on February 6, 2018; “Syria – Events of 2016,” Human Rights Watch World Wide Web site, https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2017/country-chapters/syria, accessed on February 6, 2018.

[2] “Allegations of Chemical Weapons Use in Syria Since 2012,” Directorate-General of External Security, Government of France, available at https://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/IMG/pdf/170425_-_national_evaluation_annex_-_anglais_cle81722e.pdf, accessed on January 25, 2018.

[3] “Allegations of Chemical Weapons Use in Syria Since 2012,” Directorate-General of External Security, Government of France, available at https://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/IMG/pdf/170425_-_national_evaluation_annex_-_anglais_cle81722e.pdf, accessed on January 25, 2018.

[4] “Government Assessment of the Syrian Government’s Use of Chemical Weapons on August 21, 2013,” Office of the Press Secretary, White House, August 30, 2013, available at https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-office/2013/08/30/government-assessment-syrian-government-s-use-chemical-weapons-august-21, accessed on December 11, 2017; Amb. Samantha Power, “United States Mission to the United Nations Exit Memo,” United States Mission to the United Nations, January 5, 2017, available at https://2009-2017-usun.state.gov/remarks/7643, accessed on December 11, 2017.

[5] “National Evaluation: Chemical Attack of 4 April 2017 (Khan Sheikhoun) Clandestine Syrian Chemical Weapons Programme,” Directorate-General of External Security, Government of France, April 25, 2017, p. 2, available at http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/IMG/pdf/170425_-_evaluation_nationale_-_anglais_-_final_1_cle8ca411.pdf, accessed on November 2, 2017; “Both ISIL and Syrian Government responsible for use of chemical weapons, UN Security Council told,” Press Release, United Nations, November 7, 2017, available at https://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=58051#, accessed on December 11, 2017.

[6] United Nations Security Council Draft Resolution, S/2017/172, February 28, 2017, p. 11, available at http://www.securitycouncilreport.org/atf/cf/%7B65BFCF9B-6D27-4E9C-8CD3-CF6E4FF96FF9%7D/s_2017_172.pdf, accessed on December 4, 2017; “Fact Sheet: Increasing Sanctions Against Syria,” Office of Public Affairs, U.S. Department of the Treasury, July 18, 2012, available at http://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Documents/Fact%20Sheet.pdf, accessed on December 14, 2017.

[7] “Autonomous Sanctions (Designated Persons and Entities and Declared Persons – Syria) List 2012,” Australian Department of Foreign Affairs, April 28, 2015, pp. 4, 18, available at https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2015C00369/Download, accessed on January 24, 2018; “Special Economic Measures (Syria) Regulations,” Canadian Minister of Justice, May 24, 2011, SOR/2011-114, p. 9, available at http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/PDF/SOR-2011-114.pdf, accessed on January 24, 2018; Council Regulation (EU) No 36/2012 of 18 January 2012 concerning restrictive measures in view of the situation in Syria and repealing Regulation (EU) No 442/2011 (Consolidated Version), September 27, 2017, available at http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:02012R0036-20170927&qid=1515531237694&from=EN, accessed on January 9, 2018; “Addition of Lists for the Measures to Freeze the Assets of President Bashar Al-Assad and His Related Individuals and Entities in Syria,” Press Release, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, December 22, 2011, available at http://www.mofa.go.jp/announce/announce/2011/12/1222_04.html, accessed on January 24, 2018; The Regulation on Special Measures Against Syria, Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, September 2, 2011, available at https://lovdata.no/dokument/LTI/forskrift/2014-02-14-214/*#* (in Norwegian), accessed on January 26, 2018; Amendment to Syria Sanctions – Consolidated List, State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), Government of Switzerland, October 10,, 2017, available at https://www.seco.admin.ch/dam/seco/de/…/Syrien/…/Syrien 2017-08-03.pdf, accessed on January 24, 2018; “Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control, January 26, 2018, p. 269, available at https://www.treasury.gov/ofac/downloads/sdnlist.pdf, accessed on January 26, 2018; “List of persons subject to financial sanctions under Article 2, paragraph 1, subparagraphs 15 to 19 of the Guidelines for Payment and Recognition for the Implementation of Duties such as International Peace and Security Maintenance,” South Korean Ministry of Strategy and Finance, December 11, 2017, available at http://www.mosf.go.kr/com/synap/synapView.do?atchFileId=ATCH_000000000006869&fileSn=2, accessed on February 7, 2018; “Guidelines for Payment and Receipt for the Fulfillment of Obligations such as International Peace and Security Maintenance,” Ministry of Strategy and Finance, August 12, 2016, available at http://www.mosf.go.kr/com/synap/synapView.do?atchFileId=ATCH_000000000002556&fileSn=1, accessed on February 7, 2018.

[8] United Nations Security Council Draft Resolution, S/2017/172, February 28, 2017, pp. 5, 9, 11, available at http://www.securitycouncilreport.org/atf/cf/%7B65BFCF9B-6D27-4E9C-8CD3-CF6E4FF96FF9%7D/s_2017_172.pdf, accessed on February 8, 2018; “Russia, China block Security Council action on use of chemical weapons in Syria,” Press Release, United Nations, February 27, 2017, available at http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=56260#.WnyzgJ3waUk, accessed on February 8, 2018.

[9] “Implications of Soviet Use of Chemical and Toxic Weapons for U.S. Security Interests,” U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, September 15, 1983, p. 11, available at http://www.fas.org/irp/threat/cbw/sniecbw1983.pdf, accessed on September 17, 2013.

[10] Rene Backmann, “Chemical Weapons: Syrian Regime Has Developed its Arsenal with the Help of Several Countries,” Mediapart, June 2, 2017, available as EUL201706092761441 via Open Source Center (www.opensource.gov), accessed on December 1, 2017.

[11] “Australia Group: 2006 Information Exchange (IE),” U.S. Department of State, June 20, 2006, available at https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/06PARIS4218_a.html, accessed on December 7, 2017.

[12] Bruce E. Bechtol Jr., “North Korea and Syria: Partners in Destruction and Violence,” Korean Journal of Defense Analysis, September 2015, pp. 282-283, available at https://blackboard.angelo.edu/bbcswebdav/institution/LFA/CSS/Course Material/SEC6317/readings/01_Bruce E. Bechtol.pdf, accessed on December 4, 2017.

[13] Nate Thayer, “North Korea and Syrian Chemical and Missile Programs,” NK News, June 19, 2013, available at https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:Iuw_Siobn3EJ:https://www.nknews.org/2013/06/north-korea-and-syrian-chemical-and-missile-programs/+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us, accessed via Google cache on January 8, 2018; Bruce E. Bechtol Jr., “North Korea and Syria: Partners in Destruction and Violence,” Korean Journal of Defense Analysis, September 2015, pp. 282-283, 286, available at https://blackboard.angelo.edu/bbcswebdav/institution/LFA/CSS/Course Material/SEC6317/readings/01_Bruce E. Bechtol.pdf, accessed on December 4, 2017.

[14] “N. Korea ‘Exporting Chemical Weapons Parts to Syria,’” Chosun Ilbo, June 17, 2013, available at http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2013/06/17/2013061700887.html, accessed on December 4, 2017.

[15] https://af.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idAFKBN1FM2NH

[16] Bruce E. Bechtol Jr., “North Korea and Syria: Partners in Destruction and Violence,” Korean Journal of Defense Analysis, September 2015, p. 283, available at https://blackboard.angelo.edu/bbcswebdav/institution/LFA/CSS/Course Material/SEC6317/readings/01_Bruce E. Bechtol.pdf, accessed on December 4, 2017.

[17] “Syria/Syrian chemical programme – National executive summary of declassified intelligence,” Directorate-General of External Security, Government of France, September 3, 2013, pp. 1-2, available at http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/IMG/pdf/Syrian_Chemical_Programme.pdf, accessed on December 15, 2017.

[18] “National Evaluation: Chemical Attack of 4 April 2017 (Khan Sheikhoun) Clandestine Syrian Chemical Weapons Programme,” Directorate-General of External Security, Government of France, April 25, 2017, p. 2, available at http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/IMG/pdf/170425_-_evaluation_nationale_-_anglais_-_final_1_cle8ca411.pdf, accessed on November 2, 2017; Rene Backmann, “Chemical Weapons: Syrian Regime Has Developed its Arsenal with the Help of Several Countries,” Mediapart, June 2, 2017, available as EUL201706092761441 via Open Source Center (www.opensource.gov), accessed on December 1, 2017.

[19] United Nations Security Council Draft Resolution, S/2017/172, February 28, 2017, p. 11, available at http://www.securitycouncilreport.org/atf/cf/%7B65BFCF9B-6D27-4E9C-8CD3-CF6E4FF96FF9%7D/s_2017_172.pdf, accessed on December 4, 2017; “Fact Sheet: Increasing Sanctions Against Syria,” Office of Public Affairs, U.S. Department of the Treasury, July 18, 2012, available at http://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Documents/Fact%20Sheet.pdf, accessed December 14, 2017; Robin Hughes, “SSRC: Spectre at the Table,” Jane’s Defense Weekly, January 22, 2014, available via Jane’s Information Group (www.janes.com), accessed on December 4, 2017.

[20] “Syria/Syrian chemical programme – National executive summary of declassified intelligence,” Directorate-General of External Security, Government of France, September 3, 2013, pp. 1-3, available at http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/IMG/pdf/Syrian_Chemical_Programme.pdf, accessed on December 15, 2017; “Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR): Syria, Ballistic Missile Program,” U.S. Department of State, September 23, 2009, available at https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/09STATE98667_a.html, accessed on December 7, 2017; “SSRC: Spectre at the Table,” Jane’s Defense Weekly, January 22, 2014, available via Jane’s Information Group (www.janes.com), accessed on December 4, 2017; Lucas Tomlinson, “Russia sends Syria its largest missile delivery to date, US officials say,” Fox News, February 8, 2017, available at http://www.foxnews.com/world/2017/02/08/russia-sends-syria-its-largest-missile-delivery-to-date-us-officials-say.html, accessed on February 8, 2018.

[21] “Missile Proliferation – Syria” Federation of American Scientists World Wide Web site, https://fas.org/irp/threat/missile/syria.htm, accessed on December 21, 2017; “SSRC: Spectre at the Table,” Jane’s Defense Weekly, January 22, 2014, available via Jane’s Information Group (www.janes.com), accessed on December 4, 2017; “Ballistic and Cruise Missile Threat,” U.S. National Air and Space Intelligence Center, 2013, pp. 13, 17, available at https://fas.org/programs/ssp/nukes/nuclearweapons/NASIC2013_050813.pdf, accessed on December 30, 2017.

[22] “Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR): Syria, Ballistic Missile Program,” U.S. Department of State, September 23, 2009, available at https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/09STATE98667_a.html, accessed on December 7, 2017; “SSRC: Spectre at the Table,” Jane’s Defense Weekly, January 22, 2014, available via Jane’s Information Group (www.janes.com), accessed on December 4, 2017; “Ballistic & Cruise Missile Threat,” NASIC-1031-0985-13, U.S. National Air and Space Intelligence Center, 2013, p. 13, available at https://fas.org/programs/ssp/nukes/nuclearweapons/NASIC2013_050813.pdf, accessed on December 30, 2016.

[23] “Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR): Syria, Ballistic Missile Program,” U.S. Department of State, September 23, 2009, available at https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/09STATE98667_a.html, accessed on December 7, 2017.

[24] Bruce E. Bechtol Jr., “North Korea and Syria: Partners in Destruction and Violence,” Korean Journal of Defense Analysis, September 2015, p. 286, available at https://blackboard.angelo.edu/bbcswebdav/institution/LFA/CSS/Course Material/SEC6317/readings/01_Bruce E. Bechtol.pdf, accessed on December 4, 2017.

[25] “Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR): Syria, Ballistic Missile Program,” U.S. Department of State, September 23, 2009, available at https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/09STATE98667_a.html, accessed on December 7, 2017; “SSRC: Spectre at the Table,” Jane’s Defense Weekly, January 22, 2014, available via Jane’s Information Group (www.janes.com), accessed on December 4, 2017; “Ballistic & Cruise Missile Threat,” NASIC-1031-0985-17, U.S, Defense Intelligence Ballistic Missile Analysis Committee, June 2017, p. 21, available at https://fas.org/irp/threat/missile/bm-2017.pdf, accessed on December 21, 2017.

[26] Robin Hughes, “SSRC: Spectre at the Table,” Jane’s Defense Weekly, January 22, 2014, available via Jane’s Information Group (www.janes.com), accessed on December 4, 2017.

[27] Lucas Tomlinson, “Russia sends Syria its largest missile delivery to date, US officials say,” Fox News, February 8, 2017, available at http://www.foxnews.com/world/2017/02/08/russia-sends-syria-its-largest-missile-delivery-to-date-us-officials-say.html, accessed on February 8, 2018; “Syria/Syrian chemical programme – National executive summary of declassified intelligence,” Directorate-General of External Security, Government of France, September 3, 2013, pp. 1-3, available at http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/IMG/pdf/Syrian_Chemical_Programme.pdf, accessed on December 15, 2017.

[28] Rene Backmann, “How Bashir Al-Asad Gassed His Own People: Secret Plans and Proof,” Mediapart, June 1, 2017, available as EUL2017060928105207 via Open Source Center (www.opensource.gov), accessed on January 1, 2018.

[29] Shashank Bengali, “Syrian leader discloses locations of dozens of chemical weapons sites,” Los Angeles Times, September 24, 2013, available at http://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-syria-chemical-20130925-story.html, accessed on November 13, 2017; Adam Entous, Julian E. Barnes, and Nour Malas, “Elite Syrian Unit Scatters Chemical Arms Stockpile,” Wall Street Journal, September 12, 2013, available at https://www.wsj.com/articles/elitesyrian-unit-scatters-chemical-arms-stockpile-1379036397?tesla=y, accessed on November 13, 2017.

[30] “Allegations of Chemical Weapons Use in Syria Since 2012,” Directorate-General of External Security, Government of France, available at https://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/IMG/pdf/170425_-_national_evaluation_annex_-_anglais_cle81722e.pdf, accessed on January 25, 2018.

[31] “Government Assessment of the Syrian Government’s Use of Chemical Weapons on August 21, 2013,” Office of the Press Secretary, White House, August 30, 2013, available at https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-office/2013/08/30/government-assessment-syriangovernment-s-use-chemical-weapons-august-21, accessed on December 11, 2017; Gregory Koblentz, “Syria’s Chemical Weapons Kill Chain,” Foreign Policy, April 7, 2017, available at http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/04/07/syrias-chemical-weapons-kill-chain-assad-sarin/, accessed on November 2, 2017.

[32] United Nations Security Council Resolution 2118 (2013), September 23, 2013 pp. 5-7.

[33] “OPCW Maritime Operation Completes Deliveries of Syrian Chemicals to Commercial Destruction Facilities,” Press Release, Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, July 24, 2014, available at https://www.opcw.org/news/article/opcw-maritime-operation-completes-deliveries-of-syrian-chemicals-to-commercial-destruction-facilitie/, accessed on January 4, 2018.

[34] “Progress in the Elimination of the Syrian Chemical Weapons Programme,” Note by the Director-General, Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, October 23, 2017, available at https://www.opcw.org/fileadmin/OPCW/EC/87/en/ec87dg02_e_.pdf, accessed on January 4, 2018.

[35] Anthony Deutsch, “Exclusive – Weapons Inspectors Find Undeclared Sarin and VX Traces in Syria: Diplomats,” Reuters, May 8, 2015, available at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-chemicals-exclus/exclusive-weapons-inspectors-find-undeclared-sarin-and-vx-traces-in-syria-diplomats-idU.S.KBN0NT1YR20150508, accessed on May 22, 2015.

[36] Adam Entous and Naftali Bendavid, “Mission to Purge Syria of Chemical Weapons Comes Up Short,” Wall Street Journal, July 23, 2015, available at https://www.wsj.com/articles/mission-to-purge-syria-of-chemical-weapons-comes-up-short-1437687744, accessed on July 28, 2015.

[37] “Progress in the Elimination of the Syrian Chemical Weapons Programme,” Note by the Director-General, Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, October 23, 2017, available at https://www.opcw.org/fileadmin/OPCW/EC/87/en/ec87dg02_e_.pdf, accessed on January 4, 2018.

[38] “National Evaluation: Chemical Attack of 4 April 2017 (Khan Sheikhoun) Clandestine Syrian Chemical Weapons Programme,” Directorate-General of External Security, Government of France, April 25, 2017, p. 5, available at http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/IMG/pdf/170425_-_evaluation_nationale_-_anglais_-_final_1_cle8ca411.pdf, accessed on November 2, 2017; Daniel R. Coats, Director of National Intelligence, “Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community,” May 11, 2017, p. 7, available at https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/Newsroom/Testimonies/SSCI Unclassified SFR – Final.pdf, accessed on December 7, 2017.

[39] Rene Backmann, “Chemical Weapons: Syrian Regime Has Developed its Arsenal with the Help of Several Countries,” Mediapart, June 2, 2017, available as EUL201706092761441 via Open Source Center (www.opensource.gov), accessed on December 1, 2017.

[40] “Syria government ‘producing chemical weapons at research facilities’,” BBC News, May 4, 2017, available at http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-39796763, accessed on November 2, 2017; “OPCW Executive Council Adopts Decision Regarding the OPCW-United Nations Joint Investigative Mechanism Reports About Chemical Weapons Use in the Syrian Arab Republic,” Press Release, Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, November 11, 2016, available at https://www.opcw.org/news/article/opcw-executive-council-adopts-decision-regarding-the-opcw-united-nations-joint-investigative-mechanism-reports-about-chemical-weapons-use-in-the-syrian-arab-republic/, accessed on November 2, 2017.

[41] “Three Possible Reasons for the Attack on Syria’s Jamraya Facility,” YNet News, February 7, 2018, available at https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5096766,00.html, accessed on February 7, 2018; ‘”Israeli Jets Hit Syria’s Masyaf Chemical Site’ – Reports,” BBC News, September 7, 2017, available at http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-41184867, accessed on February 7, 2018.

[42] “National Evaluation: Chemical Attack of 4 April 2017 (Khan Sheikhoun) Clandestine Syrian Chemical Weapons Programme,” Directorate-General of External Security, Government of France, April 25, 2017, pp. 2, 4, available at http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/IMG/pdf/170425_-_evaluation_nationale_-_anglais_-_final_1_cle8ca411.pdf, accessed on November 2, 2017.

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[44] “Rescuers, doctors in Syria’s rebel-held Idlib says chemical gas used,” Reuters, February 5, 2018, available at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-attack/rescuers-doctors-in-syrias-rebel-held-idlib-says-chemical-gas-used-idUSKBN1FP27K, accessed on February 8, 2018.

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[89] “Treasury Sanctions Additional Individuals and Entities in Response to Continuing Violence in Syria,” Press Release, U.S. Department of the Treasury, December 23, 2016, available at https://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/jl0690.aspx, accessed on November 2, 2017.

[90] “Treasury Sanctions Networks Providing Support to the Government of Syria,” Press Center, U.S. Department of the Treasury, July 21, 2016, available at https://www.treasury.gov/presscenter/press-releases/Pages/jl0526.aspx, accessed on November 2, 2017; “Syria Designations; Non-proliferation Designations,” Office of Foreign Assets Control, U.S. Department of the Treasury, July 21, 2016, available at https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/OFAC-Enforcement/Pages/20160721.aspx, accessed on February 6, 2018.

[91] Order of January 18, 2018 Implementing Articles L.562-3 and Following of the Monetary and Financial Code, French Ministry of Economy and Finances, available at https://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/politique-etrangere-de-la-france/desarmement-et-non-proliferation/evenements-lies-au-desarmement-et-a-la-non-proliferation/evenements-lies-aux-armes-chimiques/article/communique-de-presse-conjoint-de-mm-le-drian-et-le-maire-23-janvier-2018# (in French), accessed on January 23, 2018; Order of January 18, 2018 Implementing Articles L.562-3 of the Monetary and Financial Code, French Ministry of Economy and Finances, available at https://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/politique-etrangere-de-la-france/desarmement-et-non-proliferation/evenements-lies-au-desarmement-et-a-la-non-proliferation/evenements-lies-aux-armes-chimiques/article/communique-de-presse-conjoint-de-mm-le-drian-et-le-maire-23-janvier-2018# (in French), accessed on January 23, 2018.

The Missile Sanctions Gap: Re-Aligning U.S. and EU Iran Designations

Introduction

January 2018 brought with it two key recurring deadlines for U.S. President Donald Trump: whether or not to certify Iran’s compliance with the nuclear deal and whether to continue waiving nuclear-related sanctions on Iran. On January 12, the president decided for a second time not to certify Iran’s compliance, but he stopped short of re-imposing sanctions. Instead, he waived sanctions once again to allow time to “fix the deal’s disastrous flaws,” including by securing Europe’s cooperation in addressing Iran’s ballistic missile threat. The president warned, however, that this would be “a last chance” and that without progress he would “withdraw from the deal immediately.”[1]

The January 12 sanctions waivers were accompanied by another round of U.S. Treasury Department sanctions, including against entities supporting Iran’s military-related procurement. Earlier in January, the Treasury Department designated five entities for their support of Iran’s solid fuel ballistic missile program.[2] These are the latest in a string of recent actions by the United States against Iranian missile proliferators, which have been taken in conjunction with sanctions targeting the Iranian government’s support for terrorism, human rights abuses, and its destabilizing regional actions.

The Sanctions Coordination Gap

The ongoing effort by the United States to identify and designate entities and suppliers supporting Iran’s missile program stands in contrast to the European Union, which has not sanctioned any Iran-related entities of proliferation concern since December 22, 2012.[3] While neither the United States nor the EU designated any entities during the height of the nuclear negotiations in 2015, the United States resumed such designations in January 2016 – just one day after the implementation of the nuclear agreement.[4]

Click to view report infographic

Since the agreement’s implementation, the United States has designated 73 proliferation-related entities, only three of which appear on the EU list.[5] (These entities are listed in appendix to this report.) The majority of these entities are derivative designations targeting subsidiaries and overseas networks of suppliers, front companies, and individuals acting on behalf of already designated entities. Most were targeted for supporting Iran’s ballistic missile program, with a fewer number designated for supporting Iran’s military, including through illicit procurement.[6]

In his January 12 statement, the president called on Europe to join the United States in taking “stronger steps” aimed at “constraining Iran’s missile development and stopping the proliferation of missiles, especially to Yemen.”[7] He also described ongoing efforts to work with European allies on “a new supplemental agreement that would impose new multilateral sanctions if Iran develops or tests long-range missiles.”[8]

Congress, too, has called for greater cooperation between the United States and the EU in efforts to constrain Iran’s missile development, including by coordinating proliferation designations. Such coordination was one reason for the high impact of international sanctions in the period before the 2015 nuclear agreement. The Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA – P.L. 115-44), which the president signed into law last August, requires the administration to report to Congress every 180 days on the discrepancies between U.S. and EU WMD or missile proliferation sanctions.[9] The first such report is due at the end of this month.

While a number of EU member countries agree on the need to confront Iran’s missile program, all are critical of the president’s decision to tie such action to the nuclear agreement. EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini repeatedly has emphasized the need to address ballistic missiles outside of the nuclear agreement, including at meetings with U.S. officials in Washington last fall.[10]

The Road to Iran’s Military

A pattern emerges in looking at the entities sanctioned by the United States for proliferation following the implementation of the nuclear agreement. Fifty-nine of the 73 entities are subsidiaries of or suppliers to a handful of well-known entities supporting Iran’s Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL), including Shahid Hemat Industrial Group (SHIG), Shahid Bagheri Industrial Group (SBIG). Both of these entities are subordinate to Iran’s Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO), which is “responsible for ballistic missile research, development and production activities,” according to the Treasury Department.[11] Subsidiaries and suppliers of Shiraz Electronics Industries (SEI) also have been the target of recent sanctions. SEI produces electronics for Iran’s military. It is a subsidiary of Iran Electronics Industries (IEI), which is itself controlled by MODAFL. Most of the remaining 14 entities were designated for their connection to or support of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). All of these designations were made pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13382, “which targets proliferators of WMDs and their delivery systems.”[12]

The EU, too, has sanctioned all of the well-known proliferators named above through a series of Council decisions and regulations since 2007.[13] Like the U.S. Executive Order, these authorities provide that the sanctions – including an asset freeze and prohibition on transactions – apply to those entities acting on behalf of, or owned or controlled by, those that are explicitly designated. However, the EU has failed to take action against such related entities since the nuclear agreement’s implementation. This makes it easier for Iran’s missile supply network to continue operating and undermines the impact of U.S. sanctions.

SHIG and SBIG: Key Contributors to Iran’s Ballistic Missile Program

SHIG is responsible for Iran’s liquid-fueled ballistic missile program, including the development of the medium-range Shahab-3 originally based on North Korea’s No Dong missile. SHIG also has engaged in the transfer of controlled missile technology with North Korea.[14] SBIG is responsible for Iran’s solid-fueled ballistic missile program and produces Iran’s Fateh-100 short-range missile.[15] Twenty-eight of the 73 entities designated by the United States are subordinates or suppliers to SHIG or SBIG, both of which remain subject to U.N. sanctions pursuant to Security Council resolution 2231.[16]

The U.S. focus on SBIG and SHIG increased after Iranian-backed Houthi militants in Yemen launched short-range ballistic missiles into Saudi Arabia on three separate occasions between July and December 2017. During a press conference on December 14, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley presented missile parts recovered from two of these missile strikes. One piece of missile debris was stamped with the SBIG logo and a missile guidance system component was imprinted with SHIG’s name.[17] A U.N. investigative panel for Yemen reportedly stated that Iran may be in “noncompliance” with U.N. resolutions by failing to prevent the Houthis from acquiring the missiles.[18]

 

Stamped logos for SHIG and SBIG appear on debris from Iranian missiles fired into Saudi Arabia from Yemen. Photos by EJ Hersom and courtesy of the Defense Video Imagery Distribution System.

The United States has continued to target subsidiaries of SHIG and SBIG, most recently on January 4, when the Treasury Department designated five entities for their role in developing and producing missile guidance systems, propellant for solid-fueled ballistic missiles, and ballistic missile launchers. All five are “owned or controlled” by SBIG.[19]

U.S. sanctions also have aimed to shut down the overseas supply networks used by SHIG and SBIG. For example, in February 2017 the Treasury Department designated a key Iranian procurement agent, Abdollah Asgharzadeh, and a network of China-based brokers and companies used by Asgharzadeh to procure dual-use technology for SHIG. The Asgharzadeh network procured and shipped foreign-produced ball bearings required for the Shahab-2 and Shahab-3 ballistic missiles.[20] Also in February 2017, the Treasury Department targeted a Dubai-based procurement network supplying SBIG with ballistic missile components.[21]

SEI: Targeting Proliferation Abroad

SEI produces electronic equipment for the Iranian military, including radars, avionics and control systems, and missile guidance technology.  The firm has used front companies[22] and individuals globally[23] to obtain sensitive U.S.-origin missile-related goods and technology.[24]

Half of the 28 foreign firms sanctioned by the United States for proliferation since the nuclear agreement’s implementation were targeted for their support of SEI or its parent, IEI.[25] For example, in July 2017, the Treasury Department designated a China-based procurement agent and a network of Chinese companies she used to procure U.S.-, Canadian-, and European-origin electronic components on behalf of SEI.[26] And in May 2017, the Treasury Department designated another Chinese national and three associated China-based companies for supplying SEI with goods and technology used for missile navigation, guidance, and stabilization. Some transactions have taken place “since at least 2015,” the year of the nuclear agreement.[27]

In the Treasury Department’s most recent action on January 12, yet another China-based supply network was sanctioned for selling specialized sensors and navigational gyrocompasses to SEI.[28]


Equipment and electronic components for anti-tank missiles with SEI and IEI logos, seized while en route from Iran to Yemen. Photos courtesy of the United Nations.

SEI and IEI also have been connected to military-related exports to Yemen. In January 2016, a U.N. investigative panel concluded that weapons seized by the U.S. and Australia while en route to Yemen were likely of Iranian origin. The panel’s report noted that the weapons bore “the markings bearing the names of Iranian industrial companies” and contained photos revealing stamps belonging to SEI and IEI.[29]

The Challenges of Realignment

Since the implementation of the nuclear agreement, the EU has failed to join the United States in identifying and targeting organizations and individuals under the umbrella of entities responsible for Iran’s missile development, production, and export. More broadly, the EU has rarely pursued the overseas networks supplying missile technology to these entities. As a result, SHIG, SBIG, SEI, and others are able to circumvent sanctions more easily by using subordinates, front companies, and overseas agents to support missile development.

There are several reasons for this failure to act. First, establishing consensus among the EU’s 28 member countries is difficult. France has taken a firm stance, calling Iran’s missile program “inconsistent” with U.N. resolutions and “a destabilizing factor in the region.”[30] In a speech on January 8, President Emmanuel Macron noted that Iran’s “ballistic missile activity has been stepped up” since the 2015 nuclear agreement, and that dialogue with Iran to restrict this activity is “essential.”[31] Other countries, however, have been less forceful in calling for action.[32]

Second, the EU is concerned that any punitive action against Iran’s missile program could further undermine the nuclear agreement, which they judge as already in jeopardy as a result of the U.S. administration’s actions. In remarks last November, Mogherini said that the EU was “ready to addresses other issues,” including missiles, “once it is very clear that the nuclear deal implementation is preserved by all sides [in] full.”[33] However, the nuclear agreement and Iran’s ballistic missile program are linked; both are part of U.N. Security Council resolution 2231, which endorsed the agreement[34] and imposed restrictions on Iran’s missile and military activities.[35]

Finally, the EU has faced legal challenges to its designations in recent years. Some Iranian companies and individuals have disputed their designation in EU courts, and have had sanctions against them lifted because the information used to support the designation was confidential. Such information could not be shared openly in court and with the defendants. This may have increased the evidentiary burden required for the EU to issue additional autonomous designations, including derivative designations against subordinates and suppliers of sanctioned entities.

A Way Forward

Recent statements by U.S. and EU officials indicate a desire to work together to address the threats posed by Iran that the nuclear agreement did not contain, including Iran’s ballistic missile program. During a visit to London this week, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced that a working group had been set up with France, Germany, and the United Kingdom to discuss these threats and “how we might approach Iran to address our concerns.”[36] According to Tillerson, working group participants have been named and the group could meet as early as next week.[37]

In addition, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian will be traveling to Iran in early March to discuss Iran’s missile program along with related “regional questions.”[38] He promised to deliver a “frank message” about the need for Iran to contain its missile program as required by resolution 2231. Finally, Germany reportedly is advocating for targeted EU economic sanctions aimed at punishing Iran’s missile program.[39] If Iran refuses to curb its missile development through negotiations, a package of such sanctions reportedly may be adopted.[40] These are welcome developments. Closer collaboration between the United States and Europe increases the prospect of meaningfully restricting Iran’s missile work, whether through negotiation, economic pressure, or both.

Proliferation-Related Entities Designated by the United States since Implementation Day (January 16, 2016) Pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13382, Blocking Property of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferators and Their Supporters^

EntityDate SanctionedRelationship, Activity, and/or Location
MODAFL > Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO)
Anhui Land Group Co., Limited+1/17/2016
  • Mabrooka Trading Co. > Navid Composite > Sanam Industrial Group > AIO

  • Hong Kong-based
  • Candid General Trading LLC+1/17/2016
  • Mabrooka Trading Co. > Navid Composite > Sanam Industrial Group > AIO

  • United Arab Emirates-based
  • Chen Mingfu+1/17/2016
  • Mabrooka Trading Co. > Navid Composite > Sanam Industrial Group > AIO

  • Chinese citizen
  • Hossein Pournaghshband1/17/2016
  • Mabrooka Trading Co. > Navid Composite > Sanam Industrial Group > AIO

  • Procured equipment and materials for carbon fiber production
  • Mabrooka Trading Co. LLC+1/17/2016
  • Navid Composite > Sanam Industrial Group > AIO

  • United Arab Emirates-based
  • Rahimreza Farghadani+1/17/2016
  • Candid General Trading > Mabrooka Trading Co. > Navid Composite > Sanam Industrial Group > AIO

  • United Arab Emirates-based
  • Ervin Danesh Aryan Company2/3/2017
  • Navid Composite > Sanam Industrial Group > AIO
  • Ghodrat Zargari2/3/2017
  • Mabrooka Trading Co. > Navid Composite > AIO

  • Worked with Mabrooka Trading Co. to ship goods through China to Iran
  • Mohammad Magham2/3/2017
  • Navid Composite > Sanam Industrial Group > AIO

  • Procured goods for carbon fiber production from foreign suppliers
  • Mostafa Zahedi2/3/2017
  • Mabrooka Trading Co. > Navid Composite > Sanam Industrial Group > AIO

  • Procured carbon fiber production equipment from foreign suppliers
  • Zist Tajhiz Pooyesh Company2/3/2017
  • Mabrooka Trading Co. > Navid Composite > Sanam Industrial Group > AIO
  • Shahid Alamolhoda Industries10/13/2017
  • Naval Defense Missile Industry Group > AIO

  • Involved in the development of cruise missiles
  • MODAFL > Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO) > Shahid Bagheri Industrial Group (SBIG)
    Kambiz Rostamian+2/3/2017
  • Royal Pearl Trading and MKS International > SBIG

  • United Arab Emirates-based
  • MKS International Co. Ltd.2/3/2017
  • Provided financial support to SBIG and AIO for ballistic missile-related procurement
  • Royal Pearl General Trading+2/3/2017
  • MKS International > SBIG

  • United Arab Emirates-based
  • Rahim Ahmadi5/17/2017
  • SBIG Director

  • Coordinated SBIG’s ballistic missile flight tests with AIO
  • Shahid Kharrazi Industries*1/4/2018
  • Iran-based subordinate of SBIG

  • Involved in solid-fueled missile development production
  • Shahid Moghaddam Industries1/4/2018
  • Iran-based subordinate of SBIG

  • Involved in solid fuel missile development and production
  • Shahid Sanikhani Industries1/4/2018
  • Iran-based subordinate of SBIG

  • Involved in solid fuel missile development and production
  • Shahid Shustari Industries1/4/2018
  • Iran-based subordinate of SBIG

  • Developed carbon fiber for missiles
  • MODAFL > Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO) > Shahid Hemat Industrial Group (SHIG)
    Sayyed Javad Musavi1/17/2016
  • SHIG Commercial Director

  • Coordinated missile-related shipments with North Korea
  • Seyed Mirahmad Nooshin1/17/2016
  • SHIG Director

  • Coordinated missile-related cooperation with North Korea
  • Shahid Movahed Industries3/24/2016
  • Iran-based subordinate of SHIG
  • Shahid Nuri Industries3/24/2016
  • Iran-based subordinate of SHIG
  • Abdollah Asgharzadeh2/3/2017
  • Supported missile-related procurement for SHIG, including through China-based brokers
  • Carol Zhou+2/3/2017
  • Provided financial and other support to Asgharzadeh and Darian > SHIG

  • China-based broker
  • Cosailing Business Trading Company Limited+2/3/2017
  • Provided financial and other support to Asgharzadeh > SHIG

  • China-based
  • East Star Company2/3/2017
  • Front company used by Asgharzadeh for missile-related shipments to SHIG
  • Jack Qin+2/3/2017
  • Ningbo New Century Import and Export Co. > Asgharzadeh > SHIG

  • China-based broker and Chinese citizen
  • Ningbo New Century Import and Export Company, Ltd.+2/3/2017
  • Facilitated Iran-bound shipments for Asgharzadeh > SHIG

  • China-based
  • Ofog Sabze Darya Company2/3/2017
  • Front company used by Asgharzadeh for missile-related shipments to SHIG
  • Richard Yue+2/3/2017
  • Cosailing Business Trading Co. > Asgharzadeh > SHIG

  • China-based broker
  • Tenny Darian2/3/2017
  • Worked with Asgharzadeh on missile-related procurement for SHIG, including through China-based brokers
  • Matin Sanat Nik Andishan5/17/2017
  • Procurement agent for SHIG and AIO
  • Amir Al Mo’Menin Industries7/28/2017
  • Iran-based subordinate of SHIG

  • Provided ballistic missile-related research and production services
  • Shahid Cheraghi Industries7/28/2017
  • Iran-based subordinate of SHIG

  • Developed and manufactured liquid propellant
  • Shahid Kalhor Industries7/28/2017
  • Iran-based subordinate of SHIG

  • Manufactured and maintained missile launchers
  • Shahid Karimi Industries7/28/2017
  • Iran-based subordinate of SHIG

  • Produced missile components
  • Shahid Rastegar Industries7/28/2017
  • Iran-based subordinate of SHIG

  • Developed and produced liquid-fueled ballistic missile engines
  • Shahid Varamini Industries7/28/2017
  • Iran-based subordinate of SHIG

  • Developed ballistic missile-related guidance and control systems
  • MODAFL > Iran Electronics Industries (IEI) > Shiraz Electronics Industries (SEI)
    Ruan Runling+5/17/2017
  • Procured missile-related technology for SEI

  • Chinese citizen
  • Shanghai Gang Quan Trade Co.+5/17/2017
  • Sold missile applicable items to SEI

  • China-based
  • Shanghai North Begins International+5/17/2017
  • Sold missile applicable items to SEI

  • China-based
  • Shanghai North Transway International Trading Co.+5/17/2017
  • Sold missile applicable items to SEI

  • China-based
  • Abascience Tech Co. Ltd.+7/18/2017
  • Front company used by Emily Liu > SEI

  • China-based
  • Emily Liu+7/18/2017
  • Procured electronic components on behalf of SEI

  • Chinese citizen
  • Raybeam Optronics Co. Ltd.+7/18/2017
  • Front company used by Emily Liu > SEI

  • China-based
  • Raytronic Corporation Limited+7/18/2017
  • Front company used by Emily Liu > SEI

  • China-based
  • Sunway Tech Co., Ltd.+7/18/2017
  • Front company used by Emily Liu > SEI

  • China-based
  • Wuhan Sanjiang Import and Export Co. LTD+10/13/2017
  • Sold navigational equipment and sensors to SEI

  • China-based
  • Bochuang Ceramic Inc+1/12/2018
  • Supplier to Pardazan System Namad Arman > IEI

  • China-based
  • Pardazan System Namad Arman (PASNA)1/12/2018
  • Supplied military goods to IEI from China-based companies
  • Shi Yuhua+1/12/2018
  • Wuhang Sanjiang Import and Export Co. employee > SEI

  • Chinese citizen
  • Zhu Yuequn+1/12/2018
  • Bochuang Ceramic Inc representative > PASNA > IEI

  • China-based
  • MODAFL and Iranian Aviation Industries Organization (IAIO)
    Seyed Mohammad Hashemi1/17/2016
  • MODAFL official
  • Sayyad Medhi Farahi*1/17/2016
  • MODAFL Deputy

  • Coordinated missile-related cooperation with North Korea
  • Morteza Farasatpour5/17/2017
  • Acted on behalf of Defense Industries Organization (DIO) > MODAFL

  • Senior Iranian defense official
  • Iran Aircraft Industries (SAHA)*1/12/2018
  • Owned or controlled by Iran's Aviation Industries Organization > MODAFL

  • Serviced military aircraft
  • Iran Helicopter Support and Renewal Company (PANHA)1/12/2018
  • Owned or controlled by Iran's Aviation Industries Organization > MODAFL

  • Built and repaired military equipment for IRGC
  • Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)
    Farshad Hakemzadeh7/18/2017
  • Procured military items from China on behalf of Rayan Roshd Afzar > IRGC
  • IRGC Aerospace Force Self Sufficiency Jihad Organization (ASF SSJO)7/18/2017
  • Responsible for the research and development of ballistic missiles

  • Designated by the U.S. Department of State
  • Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Research and Self-Sufficiency Jehad Organization (RSSJO)7/18/2017
  • Involved in ballistic missile research and flight test launches

  • Designated by the U.S. Department of State
  • Mohsen Parsajam7/18/2017
  • Procured military items from China on behalf of Rayan Roshd Afzar > IRGC
  • Qeshm Madkandaloo Shipbuilding Cooperative Co.7/18/2017
  • Supplier to IRGC
  • Rayan Roshd Afzar7/18/2017
  • Supplier to IRGC
  • Ramor Group+7/18/2017
  • Front company for Qeshm Madkandaloo Shipbuilding Cooperative Co. > IRGC

  • Turkey-based
  • Resit Tavan+7/18/2017
  • President and sole owner of Ramor Group; procured military items for Qeshm Madkandaloo Shipbuilding Cooperative Co. > IRGC

  • Turkey-based
  • Seyyed Reza Ghasemi7/18/2017
  • Supported defense contracts for Rayan Roshd Afzar > IRGC
  • Sadid Caran Saba Engineering Company9/14/2017
  • Procurement for IRGC Research and Self-Sufficiency Jehad Organization > IRGC
  • Fanavari Moj Khavar (Fanamoj)10/13/2017
  • Provided financial and technological support to IRGC

  • Provided support to Naval Defense Missile Industry Group > AIO
  • Rastafann Ertebat Engineering Company10/13/2017
  • Provided financial and technological support to IRGC

  • Provided support to Naval Defense Missile Industry Group > AIO
  • Greenwave+1/12/2018
  • Supplier to Fanamoj and Rastafaan

  • Malaysia-based
  • Morteza Razavi1/12/2018
  • Director of Greenwave > Fanamoj and Rastafaan

  • Acquired and re-shipped U.S.-origin technology to Iran
  • Summary
    Proliferation-related entities designated by the U.S. since implementation day73
    Entities tracing back to MODAFL59
    Overseas suppliers28
    Entities designated by the U.S. since implementation day that were previously listed by the EU3
    Key
    * = Designated by the U.S. and EU
    + = Overseas supplier

    Attachment:

     The Missile Sanctions Gap: Re-Aligning U.S. and EU Iran Designations



    Footnotes:

    [1] “Statement by the President on the Iran Nuclear Deal,” The White House, Press Release, January 12, 2018. (https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/statement-president-iran-nuclear-deal)

    [2]  “Treasury Sanctions Iranian Entities,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, Press Release, January 4, 2018. (https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/sm0246)

    [3]  “European Union Restrictive Measures (sanctions) in Force,” European Commission, August 4, 2017.

    (https://eeas.europa.eu/sites/eeas/files/restrictive_measures-2017-08-04.pdf); “European Union Consolidated Financial Sanctions List,” European Commission, January 12, 2018. (PDF download: https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/europeaid/fsd/fsf/public/files/pdfFullSanctionsList/content?token=dG9rZW4tMjAxNw); several entities previously designated for proliferation were re-designated by the EU after 2012, following unsuccessful legal appeals, including Sharif University of Technology.

    [4]  “Treasury Sanctions Those Involved in Ballistic Missile Procurement for Iran,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, Press Release, January 17, 2016. (https://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/jl0322.aspx)

    [5] Kenneth Katzman, “Iran Sanctions,” Congressional Research Service, pp. 79-80, January 10, 2018. (https://fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/RS20871.pdf); “Treasury Sanctions Individuals and Entities for Human Rights Abuses and Censorship in Iran, and Support to Sanctioned Weapons Proliferators,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, Press Release, January 12, 2018. (https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/sm0250); European Union Consolidated Financial Sanctions List, European Commission, January 12, 2018. (https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/europeaid/fsd/fsf/public/files/pdfFullSanctionsList/content?token=dG9rZW4tMjAxNw)

    [6] “Treasury Targets Persons Supporting Iranian Military and Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, Press Release, July 18, 2017. (https://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/sm0125.aspx)

    [7] “Statement by the President on the Iran Nuclear Deal,” The White House, Press Release, January 12, 2018. (https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/statement-president-iran-nuclear-deal)

    [8] “Statement by the President on the Iran Nuclear Deal,” The White House, Press Release, January 12, 2018. (https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/statement-president-iran-nuclear-deal)

    [9] Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (H.R.3364), Pub. L. No. 115-44, (2017). (https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/Programs/Documents/hr3364_pl115-44.pdf)

    [10] “Remarks by High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini upon arrival at the NATO Defence Ministers’ meeting,” European External Action Service, Press Release, November 8, 2017. (https://eeas.europa.eu/headquarters/headquarters-Homepage/35311/remarks-high-representativevice-president-federica-mogherini-upon-arrival-nato-defence); “Remarks by Federica Mogherini on the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (Iran Nuclear Deal),” European External Action Service, Press Release, October 16, 2017. (https://eeas.europa.eu/headquarters/headquarters-homepage/33997/remarks-federica-mogherini-implementation-joint-comprehensive-plan-action-iran-nuclear-deal_en)

    [11] “Fact Sheet: Designation of Iranian Entities and Individuals for Proliferation Activities and Support for Terrorism,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, Press Release, October 25, 2007. (https://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/hp644.aspx)

    [12] “Executive Order 13382 – Blocking Property of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferators and Their Supporters,” The White House, Federal Register, Vol. 70, No. 126, July 1, 2005, pp. 38567-38570 (https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/Documents/whwmdeo.pdf)

    [13] “Council Regulation (EC) No 423/2007 of 19 April 2007 concerning restrictive measures against Iran,” Official Journal of the European Union, L 103/1, April 19, 2007. (http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?qid=1516654909072&uri=CELEX:32007R0423); “Commission Regulation (EC) No 441/2007 of 20 April 2007 amending Council Regulation (EC) No 423/2007 concerning restrictive measures against Iran,” Official Journal of the European Union, L 104/28, April 20, 2007 (http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?qid=1516654790317&uri=CELEX:32007R0441); “Council Regulation (EC) No 267/2012 of 23 March 2012 concerning restrictive measures against Iran and repealing Regulation (EU) No 961/2010,” Official Journal of the European Union, L 88/1, March 23, 2012 (http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=celex%3A32012R0267); “Council Decision 2012/168/CFSP of 23 March 2012 amending Decision 2011/235/CFSP concerning restrictive measures directed against certain persons and entities in view of the situation in Iran,” Official Journal of the European Union, L 87/85, March 24, 2012. (http://eur-lex.europa.eu/eli/dec/2012/168(1)/oj)

    [14] “Remarks at a Press Conference on Iranian Arms Exports,” United States Mission to the United Nations, December 14, 2017. (https://usun.state.gov/remarks/8215)

    [15] “Treasury Designates U.S. and Chinese Companies Supporting Iranian Missile Proliferation,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, Press Release, June 13, 2006. (https://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/js4317.aspx); “Treasury Sanctions Iranian Entities,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, Press Release, January 4, 2018. (https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/sm0246)

    [16] “The List established and maintained pursuant to Security Council res. 2231 (2015),” United Nations Security Council, 2015. (https://scsanctions.un.org/en/?keywords=iran).

    [17] “Evidence Shows Iranian Weapons Proliferation [Image 2 of 68],” Defense Video Imagery Distribution System, December 12, 2017. (https://www.dvidshub.net/image/4030006/evidence-shows-iranian-weapons-proliferation); “Evidence Shows Iranian Weapons Proliferation [Image 37 of 68],” Defense Video Imagery Distribution System, December 12, 2017. (https://www.dvidshub.net/image/4029684/evidence-shows-iranian-weapons-proliferation)

    [18] Kareem Fahim, “U.N. probe details fallout of proxy war in Yemen between Saudi coalition and Iran,” Washington Post, January 11, 2018. (http://wapo.st/2AQLktC?tid=ss_tw&utm_term=.fb935292b69f)

    [19] U.S. Department of the Treasury, Press Release, “Treasury Sanctions Iranian Entities,” January 4, 2018. (https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/sm0246)

    [20] “Treasury Sanctions Supporters of Iran’s Ballistic Missile Program and Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps – Qods Force,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, Press Release, February 3, 2017. (https://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/as0004.aspx)

    [21] “Treasury Sanctions Supporters of Iran’s Ballistic Missile Program and Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps – Qods Force,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, Press Release, February 3, 2017. (https://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/as0004.aspx)

    [22] “Treasury Designates Iranian Military Firms,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, Press Release, September 17, 2008. (https://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/hp1145.aspx)

    [23] “Treasury Sanctions Iranian Defense Officials and a China-Based Network for Supporting Iran’s Ballistic Missile Program,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, Press Release, May 17, 2017. (https://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/sm0088.aspx)

    [24] “Treasury Sanctions Iranian Defense Officials and a China-Based Network for Supporting Iran’s Ballistic Missile Program,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, Press Release, May 17, 2017. (https://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/sm0088.aspx)

    [25] Kenneth Katzman, “Iran Sanctions,” Congressional Research Service, pp. 79-80, January 10, 2018. (https://fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/RS20871.pdf); “Treasury Sanctions Individuals and Entities for Human Rights Abuses and Censorship in Iran, and Support to Sanctioned Weapons Proliferators,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, Press Release, January 12, 2018. (https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/sm0250)

    [26] “Treasury Targets Persons Supporting Iranian Military and Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, Press Release, July 18, 2017. (https://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/sm0125.aspx)

    [27] “Treasury Sanctions Iranian Defense Officials and a China-Based Network for Supporting Iran’s Ballistic Missile Program,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, Press Release, May 17, 2017. (https://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/sm0088.aspx)

    [28] “Treasury Sanctions Individuals and Entities for Human Rights Abuses and Censorship in Iran, and Support to Sanctioned Weapons Proliferators,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, Press Release, January 12, 2018. (https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/sm0250)

    [29] “Letter dated 22 January 2016 from the Panel of Experts on Yemen established pursuant to Security Council resolution 2140 (2014) addressed to the President of the Security Council,” United Nations, S/2016/73, Annex 13. (https://digitallibrary.un.org/record/819771/files/S_2016_73-EN.pdf)

    [30] “Iran – Mr. Le Drian’s participation in a ministerial meeting with Javad Zarif,” France Diplomatie, Press Release, January 11, 2018. (https://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/country-files/iran/events/article/iran-mr-le-drian-s-participation-in-a-ministerial-meeting-with-javad-zarif)

    [31] “French President’s New Year Greetings,” France Diplomatie, Speeches and Statements, January 4, 2018. (http://basedoc.diplomatie.gouv.fr/exl-php/util/Kiosque/FranceDiplomatie/kiosque.php?type=baen)

    [32] “EU/E3 meets Iran: nuclear agreement in the international community’s interest,” Germany Federal Foreign Office, Press Release, January 11, 2018. (https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/en/aussenpolitik/laenderinformationen/iran-node/-/1302392); “Statement on Nuclear Disarmament by Ambassador Michael Biontino, Permanent Representative of Germany to the Conference on Disarmament,” Permanent Mission of the Federal Republic of Germany to the United Nations, Press Release, October 13, 2017. (https://new-york-un.diplo.de/un-en/news-corner/20171013-biontino-disarmament/971436)

    [33] “Remarks by High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini upon arrival at the NATO Defence Ministers’ meeting,” European External Action Service, Press Release, November 8, 2017. (https://eeas.europa.eu/headquarters/headquarters-Homepage/35311/remarks-high-representativevice-president-federica-mogherini-upon-arrival-nato-defence)

    [34] “Background,” Resolution 2231 (2015), U.N. Security Council. (http://www.un.org/en/sc/2231/)

    [35] “Ballistic missile-related transfers and activities,” Resolution 2231 (2015), U.N. Security Council. (http://www.un.org/en/sc/2231/restrictions-ballistic.shtml)

    [36] “Remarks With United Kingdom Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson at a Press Availability,” U.S. Department of State, Press Release, January 22, 2018. (https://www.state.gov/secretary/remarks/2018/01/277569.htm)

    [37] Matthew Lee, “Tillerson sees progress in fixing Iran nuclear deal with Europeans,” January 22, 2018, Associated Press. (https://www.pbs.org/newshour/politics/tillerson-sees-progress-in-fixing-ira)

    [38] Entretien de Jean-Yves Le Drian, ministre de l’Europe et des Affaires étrangères, avec Le Figaro, French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, January 22, 2018. (https://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/les-ministres/jean-yves-le-drian/presse-et-medias/article/entretien-de-jean-yves-le-drian-ministre-de-l-europe-et-des-affaires-etrangeres)

    [39] “Berlin Supports New Iran Sanctions – German Government to Accommodate Trump to Rescue Nuclear Deal,” Der Spiegel, January 20, 2018.

    [40] John Irish, Robin Emmott, and Arshad Mohammed, “Spurned by Trump, Europeans ponder how to meet Iran ultimatum,” Reuters, January 21, 2018. (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-nuclear-eu-usa/spurned-by-trump-europeans-ponder-how-to-meet-iran-ultimatum-idUSKBN1FA0S4)

    North Korea Missile Milestones – 1969-2017

    1969-70: North Korea obtains FROG-5 and FROG-7A missiles from the Soviet Union.

    1976: Egypt sends Soviet Scud-B missiles to North Korea.

    1980: The Korean Committee for Space Technology is established.

    1984: North Korea successfully tests its first reverse-engineered Scud-B missile.

    1984: An Iranian businessman, Babeck Seroush, and a Soviet citizen, Yuri Geifman, are indicted in New York for conspiring to smuggle U.S. missile guidance components to North Korea.

    1985: Iran agrees to finance the development of North Korean Scud missiles in exchange for Scud-B technology and an option to buy the missiles when they become available.

    1987: Iran and North Korea sign a $500 million arms deal that includes the purchase of 90 to 100 Scud-B missiles by Tehran.

    1987-88: North Korea delivers approximately 100 Scud-B missiles to Iran.

    1989: Two Japanese companies ship spectrum analyzers to North Korea, which can be used to improve missile accuracy.

    1990: North Korea successfully tests a Scud-C missile, hitting targets off North Korea’s eastern coast from a base in the Kangwon Province; Iran tests what U.S. intelligence identifies as a North Korean version of the Scud-C.

    1991-92: North Korea delivers an estimated 24 Scud-Cs and 20 mobile launchers to Syria, and ships additional Scuds to Syria through Iran.

    1992: The U.S. State Department sanctions entities in North Korea for missile technology proliferation, including Lyongaksan Machineries and Equipment Export Corporation and Changgwang Credit Corporation.

    1993: North Korea successfully tests the Nodong medium range ballistic missile (MRBM) to a range of about 500 km.

    September 1993: The North Korean navy reportedly signs a contract to purchase 12 decommissioned Russian submarines from a Japanese company, including Golf II-class vessels, which are capable of carrying submarine-launched ballistic missiles. The submarines are reportedly delivered with elements of the missile launch system still intact.

    April 1994: Japanese television reports that North Korea has agreed to construct a Nodong missile production plant in Iran.

    1995: According to comments by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Iran has received four Scud transporter erector launchers (TELs) from North Korea.

    1996: The United States and North Korea begin bilateral talks on how to curb North Korea’s missile exports and freeze its missile development.

    1996: Taiwanese Customs officials seize 200 barrels (15 tons) of ammonium perchlorate, reportedly from North Korea’s Lyongaksan General Trading Corporation, on a North Korean freighter bound for Pakistan’s SUPARCO (Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission).

    January 1997-March 1998: North Korea reportedly exports Nodong missile components to Pakistan.

    May 1997: North Korea tests its AG-1 cruise missile. A Pentagon official says that the missile uses “unimpressive, old technology” from Russian Styx and Chinese Silkworm missiles.

    October 1997: Two North Korean defectors testify before a U.S. Senate Committee. Choi Ju-hwal, a former colonel in North Korea’s Ministry of the People’s Army, states that North Korea transferred missile technology and experts to Egypt in the early 1980s and “has been engaged” in a plan to jointly develop missiles with Egypt. Ko Young-hwan, a formerly employed in North Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, testifies that North Korea primarily exports missiles to Iran, Syria, Egypt and Libya. Ko Young-hwan also testifies that North Korea earns about $1 billion a year from missile sales.

    August 1998: North Korea tests a nuclear-capable Taepodong-1 missile. The missile flies over northern Japan and lands in the Pacific Ocean.

    September 1998: North Korea announces that the recent test of a Taepodong missile was a launch to deploy a satellite.

    September 1998: The U.S. State Department confirms that North Korea attempted launch a satellite into orbit. A three-stage Taepodong rocket was launched, but failed when the satellite fell into the Pacific still attached to the rocket’s third stage.

    November 1998: According to U.S. intelligence and diplomatic sources, North Korea is building two new launch facilities for the Taepodong-1 and is increasing its production of short-range missiles.

    February 1999: George Tenet, the Director of Central Intelligence, tells Congress that North Korea is developing missiles that are capable of hitting the continental United States.

    June 1999: Indian officials stop a North Korean vessel, the Kuwolsan, carrying what one Indian government official describes as “an entire assembly line” for Scud-B and -C missiles. U.S. intelligence officials assert that the shipment was en route from North Korea to Libya. The cargo, falsely labeled “water refining equipment,” includes components for missile subassembly such as tips of nose cones and sheet metal for rocket frames, machine tools for setting up a fabrication facility, instrumentation for evaluating performance of a full missile system, equipment for calibrating missile components, and engineers’ drawings.

    July 1999: Two members of the Japanese parliament claim that semiconductors and argon gas burners used in North Korea’s missile program came from Japan.

    July 1999: South Korea reports that North Korea is building an underground missile launch site at Yeongjeo-dong, within a dozen miles of the Chinese border.

    September 1999: North Korean television displays a Taepodong-1 missile. Analysts confirm that its first stage has a single engine exhaust and not a cluster of four smaller motors as originally believed. The single exhaust supports allegations that Pyongyang helped Pakistan develop its Ghauri missile and helped Iran develop its Shahab-3 missile.

    September 1999: American and North Korean delegates meet in Berlin, where North Korea agrees to freeze the testing of long-range missiles. The United States agrees to ease some economic sanctions in return.

    October 1999: North Korea declares its right to launch missiles, just one week after pledging to freeze long-range missile tests.

    October 1999: A U.S. National Air Intelligence Center (NAIC) report says North Korea is developing the Taepodong-2 missile, which NAIC has classified as an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

    November 1999: North Korea sells Iran 12 medium-range ballistic missile engines. According to U.S. intelligence officials, the engines are the same as those used in the Nodong missile, which Iran uses in the first stage of the Shahab-3 missile.

    February 2000: U.S. and Israeli intelligence sources allege that American technology obtained by Egyptian government-owned companies is being sent on to North Korea for the manufacture of advanced missile components for a medium-range ballistic missile. Egypt also may be providing technology to North Korea for its Taepodong missile, some of which was acquired by Egypt for its Condor missile program.

    April 2000: The United States imposes sanctions against North Korean and Iranian entities involved in Scud missile transfers; among those sanctioned was North Korea’s Changgwang Sinyong aerospace company.

    June 2000: The Clinton administration eases some sanctions against North Korea following a historic meeting between the leaders of North and South Korea.

    June 2000: North Korea declares that it will extend its moratorium on long-range missile test flights.

    June 2000: Russia is selling missile technology, including a special aluminum alloy, connectors and relays, and laser gyroscopes, to North Korea.

    July 2000: North Korea refuses to stop developing missiles it says are for self-defense. However, North Korea offers to halt missile technology exports in exchange for $1 billion a year.

    July-December 2000: The CIA says North Korea continues its procurement of ballistic missile-related raw materials and components, especially through North Korean firms based in China. North Korea also continues to export ballistic missile-related equipment, components, materials, and technical expertise to countries in the Middle East, South Asia, and North Africa.

    October 2000: U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il hold the highest level talks to date between the two countries. According to Secretary Albright, the two parties discussed North Korea’s missile program and exports, as well as Kim Jong-il’s “ideas of exchanging [North Korea’s] restraint in missiles for launches of [North Korea’s] satellites.”

    November 2000: Following Secretary Albright’s visit to North Korea, the United States and North Korea hold talks in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The talks, which focus on North Korea’s missile program, end inconclusively.

    May 2001: North Korean leader Kim Jong-il tells European officials that North Korea will not launch ballistic missiles until at least 2003, unilaterally extending a moratorium on missile testing.

    December 2001: The U.S. National Intelligence Council releases the unclassified version of its National Intelligence Estimate, which states that the United States will “most likely” face an intercontinental ballistic missile threat from North Korea before 2015. The report further notes that North Korea’s Taepodong-2 program may be ready for flight-testing, “probably” in a space launch configuration.

    June 2002: The CIA reports that North Korea is “nearly self-sufficient in developing and producing ballistic missiles” and demonstrates “a willingness to sell complete systems and components” to other countries.

    October 2002: The New York Times reports that U.S. intelligence officials have concluded that Pakistan was a major supplier of critical equipment to North Korea’s nuclear program apparently as part of a barter deal beginning around 1997, in which North Korea supplied Pakistan with ballistic missiles.

    November 2002: Spanish warships halt and U.S. authorities board a North Korean freighter, named So San, 600 miles off the Horn of Africa. The freighter, headed for Yemen, contained 15 Scud missiles, 15 high-explosive conventional warheads, and nitric acid rocket fuel, according to Spain’s defense minister.

    December 2002: The United States agrees to release the ship containing North Korean missiles bound for Yemen. A senior U.S. official argues that the United States did not have the authority to hold the ship, which was flying a Cambodian flag and was engaged in fulfilling a “state-to-state” commercial transaction. An unnamed senior administration official suggests that the ship was freed since Yemen does not constitute a threat and is a partner in the U.S. “war on terrorism.”

    2003: South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense issues a report stating that North Korea has deployed Scud-B and Scud-C missiles with a maximum range of 300 to 500 km and the Nodong-1 with a maximum range of up to 1,300 km. The report further confirms the August 1998 test of the 2,000 km range Taepodong-1and announces that the 6,000 km-range Taepodong-2 is under development.

    March 2003: The Washington Times reports that recent U.S. sanctions on Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) resulted from the purchase and receipt by Pakistan of North Korean Nodong missiles that are “fully assembled and ready to fly.”

    May 2003: North Korea appears to have successfully tested an engine for a long-range missile, which is believed to be for the Taepodong-2, according to unnamed diplomatic sources quoted in South Korea’s JoongAng Ilbo newspaper.

    May 2003: The Japanese periodical, Yomiuri Shimbun, reports that North Korea is believed to have exported $580 million worth of missiles to the Middle East in 2001 and that North Korea possesses 600 to 750 ballistic missiles, with 175 to 200 believed to be Nodong missiles.

    May 2003: A man identified as a North Korean expert in missile guidance, who claimed he had worked at a plant in Chagang Province before defecting to South Korea in 1997, states in testimony before a Senate subcommittee that he helped to test-fire a missile in Iran during the summer of 1989. The defector, alias Bok Koo-lee, also declares that Iran later became a client for North Korean missile guidance control equipment and that 90 percent of the components came from a pro-Pyongyang ethnic Korean group in Japan.

    May 2003: The Washington Post reports a crackdown by the Japanese government on companies suspected of supplying North Korea with WMD-related equipment, after the Japanese company Meishin attempts to export specialized power-supply devices that can be used in either uranium enrichment or missile launch development.

    June 2003: North Korea indefinitely suspends service of the only passenger ferry that runs between North Korea and Japan in response to Japanese cargo vessel inspections. According to testimony given by North Korean defectors, the Mangyongbong-92 was used to smuggle missile parts to North Korea.

    July 2003: The New York Times reports that CIA officials have identified an advanced nuclear testing facility via satellite in Youngdoktong, with equipment for explosives tests, suggesting that North Korea is attempting to combine its missile and nuclear programs.

    July 2003: The South Korean Defense Ministry claims that North Korea deployed a “battalion” of Nodong missiles in June 2002.

    October 2003: South Korea’s Defense Ministry reports that North Korea has exported approximately 400 Scud missiles and missile-related components to Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen, since the mid-1980s.

    November 2003: An article in the Far Eastern Economic Review, citing unnamed U.S. and Asian officials, suggests that Myanmar has begun negotiating the purchase of surface-to-surface missiles from North Korea. Rangoon-based diplomats say that about 20 North Korean technicians are working at the Monkey Point naval base, possibly getting ready to install the missiles on Burmese naval vessels.

    May 2004: The South Korean periodical Choson Ilbo reports that U.S. intelligence satellites have uncovered 10 new ballistic missiles and mobile launching pads at two underground ballistic missile bases. One base is in Yangdok, east of Pyongyang, and the other is in Hochon, South Hamgyong province. They are thought to be 80 percent complete, according to South Korean intelligence.

    July 2004: South Korea’s Defense Minister, Cho Young-gil, tells the National Assembly that North Korea is deploying new intermediate-range ballistic missiles with a range of up to 2,500 miles and is testing a new main engine for its Taepodong-2 missile.

    July 2004: Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto admits in an interview that Pakistan obtained missile technology from North Korea after she visited Pyongyang in December 1993.

    July 2004: Jane’s Defense Weekly reports that North Korea is developing a road mobile medium-intermediate-range ballistic missile and a submarine-launched ballistic missile. Both are believed to be based on the decommissioned Soviet R-27.

    December 2004: The Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control says that North Korea’s Taepodong-2 missile “could be flight tested at any time.”

    February 2005: A defense white paper released by the South Korean military reports that North Korea has established a Missile Guidance Bureau under the People’s Armed Forces Ministry.

    February 2005: An unnamed top U.S. official tells Time Magazine that Iran may be giving North Korea telemetry and other data from missile tests, which North Korea uses for improvements in its own missile systems.

    May 2005: North Korea tests an upgraded version of the Soviet SS-21 ‘Scarab’ missile, according to a Yonhop News Agency report. The SS-21 is a short-range, road-mobile, solid-propellant ballistic missile (SRBM) that carries one warhead. The North Korean version of this missile is known as the KN-02.

    May 2005: Israeli military officials announce that Syria has test-fired a Scud-B and two Scud-D missiles for the first time since 2001. Israelis suggest that the missile tests were part of a program using North Korean technology and designed to deliver air-burst chemical weapons.

    December 2005: The German newspaper Bild, citing the German Federal Intelligence Service, reports that Iran has acquired 18 disassembled BM-25 intermediate-range ballistic missiles from North Korea.

    2006: The Taiwanese company Royal Team Corporation makes the first of two known sales of pressure transmitters to North Korea. The transmitters are later recovered in debris from the December 2012 test of a three-stage Unha-3 rocket.

    July 2006: North Korea test fires five short-range missiles and a Taepodong-2 long-range missile. The Taepodong-2 missile fails a minute after launch and lands in the sea.

    July 2006: In response to the test of the Taepodong-2 missile, the U. N. Security Council unanimously passes Resolution 1695 which demands that U.N. member states block the sale to North Korea of materials that could be used in its ballistic missile program.

    October 2006: In response to the North Korean nuclear test on October 9, 2006, the U.N. Security Council adopts Resolution 1718, which calls for North Korea to give up its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. The resolution also further restricts the sale of missile-related materials to North Korea and calls for the freezing of funds held by individuals and businesses connected to Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs.

    December 2006-January 2007: A series of shipments of what are believed to be jet vanes for solid-fueled medium-range ballistic missiles are transferred via air from North Korea to Shahid Bagheri Industries Group (SBIG) in Iran.

    April 2007: The United States identifies a new type of North Korean intermediate-range ballistic missile, called the “Musudan,” using satellite imagery, according to Japanese media reports. Twelve of these new missiles were photographed as they took part in a parade celebrating the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Korean People’s Army.

    October 2007: A shipment containing solid double-base propellant blocks usable in Scud missiles is seized en route from North Korea to Syria.

    March 2008: A shipment containing 5,000 detonating fuses for unguided rockets and related materiel is seized en route from North Korea to Iran. The shipper is affiliated with Korea Mining and Development Corporation (KOMID), North Korea’s primary exporter of ballistic missile-related equipment and conventional weapons. The consignee is affiliated with Iran’s Shahid Bagheri Industries Group (SBIG).

    September 2008: South Korean Defense Minister Lee Sang-hee reports the existence of a new North Korea missile launch site to a parliamentary committee. The site, located on the west coast of North Korea, includes a launch pad and a ten story tower to support long-range ballistic missiles.

    November 2008: North Korea signs a memorandum of understanding with Burma to provide the Burmese government with assistance in producing medium range, liquid-fueled ballistic missiles.

    April 2009: North Korea launches a Taepodong-2 missile. While the North Korean government claims that the launch successfully placed a payload in orbit, U.S. Northern Command reports that the second and third stages of the missile, along with its payload, landed in the Pacific Ocean.

    April 2009: The U.N. Security Council issues a unanimous condemnation of the North Korea’s Taepodong-2 missile test. The Security Council also orders the U.N. Sanctions Committee to begin enforcing financial sanctions and an arms embargo against North Korea.

    May 2009: South Korea announces that it will participate in the U.S.-led Proliferation Security Initiative, which involves the potential inspection of North Korean vessels suspected of playing a role in the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and missile technology.

    May 2009: In response to South Korea’s participation in the Proliferation Security Initiative, North Korea warns that it will respond with force if its ships are interdicted.

    June 2009: The U.N. Security Council unanimously adopts Resolution 1874, imposing a ban on all arms exports by North Korea and authorizing the inspection of North Korean cargo vessels and aircraft suspected of transporting military material.

    June 2009: Police in Yokohama, Japan, reportedly arrest three people accused of attempting to illegally export a magnetic measuring device used for developing long-range ballistic missiles to Burma, acting on instructions from North Korea.

    2010: Taiwan’s Royal Team Corporation makes the second of two known sales of pressure transmitters to North Korea. The transmitters are later recovered in debris from the December 2012 test of a three-stage Unha-3 rocket.

    February 2010: According to the U.S. Defense Department’s Ballistic Missile Defense Review, North Korea will be capable of deploying a nuclear-armed missile capable of reaching targets in the continental United States within a decade.

    March 2010: The South Korean news agency Yonhap reports that North Korea has established a special military division in charge of deploying and operating intermediate-range ballistic missiles.

    May 2010: According to a U.N. report, North Korea has circumvented U.N. sanctions and exported nuclear and missile technology to Burma, Iran, and Syria. The report asserts that North Korea has used front companies, overseas criminal networks and falsified shipping information to avoid export restrictions.

    August 2010: U.S. President Barack Obama signs Executive Order 13551, targeting North Korea’s weapons proliferation network.

    September 2010: A shipment of machinery and components used in the production of liquid propellant for Scud missiles is seized en route from Dalian, China to Lattakia, Syria. The shipment is made on behalf of Leader (Hong Kong) International, which facilitates shipments for Korea Mining Development Trading Corporation (KOMID).

    October 2010: North Korea publically displays a variant of the road-mobile BM-25 Musudan missile for the first time in a military parade in Pyongyang. The parade also includes a version of the Nodong missile with a tri-conic nosecone similar to that of Iran’s Shahab-3, leading some analysts to cite it as evidence of Iran-North Korea technical cooperation on missile development.

    2011: Two North Korean officials are arrested in Ukraine attempting to obtain information on missile design, liquid propellant engines, spacecraft, and missile fuel supply systems from an employee of Ukraine’s Yuzhnoye Design Office.

    January 2011: U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates warns that North Korea is within five years of being able to strike the continental United States with an intercontinental ballistic missile.

    February 2011: Satellite imagery obtained by American media shows the completion of a new missile launch facility in northwestern North Korea. According to a report by Chosun Ilbo, the new site, located in Tongchang-ri, North Pyongan Province, is 70 km from Yongbyon nuclear facility and close to the Sanum-dong long-range missile development center in Pyongyang. It includes a 50-meter launch tower, an underground fuel storage facility, and a missile assembly building from which missiles can be transported to the launch pad by rail.

    May 2011: According to a U.N. report, Iran and North Korea have exchanged ballistic missile technology in violation of sanctions on both countries. Prohibited missile-related items are suspected to have been shipped by air on regular Air Koryo and Iran Air flights. Several diplomats reportedly claim that China was used as a transshipment point for some of these shipments.

    February 2012: During bilateral talks with the United States, North Korea agrees to implement a moratorium on long-range missile launches, nuclear tests, and nuclear activities at Yongbyon. In return, the U.S. agrees to finalize details for providing 240,000 metric tons of food aid.

    March 2012: North Korea unveils the Strategic Rocket Force Command of the Korean People’s Army, which is later sanctioned by the United States for conducting “multiple ballistic missile launches.”

    April 2012: North Korea attempts to launch a satellite using the Unha-3 satellite launch vehicle. The vehicle’s first stage falls into the sea 165 km west of Seoul and the second and third stages are assessed to have failed. The launch took place from the Sohae Satellite Launching Station at Tongchang-ri.

    April 2012: The United States cancels food aid to North Korea following the Unha-3 launch.

    April 2012: A dozen Iranian officials reportedly attend North Korea’s Unha-3 rocket launch. According to a diplomatic source, the Iranians were members of the Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group (SHIG).

    April 2012: North Korea displays several Musudan missiles, Nodong missiles, and what may be new long-range ballistic missiles (designated KN-08 by Western analysts) during a military parade. According to analysts, the new missile appears to have two or three stages, though its re-entry vehicle appears to be a mock-up. All the missiles are carried on transporter-erector-launchers (TELs).

    April 2012: The U.N. Security Council investigates claims that a 16-wheel TEL featured in a North Korean military parade on April 15 is of Chinese origin. The TEL closely resembles the WS2600 and WS51200 vehicles designed by the Hubei Sanjiang Space Wanshan Special Vehicle Co. Ltd., also known as the 9th Academy of the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC). The TEL was shown transporting the KN-08 missile. Chinese officials later confirm that the shipment took place but claim that the WS51200s were intended for civilian use.

    May 2012: South Korea seizes a ballistic missile-related shipment en route from Tianjin, China to Lattakia, Syria. The shipment contains 10 tons of fine grain graphite cylinders. The consignor and consignee have both acted on behalf of the Korean Tangun Trading Corporation, an entity involved with North Korea’s WMD and ballistic missile programs.

    December 2012: North Korea successfully places a satellite into orbit using the Unha-3 rocket. According to analysts, the first stage of the Unha-3 (like the Taepodong-2) is powered by Scud-B motors, but the upper stages appear to be custom-designed. The 100kg Kwangmyongsong-3 satellite was launched from Sohae Satellite Launch Stataion.

    2013: A shipment from a North Korean company of spare components for Scud-B missiles is intercepted en route to Egypt.

    January 2013: The U.N. Security Council unanimously adopts resolution 2087, condemning North Korea’s recent missile test and imposing sanctions on North Korean entities involved in missile work. Sanctioned entities, whose assets are to be frozen, include the Korean Committee for Space Technology, Bank of East Land, Korea Kumryong Trading Corporation, Tosong Technology Trading Corporation, Korea Ryonha Machinery Joint Venture Corporation, Leader (Hong Kong) International, and individuals associated with Sohae Satellite Launch Station.

    February 2013: According to a report by the U.S. Department of Defense, North Korea has close to 200 mobile missile launchers, including fewer than 100 for KN-2, SCUD-B, SCUD-C and SCUD-ER missiles, fewer than 50 for No Dong missiles, and fewer than 50 for intermediate-range ballistic missiles. In addition, North Korea’s Taepodong-2 (Unha-3) “could reach the United States with a nuclear payload if developed as an ICBM,” according to the report.

    March 2013: The U.N. Security Council unanimously adopts resolution 2094 in response to the February 12, 2013 nuclear test conducted by North Korea. The resolution expands sanctions on North Korea by targeting the illicit activities of diplomatic personnel, transfers of bulk cash, and the country’s banking relationships. The resolution also expands the list of missile-related items that North Korea is banned from importing and imposes an asset freeze on entities linked to ballistic missile proliferation, including the Second Academy of Natural Sciences and individuals linked to KOMID and Tanchon Commercial Bank.

    March-April 2013: North Korea tests a rocket engine at Sohae Satellite Launch Station, according to satellite imagery.

    April 2013: North Korea establishes the National Aerospace Development Administration (NADA), which takes over the responsibilities of the Korean Committee for Space Technology after the latter is sanctioned by the U.N. Security Council.

    May 2013: An air shipment originating in North Korea is intercepted and found to contain components for Scud missiles.

    July 2013: Panamanian authorities find weapons hidden beneath bags of sugar aboard the Chong Chon Gang, a North Korean cargo vessel, as it travels through the Panama Canal from Cuba. The shipment contains surface-to-air missile systems and launchers, MiG-21 jet fighter parts and engines, shell casings, rocket-propelled projectiles, and other ammunition.

    August 2013: KOMID reportedly signs a contract to supply Sudan Master Technology Engineering Company with precision-guided rocket control components and air attack satellite-guided missiles. According to a 2017 U.N. Panel of Experts report, the weaponry was delivered.

    November 2013: North Korea reportedly signs a contract to supply Mozambique with man portable air defense systems and early warning radar components, and to modernize its Pechora surface-to-air missile system.

    January 2014: The U.S. Director of National Intelligence confirms that North Korea is developing a road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missile known as the KN-08.

    March 2014: North Korea test-fires two Nodong missiles. The tests are reportedly successful.

    June-August 2014: North Korea conducts a series of test-launches of the KN-02 missile in an effort to develop an extended-range version of the missile.

    July 2014: Satellite imagery indicates that North Korea is upgrading the gantry and launch pad at Sohae Satellite Launch Station. It also shows evidence of a series of tests of the first stage rocket engine for the KN-08.

    September 2014: South Korean officials report that Pyongyang is developing a short-range nuclear-capable missile known as the KN-10, which is based on the Soviet SS-21.

    February-April 2015: North Korea test fires six KN-02 missiles.

    May 2015: South Korean officials report that North Korea has conducted an “ejection test” to evaluate stabilization systems and the ejection process for a submarine-launched ballistic missile.

    October 2015: North Korea displays what appear to be four modified KN-08 ballistic missiles and a new 300 mm multiple launch rocket system during a military parade in Pyongyang.

    January 2016: According to a report by the U.S. Department of Defense, North Korea has several hundred short and medium-range ballistic missiles available for use.

    January 2016: The U.S. Treasury Department reports that Iranian missile technicians from SHIG have been working with North Korea on the development of an 80 ton rocket booster for the past several years. Treasury also states that SHIG has supplied KOMID with equipment that can be used to test liquid propellant ballistic missiles and space launch vehicles.

    February 2016: North Korea successfully places the Kwamyongsong-4 satellite into orbit using a satellite launch vehicle launched from Sohae Satellite Launch Station. The South Korean military reportedly believes the rocket to have a range of 13,000 km, 3,000 km greater than the Unha-3 rocket launched in December 2012.

    March 2016: The U.N. Security Council adopts resolution 2270, condemning North Korea’s latest nuclear and rocket tests and imposing additional sanctions. The resolution requires the inspection of all cargo vessels going to or coming from North Korea, and generally prohibits making vessels and aircraft available to North Korea. It also imposes an asset freeze on additional entities linked to North Korea’s ballistic missile program.

    March 2016: North Korea claims that it has successfully developed miniaturized nuclear warheads to fit on ballistic missiles.

    March 2016: North Korea tests a re-entry heat shield for an intercontinental ballistic missile, claiming that it was successful.

    March 2016: North Korea test fires a new 300 mm multiple launch rocket system, its first acknowledged test. The system is estimated to have a range of 200 km.

    March 2016: The head of U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM) assesses that North Korea likely has the capability to miniaturize a nuclear weapon and put it on an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the United States, while acknowledging that an attack with such a weapon is not likely to succeed.

    March 2016: North Korea tests a solid-fueled rocket motor. Analyst assess that the test is successful.

    April 2016: North Korea tests a new intercontinental ballistic missile engine at Sohae Satellite Launch Station. Analysts assess that the test involved twin engines from the R-27 submarine-launched ballistic missile.

    April 2016: North Korea test fires a submarine-launched ballistic missile, which reportedly travels 30 km before exploding. The missile was a newly-designed solid-fuel system, according to analysts.

    June 2016: North Korea test fires a Musudan intermediate-range ballistic missile. The test, which appears to be partially successful, is reportedly preceded by five unsuccessful tests of the same missile since April.

    July 2016: Satellite imagery reveals that North Korea is building fortified structures that could be used to shelter ballistic missile submarines near the port city of Sinpo.

    August 2016: North Korea test-fires two Nodong missiles from Hwangju in the western part of the country. The first missile explodes immediately after launch, but the second flies 1,000 km over North Korea and lands in waters off northern Japan.

    August 2016: North Korea test fires the Pukguksong (KN-11) submarine-launched ballistic missile off the coast of Sinpo. The missile travels approximately 500 km before landing in the Sea of Japan, reportedly within Japan’s air defense identification zone. Analysts assess the test to be successful.

    September 2016: North Korea fires three Nodong missiles from Hwangju. The missiles each fly approximately 1,000 km before landing in the Sea of Japan.

    September 2016: North Korea tests a new large rocket engine at Sohae Satellite Launch Station. Analysts assess that the engine uses liquid fuel, and will likely be used for a space launch vehicle.

    October 2016: North Korea reportedly conducts two failed tests of the Musudan intermediate-range ballistic missile.

    November 2016: The U.N. Security Council adopts resolution 2321, condemning North Korea’s nuclear test in September and imposing additional sanctions. The resolution places new restrictions on North Korea’s shipping industry, lengthens the list of prohibited items, expands member states’ authority to search North Korean cargo, and places banking and property restrictions on North Korean embassies, consulates, and foreign service officials. It also strengthens restrictions on Pyongyang’s mineral trading, placing a numerical limit on its coal exports.

    December 2016: North Korea reportedly conducts a ground test of a submarine-launched ballistic missile.

    February 2017: North Korea test fires a new medium range ballistic missile known as the Pukguksong-2 (KN-15) from a tracked TEL using cold launch technology. The missile reportedly reaches a height of 550 km and a distance of 500 km, landing in the Sea of Japan. Analysts assess that the Pukguksong-2 is a solid-fueled missile with a range of 1,200 km. It is derived from the Pukguksong submarine-launched ballistic missile.

    April 2017: North Korea unveils a number of new missiles during a military parade, including a Scud variant with fins on the nosecone (KN-18), a KN-08/Musudan hybrid ballistic missile, and two new ICBMs. One of the ICBM systems is assessed to be a variant of the KN-14, and the other a variant of the Pukguksong known as the Pukguksong-3.

    May 2017: North Korea conducts the first successful test launch of the road mobile Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile. It is fired on a highly lofted trajectory, reaching an altitude of over 2,000 km and traveling a distance of 700 km. The missile is estimated to have a range of 4,500 km if fired on a standard trajectory.

    May 2017: North Korea conducts a second test of the Pukguksong-2. The missile reportedly reaches an altitude of 560 km and travels a distance of approximately 500 km.

    May 2017: North Korea test fires the new KN-18 variant of the Scud missile to a range of 450 km. The KN-18 is equipped with fins to provide terminal guidance, allowing for improved maneuverability.

    June 2017: An anonymous U.S. government source tells the Diplomat that North Korea conducted three failed test launches of the Hwasong-12 in April and May before the first successful test.

    June 2017: North Korea reportedly conducts a rocket engine test possibly for the upper stage of an ICBM.

    June 2017: The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) issues a white paper claiming that North Korean experts are assisting Iran in the construction of dozens of missile production sites run by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

    June 2017: The U.N. Security Council adopts resolution 2356, condemning North Korea’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile development and imposing additional sanctions. The resolution imposes an asset freeze on additional entities and individuals linked to North Korea’s ballistic missile program, as well as a travel ban on designated individuals. One of the entities designated is the Strategic Rocket Force Command.

    July 2017: North Korea conducts two tests of an ICBM, the Hwasong-14 (KN-20), a two-stage, road-mobile, liquid fuelled missile. In the first test the missile is fired on a lofted trajectory, reportedly reaching an altitude of 2,800 km and traveling a distance of 933 km. Analysts assess that the missile could reach a distance of 7,000-8,000 km if fired on a “maximum-range trajectory.” In the second test the missile reportedly reaches an altitude of 3,700 km and travels approximately 1,000 km, expanding estimates of the missile’s range to between 9,000 and 10,500 km.

    July 2017: The U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) reportedly assesses that North Korea will be able to deploy a “reliable, nuclear-capable ICBM” sometime in 2018. The DIA also assesses that Pyongyang has produced miniaturized nuclear weapons for delivery on ballistic missiles, and has up to 60 nuclear weapons in its arsenal.

    August 2017: The U.N. Security Council adopts resolution 2371, condemning North Korea’s ICBM tests and imposing additional sanctions. The resolution prohibits the import from North Korea of coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore, or seafood. It also bars member states from allowing additional North Korean workers into their territory and from allowing the creation of new joint ventures with North Korean entities and individuals.

    August 2017: The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) assesses in a report that the liquid fuel engines used in the Hwasong-12 and -14 are based on the Soviet RD-250 engine series and were obtained by Pyongyang through “illicit channels” in Russia and/or Ukraine. The assessment is challenged by Ukrainian officials and disputed by U.S. intelligence officials.

    August 2017: Photos from a visit by Kim Jong Un to an Academy of Defense Science facility shows diagrams for a new solid-fueled ballistic missile called the “Pukguksong-3,” as well as another, unidentified missile. The photos also reveal a large container assessed to be wound-filament reinforced plastic rocket casing.

    August 2017: North Korea fires an intermediate-range ballistic missile over the island of Hokkaido in northern Japan. The missile, believed to be a Hwasong-12, travels approximately 2,700 km.

    September 2017: North Korea launches another Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile over the island of Hokkaido in northern Japan. The missile, which is fired from a mobile launcher, reportedly travels on a standard trajectory, traveling 3,700 km and reaching a maximum altitude of 770 km.

    November 2017: North Korea conducts a test of a new ICBM, the Hwasong-15. The missile is fired on a lofted trajectory, reaching an altitude of approximately 4,500 km, the highest for a North Korean missile to date, and traveling a distance of approximately 950 km. The Hwasong-15 is reportedly a two-stage road-mobile missile, wider than the Hwasong-14, with an estimated range of 13,000 km — long enough to reach any target on the U.S. mainland.

    Pressure to Address Iran’s Missile Program and Arms Exports Intensifies

    Events over the past week have created mounting pressure to address Iran’s ballistic missile program and its missile and arms exports. On December 19, Iranian-backed Houthi militants in Yemen fired another short-range ballistic missile into Saudi Arabia. This marked the third such attack since July and followed revelations by the United States and the United Nations that these missiles appear to be of Iranian origin. In response to these and other alleged violations of U.N. resolutions, the United States is pressing for punitive action at the United Nations.

    U.S. Displays Recovered Missile Parts from Iran

    In a dramatic press conference at a military base in Washington D.C. on December 14, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley revealed evidence that two missiles fired into Saudi Arabia were made in Iran and then sent to the Houthis. She presented this evidence while standing in front of a missile reconstituted from parts recovered in Saudi Arabia.[1]

    Pointing to the absence of planar fins and the arrangement of nine valves along the length of the missile, Haley identified it as Iran’s Qiam. (The missile is called the Burkan-2H by the Houthis). The Qiam is an Iranian variant of the Scud missile, with distinctive features such as those highlighted by Haley. The recovered parts of the missile body are made of aluminum rather than steel, also a feature of the Qiam.[2] The logo and/or name of well-known Iranian missile developers, including Shahid Bagheri Industrial Group (SBIG) and Shahid Hemat Industrial Group (SHIG), appear on recovered parts used for missile guidance, according to high resolution images released by the U.S. government. Both SHIG and SBIG were sanctioned by the United Nations in December 2006 for their role in Iran’s ballistic missile program and remain subject to U.N. sanctions pursuant to Security Council resolution 2231.[3]

    Alongside these missile parts, the United States displayed material from an anti-tank guided missile, an unmanned aerial vehicle, and an explosive boat, all of which Haley claimed to have been made in Iran and provided to the Houthis. She concluded that Iran is “in direct violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions” and that “the nuclear deal has done nothing to moderate the regime’s conduct in other areas.”[4] Dozens of high definition photographs of missile and other parts released by the U.S. government are available here.[5]

    Ambassador Haley invited all Security Council members to visit the military base and view the missile parts, along with other Iranian-origin military hardware sent to Yemen. She noted that the United States had supported a United Nations investigation of alleged Iranian violations of resolution 2231 by declassifying evidence of such violations, like the items on display at the base.

    U.N. Report Reinforces U.S. Findings

    On the same day as Haley’s press conference, the United Nations released its fourth report on the implementation of Security Council resolution 2231, which endorsed the nuclear agreement with Iran and imposed restrictions on Iran’s missile and military programs.[6] This report, issued by the U.N. Secretary General, echoed, in more measured terms, many of the U.S. government’s findings. Following an examination by U.N. experts of the missile debris recovered by Saudi Arabia from the July and early November attacks, the report concluded that “the diameter of both missiles was consistent with that of the Scud family” and that the missiles “had similar structural and manufacturing features,” suggesting a “common origin.”[7] According to the report, U.N. experts also noted that “remnants of mounting plates” from the July missile “suggest that the missile was finless” and that three actuators used for guidance “bore the castings of a logo similar to that of the Shahid Bagheri Industrial Group.”[8]

    The United Nations still is investigating the origin of the missile debris but recommended that the Security Council receive a joint briefing “by the Panel of Experts on Yemen and the Secretariat on their respective findings” related to the “possible transfer” of ballistic missiles or missile parts from Iran to the Houthis.[9] The Secretariat has taken over the investigative role on Iran and the implementation of resolution 2231; the dedicated Panel of Experts for Iran was dissolved following the implementation of the nuclear agreement.

    In addition, U.N. experts were able to examine arms seized by the United States in March 2016 in the Gulf of Oman. The Secretary General’s report concluded that Iran was the source of this shipment, the second such arms shipment from Iran interdicted that month.[10]

    The report described other apparent violations of resolution 2231, including provisions imposing an asset freeze and travel ban against specific Iranian entities. The Defense Industries Organization (DIO), which is subject to the U.N. asset freeze, exhibited at an aerospace trade fair held in Zhukovsky, Russia in July 2017. This is the third time that DIO has participated in a foreign defense-related fair since the nuclear agreement was implemented, according to the United Nations. In March 2016[11] and March 2017[12], DIO was an exhibitor at the Iraqi Defense, Security, and Military Exposition (IQDEX). In these instances, a lack of consensus at the Security Council has prevented any response. In the most recent case, Russia claimed that no violation of resolution 2231 was committed because DIO did not pay a fee to exhibit and used only mock-ups in its display.[13]

    Similarly, the U.N. report once again documented instances of foreign travel by Major General Qasem Soleimani, who is subject to a U.N. asset freeze and travel ban. According to the report, he has been seen visiting Iraq and Syria on a number of occasions since June.[14] Soleimani heads the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Quds Force (IRGC-QF), which supports terrorist groups across the Middle East and Africa and has sent arms and fighters to conflict zones in these regions.

    In addition, the U.N. received information about an individual who “may be acting in support of a designated entity,” as well as another designated entity that may be using subsidiaries in order to circumvent the asset freeze provisions of resolution 2231. In response to these allegations, the U.N. report recommends that the Security Council “review and update” its list of entities “to ensure proper implementation of the asset freeze and travel ban provisions.”[15]

    What Next?

    The United States is demanding punitive action by the United Nations in response to “Iran’s lack of full compliance with resolution 2231” and as a means of arresting “Iran’s destabilizing behavior.”[16] In remarks at a Security Council briefing on December 19, Haley put forward several options: strengthen the provisions of resolution 2231 or adopt a new resolution to clearly prohibit Iran from pursuing “all activities related to ballistic missiles”; impose sanctions on Iran for its violations of the arms embargo on Yemen; or target the IRGC “for its violations of numerous Security Council resolutions.” She concluded that unless such action is taken, “Iran will bring the world deeper into a broadening regional conflict.”[17]

    In her remarks, Haley was careful to address the concerns of countries committed to the nuclear agreement and worried that additional sanctions would undermine it. She acknowledged that “while the JCPOA itself was not intended to directly address Iran’s non-nuclear behavior, we must all recognize that resolution 2231 does address such behavior.” As with the nuclear agreement, Haley argued, “the international community must also demand full implementation of resolution 2231.”[18]

    This did not satisfy Russia, whose deputy U.N. ambassador reportedly rejected “the language of threats and sanctions” by the United States and criticized the United Nations for its investigative work, undertaken without “the authority nor the expertise.”[19]

    France, however, appears ready to increase the pressure against Iran’s missile program and its destabilizing regional activity. Speaking to the press during a visit to Washington D.C. on December 19, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian reiterated French concerns about “Iran’s hegemonic temptations in the region,” as well as “the development of an increasingly significant ballistic capability.”[20] He warned that additional sanctions were possible in response. And in remarks the same day at the United Nations, French Ambassador François Delattre said that “France is increasingly concerned by Iran’s violations of Resolution 2231 – I’m thinking of arms transfers – as well as its actions inconsistent with Resolution 2231 – I’m thinking here of its ballistic missile program.”[21]

    The coalition of countries that negotiated the nuclear agreement with Iran is divided on how – and even whether – to address Iran’s missile program and its role in regional destabilization, including activities that appear to violate Security Council resolutions. Russia opposes further action. Europe appears divided; France and the United Kingdom have spoken out at the United Nations about the need to address violations and inconsistencies in the implementation of resolution 2231; other European countries remain focused on protecting the nuclear agreement. Meanwhile, continued U.S. commitment to the agreement is uncertain. The Trump administration did not issue a favorable certification to Congress in October and must decide once again next month whether to waive sanctions as required by the agreement. The result of this division and uncertainty may be an expansion of the numerous non-nuclear threats posed by Iran, as well as the unraveling of the nuclear agreement.


    Footnotes:

    [1] Nikki Haley, “Remarks at a Press Conference on Iranian Arms Exports,” U.S. Mission to the United Nations, December 14, 2017, available at https://usun.state.gov/remarks/8215.

    [2] Colum Lynch, “U.N. Panel Finds Evidence of Iranian Hardware in Yemeni Rebels’ Missile. And American.” Foreign Policy, December 8, 2017, available at http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/12/08/u-n-panel-finds-evidence-of-iranian-hardware-in-yemeni-rebels-missile-and-american-middle-east-iran-saudi-arabia-human-rights-blockade-white-house/.

    [3] The List established and maintained pursuant to Security Council res. 2231 (2015), United Nations, accessed on December 21, 2017, available at https://scsanctions.un.org/en/?keywords=iran.

    [4] Nikki Haley, “Remarks at a Press Conference on Iranian Arms Exports,” U.S. Mission to the United Nations, December 14, 2017, available at https://usun.state.gov/remarks/8215.

    [5] “Evidence Shows Iranian Weapons Proliferation,” Defense Video Image Distribution System, December 12, 2017, available at https://www.dvidshub.net/image/4029999/evidence-shows-iranian-weapons-proliferation.

    [6] Fourth report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of Security Council resolution 2231 (2015), United Nations, December 8, 2017, available at http://www.iranwatch.org/sites/default/files/20171512-unscr2231-fourthreportofsecgen.pdf.

    [7] Fourth report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of Security Council resolution 2231 (2015), United Nations, December 8, 2017, p. 6, para. 29, available at http://www.iranwatch.org/sites/default/files/20171512-unscr2231-fourthreportofsecgen.pdf.

    [8] Fourth report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of Security Council resolution 2231 (2015), United Nations, December 8, 2017, p. 6, para. 29, available at http://www.iranwatch.org/sites/default/files/20171512-unscr2231-fourthreportofsecgen.pdf.

    [9] Fourth report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of Security Council resolution 2231 (2015), United Nations, December 8, 2017, p. 3, para. 10, available at http://www.iranwatch.org/sites/default/files/20171512-unscr2231-fourthreportofsecgen.pdf.

    [10] Fourth report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of Security Council resolution 2231 (2015), United Nations, December 8, 2017, p. 2, para. 11, available at http://www.iranwatch.org/sites/default/files/20171512-unscr2231-fourthreportofsecgen.pdf.

    [11] Second report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of Security Council resolution 2231 (2015), United Nations, December 30, 2016, p. 4, paras. 221-226, available at http://www.iranwatch.org/sites/default/files/unsyg-secondreporton2231.pdf.

    [12] Third report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of Security Council resolution 2231 (2015), United Nations, June 20, 2017, p. 8, para. 38, available at http://www.iranwatch.org/sites/default/files/unsyg-thirdreporton2231-170620.pdf.

    [13] Fourth report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of Security Council resolution 2231 (2015), United Nations, December 8, 2017, pp. 8-9, paras. 36-38, available at http://www.iranwatch.org/sites/default/files/20171512-unscr2231-fourthreportofsecgen.pdf.

    [14] Fourth report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of Security Council resolution 2231 (2015), United Nations, December 8, 2017, p. 9, paras. 39-42, available at http://www.iranwatch.org/sites/default/files/20171512-unscr2231-fourthreportofsecgen.pdf.

    [15] Fourth report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of Security Council resolution 2231 (2015), United Nations, December 8, 2017, p. 3, para. 14, available at http://www.iranwatch.org/sites/default/files/20171512-unscr2231-fourthreportofsecgen.pdf.

    [16] Nikki Haley, “Remarks at a UN Security Council Briefing on Iran,” U.S. Mission to the United Nations, December 19, 2017, available at https://usun.state.gov/remarks/8227.

    [17] Nikki Haley, “Remarks at a UN Security Council Briefing on Iran,” U.S. Mission to the United Nations, December 19, 2017, available at https://usun.state.gov/remarks/8227.

    [18] Nikki Haley, “Remarks at a UN Security Council Briefing on Iran,” U.S. Mission to the United Nations, December 19, 2017, available at https://usun.state.gov/remarks/8227.

    [19] Edith M. Lederer, “US urges UN to punish Iran, but Russia says no sanctions,” Associated Press, December 19, 2017, available at https://apnews.com/dff67bf44cb44bf0b819fffc5777badb.

    [20] “France, U.S. ‘determined’ to up pressure on Iran over ballistic weapons,” Reuters, December 19, 2017, available at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-nuclear-france/france-u-s-determined-to-up-pressure-on-iran-over-ballistic-weapons-idUSKBN1ED0ZV.

    [21] “Iran – Remarks to the press by Mr. François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations,” Permanent mission of France to the United Nations in New York, December 19, 2017, available at https://onu.delegfrance.org/Iran-has-not-violated-its-nuclear-commitments.

    Nuclear Monitoring and Verification in the Digital Age: Seven Recommendations for Improving the Process

    Nuclear Verification Capabilities Independent Task Force of the Federation of American Scientists

    Third Report – September 2017

    The goal of this Task Force report is to offer findings and make recommendations regarding nonproliferation monitoring and verification in general; our observations are grounded in large part on the Task Force’s continued attention to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) between the P5+1 and Iran, nuclear developments in North Korea, and other nonproliferation challenges.

    The Task Force seeks in this report to examine some of the significant developments in the current digital age as they relate to nonproliferation monitoring activities by both governmental and non-governmental organizations (NGO), to include:

    1. the accelerating quality and quantity of available imagery and other forms of remote sensing available outside governments;
    2. the growing volume and availability of worldwide transactional data related to commerce; and
    3. the ease of communicating findings, observations, and assertions about illicit activities related to nuclear programs and proliferation (with varying degrees of accuracy and truthfulness) through an increasing number of traditional and newer social media outlets.

    Overlaying these three developments is the introduction of new forms of data analytics, including nascent artificial intelligence (AI) approaches such as machine learning, which serve to speed up both the process and pace at which these developments affect monitoring and verification activities. The sheer volume of available data, imagery, and analysis, some of it conflicting, has made the nuclear monitoring (data gathering) and verification (a policy determination ideally based on accurate data) more challenging due to a significant worsening in the signal-to-noise ratio.  Additionally, as all three of these developments reflect modern society’s dependence on the digital cloud, servers, data storage, websites, and internet communications, the need to ensure data integrity has increasingly become a salient concern.

    Enabled by these increases in the speed and quantity of open data sources, the NGO community will play an increasing role in commenting on the JCPOA and other nonproliferation agreements, in facilitating greater transparency, and in helping to identify options, opportunities, and challenges. Use of these enhanced open-source tools by the NGO community is likely to increase as the technologies continue to improve and costs continue to decline. A paper co-written by Dr. Christopher Stubbs of Harvard University and Dr. Sidney Drell of Stanford University, titled “Public Domain Treaty Compliance Verification in the Digital Age,” described these new tools collectively as “Public Technical Means (PTM).”

    The intent of the findings and recommendations of this Task Force report is to suggest some of the measures that could be taken to enable the work of nongovernmental bodies in nuclear monitoring. The report highlights a few of the many examples of additional analytical and information resources available to NGOs. The report further suggests ways in which relevant analysis and reports can be separated from misinformation, and ways in which transparency can be enhanced. The findings and recommendations are not intended to be comprehensive but rather to suggest some possible measures as illustrations of what might be possible and how to exploit these new tools.

    The report examines examples in the human rights and business communities where centers for facilitation of monitoring activities and for validation of claims have been established independent of advocacy groups and governments. Our report calls for the establishment of similar centers focused on fusing and authenticating arms control and nonproliferation information. In the governmental arena, the report calls for more openness and better publicizing of the cooperative efforts of all parties working to ensure Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA. The final set of recommendations focuses on methods for maintaining the integrity of monitoring data as well as the safety and privacy of people who are working on ensuring compliance with nonproliferation objectives. A short summary of the recommendations follows:

    1. An independent Network of Centers of Nonproliferation Authentication (NCNA) — a distributed network consisting of four to five separate institutions worldwide — should be created and funded outside of government and advocacy channels.
    2. The P5+1 and Iran should seek opportunities for public ceremonies, press coverage, and diplomatic events to mark important implementation steps.
    3. There should be periodic public updates on monitoring measures and U.S. support to the IAEA and the Joint Commission.
    4. There should be a priority diplomatic push by members of the P-5+1and other interested states, supported by the international business community, toward encouraging Iranian openness and more public release of data concerning implementation and compliance steps by Iran.
    5. A trusted body of outside experts should be created for the Iranian nuclear agreement to review monitoring efforts and build confidence even among skeptics that serious and appropriate monitoring steps were being taken.
    6. NGOs, in the nonproliferation and nuclear arms control sectors that are collecting, handling, processing, and storing sensitive personal information, should take the necessary actions and use appropriate tools to protect both the information and the physical safety of its providers.
    7. Funders of nonproliferation NGOs should consider robust funding for upgrades in cyber security in order to protect key data and should insist that fundees adopt a culture of maintaining good “cyber hygiene” by their personnel as a condition of receiving grants.

    To read the complete report on the Federation of American Scientists’ website, click here.

    To read an accompanying working paper, “Tracking Proliferation through Trade Data” by Senior Research Associate Matthew Godsey and Executive Director Valerie Lincy, click here.

    North Korea Nuclear Milestones – 1962-2017

    1962: North Korea sets up an atomic energy research center with help from the Soviet Union.

    1964: China helps North Korea prospect for uranium.

    1967: North Korea starts up a small Soviet-supplied reactor.

    1974: North Korea joins the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

    1975: North Korea produces a few grams of plutonium.

    1977: North Korea agrees to international inspection of Soviet-supplied equipment.

    1977: Kang Song-San, a high party official, visits China’s Lop Nur nuclear test site.

    1979: North Korea starts to build a 5 MWe (30 MWt) reactor at Yongbyon that can produce approximately enough plutonium for one bomb a year.

    1985: North Korea signs the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), promising not to produce nuclear weapons and to open all nuclear sites to inspection. In return, the Soviet Union promises to supply North Korea with several large power reactors.

    1985: North Korea starts to build a 50 MWe (200 MWt) reactor that can produce enough plutonium for seven to ten bombs a year. It also starts to build a large plant to process plutonium into weapon-ready form.

    1986: The 5 MWe (30 MWt) reactor at Yongbyon begins to produce plutonium.

    July 1987: North Korea misses the first 18-month deadline for the beginning of international inspections. Inspectors grant an 18-month extension.

    December 1988: North Korea misses a second deadline for beginning international inspections, and demands “legal assurances” that the U.S. won’t threaten it with nuclear weapons.

    1989: According to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), North Korea secretly unloads enough plutonium-bearing fuel from its 5 MWe (30 MWt) reactor to make one or two nuclear bombs.

    1989: North Korea begins to process plutonium into nuclear weapon-ready form.

    September 1989: North Korea starts to build a 200 MWe (800 MWt) reactor that can produce enough plutonium for 30 to 40 bombs a year.

    February 1990: North Korea threatens to withdraw from the NPT unless the U.S. removes all nuclear weapons from the Korean peninsula.

    March 1990: U.S. fines German firm Degussa for illegally supplying U.S.-origin reactor material to North Korea.

    November 1990: North Korea tries to buy electronic components for bomb triggers from a U.S. company.

    December 1990: South Korean press reports 70 to 80 high-explosive tests of bomb components in North Korea.

    1990: North Korea tests its large plutonium processing plant, showing it is operational.

    1990: North Korea starts up its new plant to process uranium for reactor fuel.

    1990: A KGB report asserts that North Korea has developed a nuclear device, but has decided not to test the device in order to avoid international detection.

    October 1991: U.S. begins to remove nuclear weapons from South Korea.

    December 1991: North and South Korea agree to denuclearize the peninsula and not to produce, test, receive, deploy or possess nuclear weapon fuel or weapons, or the means to make them.

    January 1992: North Korea agrees to regular IAEA inspections of its nuclear facilities.

    1992: The IAEA finds evidence that North Korea had processed more than the 80 grams of plutonium it had disclosed to the Agency.

    1992: According to U.S. intelligence, North Korea buries the first floor of a two-story building believed to contain waste from plutonium extraction.

    1993: U.S. aerial photographs and IAEA chemical analysis data confirm the existence of a nuclear waste dump and inconsistencies in North Korea’s declaration of nuclear materials.

    February 1993: IAEA inspectors ask to see two undeclared sites, on suspicion that secret plutonium processing will be revealed, and allow one month for compliance.

    March 1993: North Korea rejects the request and announces its intention to withdraw from the NPT.

    April 1993: The IAEA declares North Korea in non-compliance, and refers the matter to the U.N. Security Council.

    June 1993: North Korea “suspends” its withdrawal from the NPT but continues to bar inspectors from full inspection.

    August 1993: IAEA inspectors are restricted to working at night by flashlight.

    October 1993: North Korea repudiates the NPT and breaks off talks with inspectors.

    November 1993: North Korea breaks off denuclearization talks with South Korea.

    November 1993: A North Korean diplomat is expelled from Russia for trying to hire Russian scientists.

    December 1993: North Korea offers to let inspectors into only five of seven declared nuclear sites, barring them from the 5 MWe (30 MWt) reactor, the plutonium processing plant and two undeclared sites. Inspectors say their cameras no longer work.

    December 1993: U.S. intelligence says North Korea has a “better than even” chance of possessing one or two bombs.

    December 1993: The IAEA indicates it can no longer provide any meaningful assurance on the peaceful use of North Korea’s declared nuclear installations.

    1993: North Korea manufactures fuel for its 50 MWe (200 MWt) reactor.

    January 1994: North Korea agrees to a one-time inspection of all seven declared sites, but balks at procedures.

    February 1994: North Korea agrees to inspection procedures but delays inspectors’ visas and continues to bar inspectors from undeclared sites.

    March 1994: Inspectors find seals broken, are denied access to crucial equipment and cannot certify North Korean compliance.

    March 1994: IAEA inspectors find evidence that North Korea is constructing a second plutonium processing line, which would double plutonium production.

    May 1994: North Korea shuts down its 5 MWe (30 MWt) reactor and removes about 8,000 fuel rods, which could be reprocessed into enough plutonium for 4-5 nuclear weapons. The IAEA is denied permission to inspect the removed fuel rods.

    June 1994: The IAEA adopts a resolution concluding that North Korea is “continuing to widen its non-compliance… by taking actions which prevent the Agency from verifying the history of the reactor core and from ascertaining whether nuclear material from the reactor had been diverted.” Additionally, the IAEA suspends all non-medical technical assistance to North Korea.

    June 1994: North Korea withdraws its membership from the IAEA.

    October 1994: U.S. and North Korea conclude an “Agreed Framework,” under which North Korea will freeze and eventually dismantle its graphite-moderated reactors and related facilities, and will safely store spent fuel from the 5 MWe (30 MWt) reactor. In exchange, the U.S. agrees to organize a consortium that will provide North Korea with light-water reactors and will make arrangements to provide heavy heating oil during construction of the light-water facilities.

    1994: IAEA inspectors confirm North Korea has frozen its nuclear program and stopped construction on the unfinished reactors.

    1995: U.S., Japan and South Korea establish the KEDO consortium, which will provide North Korea with two South Korean-manufactured light-water reactors, worth $4.6 billion, financed primarily by South Korea and Japan.

    September – December 1996: A North Korean submarine, believed to be spying, runs aground off the coast of South Korea. South Korea kills seven suspected crewmen. In response to the submarine incident, South Korea delays progress on the Agreed Framework. China joins the U.N. Security Council in criticizing North Korea and expressing “serious concern” about the incident. North Korea apologizes to South Korea for the September submarine incident, and promises to prevent the recurrence of similar incidents in the future.

    August 1997: Construction begins on two light-water nuclear reactors being built in North Korea as part of the 1994 Agreed Framework with the United States.

    July 1998: The U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) reports that North Korea is refusing to allow IAEA inspectors full access to its nuclear sites.

    March 1999: A U.S. Department of Energy intelligence report allegedly claims that North Korea is working on uranium enrichment techniques.

    May 1999: A team of American nuclear specialists arrives in North Korea to begin an inspection of what is suspected of being an underground nuclear weapons site at Kumchangri. No evidence of nuclear activity is found.

    July 1999: A U.S. intelligence report claims that North Korea has between 25 and 30 kilograms of weapon-grade plutonium, enough to make several nuclear warheads.

    May 2000: A second team of U.S. inspectors visits the Kumchangri underground facility, and again finds no evidence of nuclear activity.

    October 2000: The CIA assesses that North Korea has processed enough plutonium for at least one, and possibly two, nuclear weapons.

    May 2001: North Korea threatens to pull out of the 1994 Agreed Framework, saying the United States has failed to live up to its obligations under the agreement.

    June 2001: The IAEA says it is unable to verify that North Korea is not diverting nuclear material for military purposes, as North Korea has not provided inspectors with sufficient access.

    September 2001: KEDO begins excavation work for the first light-water reactor.

    March 2002: President Bush decides not to certify North Korea’s compliance with the 1994 Agreed Framework before sending fuel oil to Pyongyang, indicating the United States does not have enough information to determine whether North Korea is complying with the agreement. He decides, however, to grant a waiver, allowing the fuel oil shipments to continue.

    October 2002: The United States claims that North Korea acknowledged to a U.S. delegation headed by Assistant Secretary of State James A. Kelly that North Korea has been secretly enriching uranium. The admission was prompted by U.S. intelligence indicating North Korea was trying to acquire large amounts of high-strength aluminum, which can be used in equipment to enrich uranium.

    October 2002: U.S. intelligence reportedly concludes that Pakistan was a major supplier of critical equipment to North Korea’s newly-revealed enrichment program.

    November 2002: KEDO decides to suspend heavy fuel oil shipments to North Korea until North Korea takes steps to dismantle its nuclear program.

    December 2002: North Korea reportedly succeeds in purchasing from a Chinese company 20 tons of tributyl phosphate (TBP), which can be used to extract plutonium from spent reactor fuel.

    December 2002: The IAEA announces North Korea moved 1,000 fresh nuclear fuel rods to a storage facility at the Yongbyon reactor site.

    December 2002: North Korea decides to lift the freeze on its nuclear facilities and orders IAEA inspectors to leave the country.

    January 2003: North Korea announces it is pulling out of the NPT and rebuffs demands that it allow a return of U.N. inspectors.

    January 2003: U.S. spy satellites detect trucks in North Korea that appear to be moving the 8,000 spent fuel rods from storage.

    February 2003: North Korea announces it has restarted its nuclear facilities.

    February 2003: The IAEA declares North Korea in non-compliance with its inspection obligations and sends the issue to the U.N. Security Council.

    February 2003: U.S. spy satellites show a steady stream of activity around North Korea’s plutonium reprocessing plant. The activity indicates preparation to activate the facility.

    April 2003: French and German authorities reportedly seize 214 ultra-strong aluminum pipes aboard a French cargo ship destined for North Korea, where they would reportedly be used in gas centrifuges for uranium enrichment. The shipment was part of a larger order by North Korea to acquire up to 2,000 such pipes, enough for 3,500 centrifuges.

    April 2003: During discussions in Beijing among the United States, North Korea, and China, a North Korean official says North Korea has nuclear weapons.

    April 2003: North Korea threatens to “transfer” or “demonstrate” its nuclear weapons during the six party talks in Beijing, according to an unclassified CIA report to Congress. It repeats this threat later in the year.

    May 2003: A South Korean official says the United States has a satellite photo showing smoke coming from radiation and chemical labs at Yongbyon (signaling the site may be reprocessing spent fuel rods).

    May 2003: North Korea nullifies a 1992 agreement with South Korea to keep the peninsula free of nuclear weapons.

    June 2003: North Korea announces its intentions of building nuclear weapons in an attempt to decrease the size of its conventional military forces.

    June 2003: The CIA reportedly believes that North Korea is developing technology to make nuclear warheads small enough to fit on missiles.

    July 2003: The United States reportedly believes North Korea has begun to process spent fuel rods.

    July 2003: South Korean media reports that North Korea claims to have restarted the 5 MWe (30 MWt) reactor at Yongbyon, as well as to have resumed construction on two other reactors frozen under the 1994 Agreed Framework.

    July 2003: North Korean officials say they have finished producing enough plutonium from the 8,000 spent fuel rods for six bombs, which they intend to weaponize quickly.

    July 2003: South Korean intelligence confirms North Korea has performed 70 high explosives tests.

    August 2003: Six party talks between North Korea and the United States, South Korea, China, Japan, and Russia are held in Beijing. North Korea says it would eliminate its nuclear weapons program if the U.S. first signed a “non-aggression treaty.”

    September 2003: Chinese authorities at the China-North Korea border stop a shipment of chemicals that could have been used in North Korea’s nuclear program, according to an unclassified CIA report.

    October 2003: North Korea confirms that in June 2003 it completed reprocessing all of the 8,000 spent fuel rods previously under IAEA safeguards, and announces that all of the plutonium thus derived was being used to increase the size of North Korea’s nuclear deterrent force.

    October 2003: New intelligence reportedly estimates that North Korea may have produced at least one new nuclear weapon in recent months.

    October 2003: Hans-Werner Truppel, a German national, is charged with exporting aluminum tubing for North Korea’s uranium enrichment program.

    November 2003: The CIA tells Congress that it believes that North Korea is able to turn nuclear fuel into functioning weapons without performing a full nuclear test.

    November 2003: The United States and its allies announce that beginning December 1, they will suspend all work for one year on a nuclear power project in North Korea that was part of the 1994 Agreed Framework.

    January 2004: A U.S. delegation spends a day at the Yongbyon nuclear complex, where it is shown what North Korea claims is weapons-grade plutonium. A member of the delegation indicates the cooling pond there is empty and that the 5 MW(e) reactor “appears to be operating smoothly.”

    February 2004: The second round of the six party talks is held in Beijing.

    March 2004: Reportedly, a CIA classified intelligence report concludes that North Korea probably received a comprehensive nuclear package from Pakistan’s Khan Research Laboratories, similar to that received by Libya, which included all the equipment and technology needed to produce uranium-based nuclear weapons.

    April 2004: Pakistani nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan is reported to have told investigators that during a 1999 trip to North Korea, he was shown three nuclear devices. It is unclear whether he would have had the expertise to distinguish between an actual weapon and a mock-up.

    April 2004: U.S. intelligence prepares to revise its estimate of the number of nuclear weapons possessed by North Korea from “possibly two” to at least eight.

    June 2004: The third round of six party talks is held in Beijing. North Korea includes a ban on nuclear transfers in a nuclear freeze proposal it puts forward according to an unclassified CIA report.

    February 2005: North Korea announces that it has “manufactured” nuclear weapons and indefinitely suspends its participation in the six party talks.

    April 2005: North Korea reportedly shuts down the 5 MW(e) (30 MWt) reactor at Yongbyon.

    July-September 2005: The fourth round of six party talks is held in Beijing, where the parties agree to a Joint Statement of Principles. They reaffirm their commitment to peacefully denuclearizing the Korean peninsula. North Korea agrees to abandon its nuclear weapons and nuclear programs and to return to the NPT and to IAEA safeguards at an early date in exchange for economic cooperation and energy assistance.

    November 2005: The fifth round of six party talks is held. Discussions end inconclusively due to North Korean displeasure with the U.S. freezing North Korea’s accounts in Macau’s Banco Delta Asia (BDA) in September.

    October 2006: North Korea conducts its first nuclear weapons test. U.S. intelligence confirms that an underground nuclear explosion of less than one kiloton occurred on October 9 near P’unggye, North Korea.

    October 2006: The U.N. Security Council adopts resolution 1718 condemning North Korea’s nuclear test and imposing a range of sanctions. Sanctions prohibit the import to or export from North Korea of battle tanks, heavy artillery, combat aircraft, and items which could contribute to its nuclear, ballistic-missile, or other weapons of mass destruction programs.

    October 2006: After analyzing atmospheric sampling data, U.S. intelligence agencies reportedly conclude that the nuclear explosive device tested by North Korea on October 9 was plutonium-based.

    February – March 2007: Two rounds of six party talks are held.

    July-August 2007: North Korea shuts down the Yongbyon complex and an uncompleted reactor at Taechon. IAEA inspectors are allowed back into the country to put Yongbyon under safeguards. In exchange, South Korea delivers 50,000 metric tons of heavy fuel oil.

    September 2007: An Israeli airstrike destroys Syria’s unfinished Al Kibar nuclear reactor in Dair Alzour. The reactor was being built with North Korean assistance.

    September – October 2007: Another round of six-party talks is held. North Korea agrees to a set of “disablement actions” at the three main facilities at Yongbyon – the 5 MW(e) experimental reactor, the Radiochemical Laboratory, and the Fresh Fuel Fabrication Plant – and to provide a complete list of all its nuclear programs.

    November 2007: North Korea begins to dismantle the main facilities at Yongbyon, with U.S. experts present.

    February 2008: A U.S. delegation of nuclear experts visits the Yongbyon complex and verifies that North Korea has completed 10 of the 12 “disablement actions” at the facility.

    April 2008: At a bilateral meeting in Singapore, the United States and North Korea reportedly reach a tentative agreement whereby Pyongyang will finish disabling facilities at Yongbyon and provide a full accounting of its plutonium stockpile. The agreement does not address Pyongyang’s uranium enrichment work or its past involvement at Syria’s Al Kibar nuclear reactor.

    June 2008: Another round of six party talks is held. North Korea submits a declaration of its nuclear programs to the Chinese government.

    June 2008: U.S. President George Bush signs Executive Order 13466, targeting North Korean vessels and continuing restrictions on North Korean property.

    July 2008: North Korea demolishes the cooling tower at Yongbyon.

    August 2008: India reportedly blocks an Ilyushin-62 jet owned by North Korea’s Air Koryo from delivering cargo to Iran, in response to U.S. concerns that it could be carrying nuclear materials, long-range missile components, or other potentially lethal cargo.

    September 2008: North Korea reportedly bars IAEA inspectors from the Yongbyon complex, announcing that it will reactivate the facility.

    October 2008: The United States removes North Korea from its list of state sponsors of terrorism after Pyongyang allows international inspectors back into Yongbyon and resumes dismantling its plutonium processing plant.

    April 2009: North Korea ceases cooperation with the IAEA and announces its withdrawal from the six-party talks. Agency inspectors remove all IAEA seals and turn off surveillance cameras at Yongbyon before leaving the country.

    May 2009: North Korea conducts its second nuclear weapons test. The estimated yield is between two and seven kilotons.

    June 2009: The U.N. Security Council adopts resolution 1874 condemning North Korea’s nuclear test and imposing additional sanctions. The resolution empowers all member states to inspect suspicious cargo and to seize prohibited items from North Korean vessels and aircraft.

    November 2009: North Korea announces that it has restarted its reprocessing facilities at Yongbyon and has reprocessed 8,000 spent fuel rods.

    2010: North Korea reportedly begins construction on a series of buildings at Yongbyon that are later assessed to be part of a new hot cell facility for the separation of isotopes, including tritium.

    February 2010: Anonymous diplomatic and military sources reportedly announce that North Korea supplied Syria with approximately 45 tons of uranium diuranate (yellowcake) in 2007.

    August 2010: U.S. President Barack Obama signs Executive Order 13551, targeting North Korea’s weapons proliferation network.

    November 2010: North Korea reveals to a visiting U.S. delegation of experts that it has constructed a uranium enrichment facility equipped with 2,000 centrifuges and is in the early stages of building an experimental light water reactor with a capacity of 100 MW(th) (app. 25-30 MW(e)) at the Yongbyon complex.

    2012: North Korea reportedly enters into a contract to purchase a large amount of industrial and laboratory-scale equipment in China. The list of goods includes mercury and lithium hydroxide, which are used in the production of lithium-6, an element used for the production of tritium.

    August 2012: The IAEA reports that North Korea has made “significant progress” over the past year in the construction of a 100 MW(th) light water reactor at Yongbyon.

    August 2012: Japan seizes five controlled aluminum alloy rods from the Wan Hai 313, a container ship originating in North Korea destined for Myanmar via Dalian, China.

    December 2012: U.S. and South Korean intelligence officials reportedly detect what are believed to be additional uranium enrichment facilities in North Korea using satellite imagery.

    January 2013: The U.N. Security Council adopts resolution 2087 imposing additional sanctions against entities and individuals involved in North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

    February 2013: North Korea conducts its third nuclear weapons test. While yield estimates vary, it is believed to be approximately 6-9 kilotons.

    March 2013: The U.N. Security Council adopts resolution 2094 condemning North Korea’s nuclear test and imposing additional sanctions.

    March 2013: North Korea begins the expansion of a facility reported to house its uranium enrichment workshop at the fuel fabrication plant at Yongbyon.

    April 2013: North Korea’s General Bureau of Atomic Energy announces that it will restart all the nuclear facilities at Yongbyon, including the enrichment plant and the 5 MW(e) reactor.

    August 2013: The IAEA detects steam discharges and the outflow of cooling water from the 5 MW(e) reactor at Yongbyon using satellite imagery.

    September 2013: China reportedly publishes a list of dual-use nuclear products and technologies banned from export to North Korea. Banned items included nickel powder, radium, flash X-ray generators, and microwave antennas.

    January 2014: The U.S. Director of National Intelligence assesses that North Korea has restarted the reactor at Yongbyon and expanded its enrichment facilities at the complex.

    November 2014: Satellite imagery reportedly detects activity at the reprocessing facility at Yongbyon that is consistent with preparations for commencing operations.

    February 2015: Chinese nuclear experts assess that North Korea may have assembled 20 nuclear warheads, with the capacity to produce enough weapons grade uranium for an additional eight to ten warheads per year, considerably higher than previous estimates.

    May 2015: U.S. intelligence sources tell Reuters that between 2009 and 2010 Washington made an unsuccessful attempt to attack North Korea’s nuclear weapons program with a version of the Stuxnet computer virus.

    October – December 2015: North Korea shuts down the 5 MW(e) reactor at Yongbyon to remove spent fuel, according to the IAEA.

    December 2015: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un claims that his country has developed a hydrogen bomb.

    2016: A company affiliated with Green Pine Associated Corp., one of North Korea’s primary arms dealers, attempts to sell 10 kg of lithium-6 online, raising suspicions that North Korea has access to additional quantities of the material.

    January 2016: North Korea conducts its fourth nuclear weapons test, claiming it was of a hydrogen bomb. The United States reportedly assesses that the test may have involved components of such a bomb, but not a fully functioning device. Initial estimates of the yield range from 6-10 kilotons.

    January – July 2016: North Korea reprocesses spent fuel at the Radiochemical Laboratory at Yongbyon, according to the IAEA.

    March 2016: The U.N. Security Council adopts resolution 2270, condemning North Korea’s nuclear test and imposing additional sanctions. The resolution requires the inspection of all cargo vessels going to or coming from North Korea, and generally prohibits making vessels and aircraft available to North Korea.

    March 2016: North Korea claims that it has successfully developed miniaturized nuclear warheads to fit on ballistic missiles.

    June 2016: The U.S. Treasury Department finds that North Korea is a jurisdiction of “primary money laundering concern” that uses state-controlled entities to “engage in proliferation of WMD and ballistic missiles.” Treasury proposes a rule that would prohibit North Korean correspondent accounts in U.S. financial institutions and require additional due diligence to block access to the U.S. financial system. The rule takes effect in December 2016.

    August 2016: North Korea’s Atomic Energy Institute tells Japan’s Kyodo News Agency that it has reprocessed spent nuclear fuel “from a graphite-moderated reactor,” and that it has been producing highly-enriched uranium.

    September 2016: North Korea conducts its fifth nuclear weapons test, claiming that it has standardized nuclear warhead production. Initial estimates of the yield range from 10-20 kilotons.

    September 2016: A report issued by U.S. and South Korean researchers indicates that Liaoning Hongxiang Group, a Chinese conglomerate, has supplied North Korea with goods with military and nuclear applications as recently as 2015.

    September – October 2016: Satellite imagery detects activity at the Radiochemical Laboratory at Yongbyon consistent with the reprocessing of spent fuel.

    November 2016: The U.N. Security Council adopts resolution 2321, condemning North Korea’s nuclear test in September and imposing additional sanctions. The resolution places additional restrictions on North Korea’s shipping and banking sectors, property overseas (including embassies), and government representatives. It also places numerical limits Pyongyang’s coal exports, imposes restrictive measures on additional entities and individuals, and expands the list of items North Korea is prohibited from importing.

    January 2017: South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense estimates in a white paper that North Korea has approximately 50 kg of weapons grade plutonium, enough for 10 more nuclear weapons. This is an increase of 10 kg from the last Ministry estimate in 2014. The white paper also indicates that Pyongyang has made significant progress in its HEU program and in its effort to miniaturize nuclear warheads.

    January 2017: Satellite imagery of Yongbyon indicates that operations have resumed at the 5 MWe reactor used for producing plutonium.

    March 2017: IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano tells the Wall Street Journal that North Korea has doubled the size of its uranium enrichment facility at Yongbyon.

    March – June 2017: Satellite imagery detects activity at the Radiochemical Laboratory at Yongbyon consistent with the reprocessing of spent fuel.

    June 2017: The U.N. Security Council adopts resolution 2356, condemning North Korea’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile development and imposing additional sanctions. The resolution imposes an asset freeze on additional entities and individuals linked to North Korea’s ballistic missile program, as well as a travel ban on designated individuals.

    July 2017: U.S. intelligence reportedly assesses that North Korea has produced miniaturized nuclear weapons for delivery on ballistic missiles, including ICBMs. It also estimates that Pyongyang has up to 60 nuclear weapons in its arsenal, although most non-governmental analysts estimate that the number is lower.

    August 2017: The U.N. Security Council adopts resolution 2371, condemning North Korea’s ICBM tests and imposing additional sanctions. The resolution prohibits North Korea’s export of goods such as coal and seafood, prohibits new joint ventures with North Korean entities and individuals, and bars additional North Korean workers from entering the territory of member states. It also imposes restrictive measures on additional entities and individuals. The United States projects that the sanctions will reduce Pyongyang’s annual export revenue by one third.

    September 2017: North Korea conducts its sixth and most powerful nuclear weapons test to date, claiming it was of a two-stage hydrogen bomb. Estimates of the yield generally fall between 120 and 160 kilotons. Analysts assess that the device was either a two-stage hydrogen bomb or a boosted fission bomb. The test is conducted a day after North Korea releases photos of Kim Jong Un inspecting what appears to be a hydrogen bomb.

    September 2017: The U.N. Security Council adopts resolution 2375, condemning the latest nuclear test and imposing additional sanctions. The resolution prohibits North Korea’s import of crude oil for 12 months, its liquid natural gas imports altogether, its export of textiles, “ship-to-ship” transfers with North Korean-affiliated vessels, and the renewal of work permits for North Korean citizens in U.N. member states. It also places a numerical limit on Pyongyang’s refined petroleum imports, imposes restrictive measures on additional entities and individuals, and expands the list of items North Korea is barred from importing.

    Iran Missile Milestones: 1985-2017

    1985: Then-speaker of the Iranian Majlis Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani leads a high-level delegation to Libya, Syria, North Korea, and China, reportedly to acquire missiles.

    1985: Iran receives its first Scud-Bs from Libya.

    1987: China sells Iran “Silkworm” anti-ship cruise missiles.

    1987: Iran reportedly receives approximately 100 Scud-B missiles from North Korea. Iran had allegedly agreed to finance North Korea’s longer-range missile program in exchange for missile technology and the option to buy the finished missiles.

    1988: China agrees to provide Iran with equipment and know-how to develop and test medium-range ballistic missiles.

    1988: Iran successfully tests the 160 km range Mushak-160 missile.

    1990: China and Iran reportedly sign a 10-year agreement for scientific cooperation and the transfer of military technology.

    1991: Iran test-fires a ballistic missile identified by U.S. intelligence as a North Korean Scud-C.

    1991: Syrian chief of staff General Hikmat Shihabi reportedly visits Tehran to discuss building a factory in Syria for joint development and production of surface-to-surface missiles.

    1992: The U.S. Department of State sanctions Iran’s Ministry of Defense Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL) for engaging in “missile technology proliferation activities” with North Korea.

    1995: Iran receives four Scud Transporter Erector Launchers (TELs) from North Korea.

    1996: The State Department sanctions North Korea’s Changgwang Sinyong Corporation and Iran’s Ministry of Defense Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL) and State Purchasing Office for “missile technology proliferation activities.”

    1996: Iran test-fires a Chinese-built C-802 surface-to-surface cruise missile.

    1996: U.S. Rep. Benjamin Gilman (R-NY) states during a Congressional hearing that U.S. intelligence believes China has “delivered dozens, perhaps hundreds, of missile guidance systems and computerized tools to Iran.”

    1996: The Washington Times reports that, according to a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) report entitled “Arms Transfers to State Sponsors of Terrorism,” China has supplied Iran with missile technology, including gyroscopes and accelerometers, as well as test equipment and components for an advanced radar system.

    November 1996: Iran reportedly fires, for the first time, a Chinese C-802 anti-ship missile from one of its ten Chinese-built “Houdong” patrol boats.

    June 1997: Iran reportedly tests two Chinese-built C-801K air-launched cruise missiles from a vintage F-4 Phantom, marking the country’s first successful test of an air-launched cruise missile.

    September 1997: The Russian INOR Scientific Center reportedly agrees to supply Iran’s Instrumentation Factories Plan with a high-strength steel alloy and three types of alloy foil used to shield missile guidance equipment.

    December 1997: U.S. satellite reconnaissance reportedly picks up the heat signature of a missile engine test at the Shahid Hemat Industrial Group (SHIG) research facility, south of Tehran.

    January 1998: According to the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), an Iranian opposition group, Iran has completed development of the Shahab-3 medium-range missile and it is ready for production.

    July 1998: Iran tests the Shahab-3 missile. According to Iranian sources, the 16-meter long missile can carry a 1,000 kg payload 1,300 km. The missile is believed to be a single-stage, liquid-fueled, scaled-up version of North Korea’s Nodong missile.

    July 1998: The State Department imposes sanctions on seven Russian entities for engaging in “proliferation activities related to Iran’s missile programs.” Designated entities include Baltic State Technical University, Europalace 2000, Glavkosmos, Grafit, INOR Scientific Center, MOSO Company, and Polyus Scientific Production Association.

    September 1998: Iran publicly displays the Shahab-3 missile at a military parade. Also on display are five air-to-air missiles, Chinese C-801 and C-802 anti-ship missiles, and three Iranian-built, solid propellant surface-to-surface missiles, including the Zelzal-2, the Nazeat, and the Shahin.

    January 1999: The State Department imposes sanctions on Russia’s D. Mendeleyev University of Chemical Technology of Russia, Moscow Aviation Institute (MAI), and The Scientific Research and Design Institute of Power Technology for engaging in “proliferation activities related to Iran’s nuclear and/or missile programs.”

    February 1999: Iran’s defense minister Ali Shamkhani announces that the Shahab-4 missile is in production not for military purposes, but for launching a satellite. U.S. intelligence reportedly believes the missile is derived from the 1950s-era Soviet SS-4 “Sandal” medium-range missile, which had a maximum range of 2,000 km.

    April 1999: Iran announces the successful test fire of the Sayyad-1, an advanced anti-aircraft missile designed and manufactured by the Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO).

    October 1999: Iran reportedly sells Scud-B and Scud-C missiles to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Iranian military officers and technicians are on hand to help assemble the missiles.

    November 1999: U.S. intelligence reportedly believes that North Korea recently sold Iran 12 Nodong missile engines.

    January 2000: Iran commissions three production lines at the Education and Research Institute of the Ministry of Defense. They will allegedly help Iran become self-sufficient in the production of HTPB resin, aluminum powder, and potassium chlorite—all of which are useful in the production of solid rocket propellant.

    February 2000: Iran reportedly tests a Shahab-3 missile equipped with a North Korean engine. The missile was launched from a TEL at an airbase of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Iranian sources say the missile has an inertial navigation guidance system and a circular error probable (CEP) of approximately three kilometers.

    March 2000: Israeli and U.S. officials reportedly agree that Iran can deploy the Shahab-3 missile.

    March 2000: The Iran Nonproliferation Act of 2000 (P.L. 106-178) is signed into law, authorizing sanctions against persons transferring to Iran materials and technology capable of contributing to Iran’s cruise and ballistic missile programs.

    April 2000: The State Department imposes sanctions on Changgwang Sinyong, a North Korean company, and Iran’s Ministry of Defense Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL), Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO), Shahid Hemat Industrial Group (SHIG), and SANAM Industrial Group for missile technology proliferation activities.

    July 2000: Iran successfully tests the Shahab-3 missile, according to Iranian state media.

    August 2000: In its report on worldwide proliferation, the CIA says Iran has made considerable progress in the development of ballistic missiles, and that entities in Russia, North Korea, and China continued to supply the largest amount of ballistic missile-related goods, technology, and expertise to Iran.

    September 2000: Iran tests the Shahab-3 missile, but the missile reportedly explodes shortly after launch.

    May 2002: Iran tests the Shahab-3 missile. According to Iranian authorities, the test is successful.

    July 2002: Iran tests the Shahab-3 missile. The test is reportedly unsuccessful.

    September 2002: Iran claims to have successfully flight tested the Fateh-110, a single-stage, solid-fueled missile with at least a 200 km range. Iran’s state media reports the inauguration of a facility to produce the Fateh-110.

    May 2003: The State Department imposes sanctions on two Moldovan companies, Cuanta S.A. and Computer and Communicatti SRL, on a Moldovan national, Mikhail Pavlovich Vladov, and on Iran’s Shahid Hemat Industrial Group (SHIG) for contributing to missile programs in Iran.

    July 2003: On July 20, a ceremony is held to mark the distribution of the Shahab-3 to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). The ceremony follows by several weeks what an Iranian foreign ministry spokesman calls the “final test” of the Shahab-3 missile.

    November 2003: Iran’s defense ministry announces that Iran does not have any program “to build the Shahab-4 missile.”

    November 2003: In its report to Congress on worldwide proliferation, the CIA says that Iran’s ballistic missile inventory is among the largest in the Middle East and that entities in the former Soviet Union, North Korea, and China have helped Iran progress in ballistic missile production.

    January 2004: Iran begins production of the Raad cruise missile and the DM-3b active-radar sensor for the Noor anti-ship missile.

    May 2004: Iran says it has begun manufacturing a cruise missile called the Kowsar (Kosar), an indigenous stealth anti-ship missile made by the Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO). The missile is said to have three variants: shore-launched, air-launched, and ship-launched.

    August 2004: Iran announces the successful test of an upgraded Shahab-3 medium-range ballistic missile, which reportedly is longer than the original version, with a larger fuel tank, a “baby bottle-shaped” reentry vehicle, and an increased range.

    September 2004: Iran displays a number of missiles during the Holy Defense Week military parade, including the Zelzal, Nazeat, Shahab-2, and Shahab-3. Reportedly, two Shahab-3 variants, featuring a triconic warhead and assessed to have improved ranges of 1,500 km and 2,000 km, respectively, are displayed.

    October 2004: Iran claims that it has successfully tested a more accurate version of the Shahab-3 missile.

    December 2004: According to NCRI, Iran’s Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO) is developing several clandestine missiles, including the Ghadr, the Shahab-4, and the Zelzal 2, and is working on nuclear and chemical warheads.

    2005: North Korea allegedly supplies Iran with 18 missile assembly kits for the BM-25 (or Musudan), a modified version of Russia’s SS-N-6. The SS-N-6 is a single-stage, liquid-fueled, submarine missile with a range of 2,400 to 3,000 km.

    June 2005: President George W. Bush issues Executive Order 13382 on Blocking Property of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Proliferators and Their Supporters. The order freezes the assets of specially designated proliferators of WMD and WMD delivery systems, as well as members of their support networks; four Iranian entities are designated under this Order, including Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO), Shahid Hemat Industrial Group (SHIG), Shahid Bakeri Industrial Group, and the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI).

    December 2005: According to NCRI, Iran is using underground facilities to hide missile command and control centers and to build nuclear-capable missiles.

    March-April 2006: Iran holds “Holy Prophet” war games in the Persian Gulf, involving the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Naval Force and Iran’s regular naval and armed forces. According to Iran, missiles tested include the Shahab-2, the Kowsar, the sonar-evading Hoot (Hud, Hut) underwater missile, the surface-to-air Fajr-3, and an upgraded Nour cruise missile. Reportedly, the Nour (Noor) may be a variant of the Chinese C-802, the Kowsar a variant of the Chinese C-801, and the Hoot based on the Russian-developed Shkval rocket-powered torpedo.

    June 2006: Pursuant to Executive Order 13382, the U.S. Department of the Treasury imposes financial sanctions on four Chinese companies, Beijing Alite Technologies Company Ltd. (ALCO), LIMMT Economic and Trade Company, Ltd., China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC), and China National Precision Machinery Import/Export Corporation (CPMIEC), and on the U.S.-based CGWIC representative, G.W. Aerospace, Inc., for supplying Iran with missile-related and dual-use components.

    July 2006: Pursuant to Executive Order 13382, the Treasury Department imposes financial sanctions on SANAM Industrial Group and Ya Mahdi Industries Group for their ties to missile proliferation; both are Iranian companies subordinate to Iran’s Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO).

    August-September 2006: During “Blow of Zolfaqar” war games, Iran claims to have successfully tested a radar-evading, ship-launched missile called the Sagheb, and a new surface-to-surface missile called the Saeqeh. U.S. military intelligence reportedly determines that the video of the Sagheb test released by the Iranian government is actually of an earlier Chinese missile test.

    November 2006: Iran tests several missiles during the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)-led “Great Prophet 2” military maneuvers, including the Shahab-2, Shahab-3, Fateh-110, Zelzal, and Scud-B. Iran claims the Shahab-3 was tested with cluster warheads and achieved a range of approximately 1,900 km. Anti-ship missiles, including the Noor, Kosar, and Nasr, are also reportedly tested.

    December 2006: The U.N. Security Council adopts resolution 1737, imposing sanctions to prevent the transfer to Iran of materials, as well as technical or financial assistance, which might contribute to Iranian nuclear and ballistic missile development. The resolution designates eight Iranian entities involved in missile activities, for which financial resources must be frozen.

    January 2007: Pursuant to Executive Order 13382, the Treasury Department imposes financial sanctions on Bank Sepah, a state-owned Iranian financial institution. Bank Sepah is described by Treasury as “the financial linchpin of Iran’s missile procurement network.”

    February 2007: Iran tests the Tor-M1 short-range air defense system provided by Russia. The Tor-M1 system has a reported range of 12 km, which may be increased to 20 km. Iran’s IRCG Air Force Commander claims that the system is capable of tracking 48 targets and engaging 8 targets using electro-optic and infrared systems.

    February 2007: Iran claims to have tested a suborbital research rocket as part of the country’s space program, which may include an effort to develop an independent satellite launch capability. U.S. missile launch sensors reportedly detect no such test.

    March 2007: The U.N. Security Council adopts resolution 1747, imposing further sanctions to prevent the transfer of arms and provision of financial assistance to Iran, and designating additional Iranian entities involved in ballistic missile activities, for which financial resources must be frozen.

    June 2007: Pursuant to Executive Order 13382, the Treasury Department imposes financial sanctions on two Iranian companies involved in missile work for Iran’s Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO), which directs Iran’s missile program. Fajr Industries Group is an AIO subordinate involved in the production of missile guidance systems and Mizan Machine Manufacturing Group is an AIO front company involved in procurement.

    September 2007: Iran displays the Ghadr-1 (Qadr-1) missile during a military parade, claiming it to be an upgraded version of the medium-range Shahab-3 with a range of 1,800 km. Experts say the Ghadr-1 appears identical to a Shahab-3 variant displayed in 2004. The Ghadr-1, along with other missiles displayed during the military parade, including the Shahab-3, Fateh-110, and Zelzal-3, are in possession of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Air Force.

    November 2007: Iran says it has built a new missile, the “Ashura” (or Ashoura), with a range of 2,000 km. Descriptions of the Ashura vary from a multi-stage, solid-propellant missile to a missile that uses non-SCUD technology. It is reportedly depicted in a U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) report as a stretched version of the liquid-propelled Shahab-3, fitted with larger tail fins, and in an April 2008 Israeli report as a two-stage solid-propellant missile with a triconic nose shape.

    February 2008: Iran claims to have successfully launched its Kavoshgar-1 rocket into space. Iran claims that the Kavoshgar is a two-stage rocket, that it reached an altitude of 200 km, and that it successfully made contact with the ground station. Private analysts believe that the Kavoshgar is a single-stage, liquid-fueled missile and that the space center, located 230 km southeast of Tehran, has the potential to be used in developing long-range missiles. Iran also inaugurates a space center with a satellite control and tracking station and displays its “Omid” satellite.

    March 2008: The U.N. Security Council adopts resolution 1803, extending travel restrictions and asset freezes to—and in some cases instituting a travel ban on—additional Iranian entities, and barring Iran from buying almost all nuclear and missile-related technology.

    July 2008: Iran claims to have successfully test-fired a Shahab-3 missile with a range of 2,000 km, as well as Zelzal and Fateh surface-to-surface missiles, during “Great Prophet III” war games run by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in the Persian Gulf.

    August 2008: Pursuant to Executive Order 13382, the Treasury Department imposes financial sanctions on two Iranian firms, the Safety Equipment Procurement Company (SEP Co.) and Joza Industrial Company for their links to procurement for Iran’s missile program.

    August 2008: Iran launches the “Safir,” a two-stage, liquid fueled rocket based on the Shahab-3 missile, according to analysts. The rocket is about 22 meters long, with a diameter of 1.25 meters, and weighing over 26 tons. According to Iran, the rocket is intended as a satellite launch vehicle. Contrary to initial reports, however, the launch does not place a satellite into orbit.

    September 2008: Pursuant to Executive Order 13382, the Treasury Department imposes financial sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) and eighteen of its subsidiaries for facilitating shipments of military cargo for Iran’s Ministry of Defense Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL) and its subordinate entities. MODAFL has brokered transactions involving ballistic missile-related materials and technologies.

    September 2008: Pursuant to Executive Order 13382, the Treasury Department sanctions six Iranian military firms. Three of these firms, Iran Electronics Industries, Shiraz Electronics Industries, and Iran Communications Industries, make communications equipment for Iran’s military. Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industrial Company (HESA) develops and produces unmanned aerial vehicles and other military aircraft, and its subsidiary, Farasakht Industries, makes aerospace tools and equipment. These entities are owned or controlled by Iran’s Ministry of Defense Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL).

    November 2008: Iran claims to have successfully tested the Sejil (Sejjil, Sijjil), a two-stage, solid fuel, surface-to-surface missile with a range of nearly 2,000 km. According to private analysts, the missile appears to be larger than Iran’s Shahab-3, with a total length of about 22 meters, and shares some design features with Soviet-era ballistic missiles.

    December 2008: Western intelligence sources reportedly state that in 2008 Iran more than tripled the number of operational Shahab-3 missiles, with over 100 missiles now delivered to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

    February 2009: Iran successfully launches the “Omid” telecommunications and research satellite into orbit, from Semnan province, using its own rocket, the Safir 2. The rocket is 22 meters long, weighs 26 tons and has a diameter of 1.25 meters, according to the head of Iran’s Space Agency. It is a two-stage rocket that lofted the 27 kg Omid into low earth orbit at an altitude of 250 km.

    April – May 2009: Iranian officials are reportedly present when North Korea launches a long-range rocket (Unha-2) in April and detonates a nuclear device in May.

    May 2009: Iran successfully test fires the Sejil-2 (Sejjil-2, Sijjil-2) missile from Semnan province. Iranian authorities claim that this version of the missile has improved sensors and that production of the missile has begun.

    June 2009: Iran launches mass production of a ground-to-air missile defense system, called Shahin, reportedly capable of tracing and targeting aircraft within a range of about 40 km.

    September 2009: The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) holds “Grand Prophet” war games. The Shahab-3, Sejil, Shahab-1 and 2, Fateh, Tondar, Zelzal, and various short-range missiles are test fired. An Iranian news organization reports that the Sejil’s (Sejjil, Sijjil) operational range is 2,000 to 2,500 km.

    December 2009: Iran successfully test-fires an upgraded version of the Sejil-2 (Sejill-2, Sijjil-2) missile. Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi says that the new version has a shorter launch time and greater maneuverability.

    February 2010: The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reports that Iran may have conducted work related to the design of a nuclear warhead for a ballistic missile, including missile re-entry body engineering and “engineering design and computer modeling studies aimed at producing a new design for the payload chamber of a missile.”

    February 2010: Iran launches the Kavoshgar-3 rocket into space carrying living creatures. Iran also unveils a new space launch vehicle, the Simorgh-3, and three new satellites. According to Iran’s Space Agency, the Simorgh-3 can place a 100 kg satellite into a 500 km orbit. The launch vehicle reportedly uses a configuration similar to that of North Korea’s Taepodong-2 ballistic missile.

    March 2010: Iran reportedly begins the indigenous production of the Chinese-designed Nasr-1 anti-ship missile. The Nasr-1, which can carry a 130 kg warhead to a range of 38 km, is based on the Chinese C-704 missile.

    March 2010: An analysis of satellite imagery by Jane’s Defence Weekly reveals significant expansion of the launch facility at Iran’s Semnan space center. The expansion includes the construction of two new launch and engine test pads as well as a number of support buildings.

    April 2010: Iran displays several missiles during a military parade, including the Shahab-3, the Ghadr-1 (Qadr-1), and the Sejil (Sejjil, Sijjil). The Shahab-3 is a liquid-fueled missile with a range of up to 2,000 km that is capable of carrying a 760–1,000 kg warhead. The Ghadr-1 is reported to be an optimized version of the Shahab-3. The Sejil is a solid-fuel, two-stage missile. These missiles were developed by Iran’s Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO).

    April 2010: The Mersad air defense system becomes operational, according to Iran’s Ministry of Defense. This system is reportedly equipped with advanced radar signal processing technology and electronic equipment for guidance and target acquisition. The system uses Shahin missiles, which are reportedly an upgraded version of the U.S.-made HAWK missile supplied to Iran in the 1970s.

    June 2010: The U.N. Security Council adopts resolution 1929, barring Iran from procuring missiles, missile systems, and related spare parts as defined by the U.N. Register of Conventional Arms, and barring countries from providing Iran with training, servicing, or other maintenance related to such missiles. The resolution also “decides” that Iran should not undertake any activity related to nuclear-capable ballistic missiles, including launches, and designates additional Iranian entities involved in ballistic missile activities, for which financial resources must be frozen.

    June 2010: Pursuant to Executive Order 13382 and U.N. Security Council resolution 1929, the Treasury Department sanctions the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Air Force (IRGCAF) and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Missile Command for their ties to Iran’s ballistic missile programs.

    August 2010: Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi announces the successful test launch of the liquid-fueled Qiam-1 (Qaem-1) missile. Vahidi also announces the test of an upgraded Fateh-110 missile, which he claims is more accurate and can travel farther than earlier versions of this missile.

    September 2010: An upgraded variant of the solid-fueled Fateh-110 missile is allegedly delivered to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Air Force (IRGCAF).

    September 2010: The government of Singapore interdicts a shipment of 18 tons of aluminum powder bound for Takin Tejarat Omid Iranian in Iran. The aluminum powder could be used to make solid propellant for missiles and is among the materials that Iran is barred from importing. The quantity of aluminum powder would yield approximately 100 tons of rocket propellant suitable for use in Iran’s Fateh or Zelzal missiles.

    September 2010: Pursuant to Executive Order 13382, the Treasury Department sanctions the German bank Europaeisch-Iranische Handelsbank. Among other activities, the bank, along with the Export Development Bank of Iran, “enabled Iran’s missile programs to purchase more than $3 million of material.”

    September 2010: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev bans delivery of S-300 air defense systems to Iran. The S-300 is capable of destroying aircraft at a range of 150 km and at altitudes of up to 27 km.

    October 2010: A missile with a nosecone similar to that of Iran’s Shahab-3 is displayed in a military parade in North Korea, leading some analysts to cite it as evidence of Iran-North Korea technical cooperation on missile development.

    October 2010: Iran conducts an unannounced test of its Sejil/Ashura missile, according to a U.N. Panel of Experts.

    January 2011: Pursuant to Executive Order 13382, the Treasury Department announces sanctions against Shahid Ahmad Kazemi Industries Group and M. Babaie Industries. Both companies are linked to Iran’s Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO) and have been used to solicit foreign technologies for Iran’s ballistic missile program.

    January 2011: Iran inaugurates ten new laboratories for testing space structures and complete rocket systems. These facilities reportedly feature testing rigs for rocket sections, a thermal test rig for heat shields, and fixtures for aeroelasticity testing of complete multistage rockets, all of which are controlled items under the Missile Technology Control Regime.

    February 2011: Iran tests a supersonic, anti-ship ballistic missile, called the Khalij Fars, which Iran claims can carry a 650 kg warhead to a range of 300 km. According to Jane’s Missiles and Rockets, it is a new variant of the existing Fateh A-110 and uses a similar launcher.

    February 2011: Pursuant to Executive Order 13382, the Treasury Department imposes sanctions on eleven entities in an illicit procurement network supporting Iran’s Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO). Led by Milad Jafari, the network used companies in Iran and Turkey to procure metal parts, including steel and aluminum alloys, for Iran’s missile program.

    February 2011: Iran conducts an unannounced test of several missiles, including the Khalij-Fasr (variant of Fateh-110), Shahab-3, and Sejil, according to a U.N. Panel of Experts.

    March 2011: Iran launches a Kavoshgar-4 rocket into space carrying a test capsule designed to hold a monkey.

    May 2011: Iran begins mass production of the Qiam-1 (Qaem-1) ballistic missile and delivery of the missile system to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

    May 2011: According to a U.N. Panel of Experts report, Iran and North Korea are suspected of exchanging ballistic missile technology, using regularly scheduled Air Koryo and Iran Air flights, in violation of sanctions on both countries.

    June 2011: Iran launches the Rasad satellite into space. The 15.3 kg satellite is launched on the Safir, a two-stage rocket which weighs 26 tons, measures 22 meters in length, and is 1.25 meters wide, according to Iranian officials. The satellite is designed to be placed in a 260 km orbit.

    June 2011: Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) fires fourteen missiles as part of their “Great Prophet 6” exercises. The missiles include one Shahab-3 missile, two Shahab-1 missiles, two Shahab-2 missiles, and nine Zelzal missiles.

    June 2011: An Iranian state television broadcast reveals underground missile silos that Iran claims would make its missiles less vulnerable to attack and allow for the launch of larger missiles.

    August 2011: Iran inaugurates a carbon fiber production line at Iran’s Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO). Carbon fiber composites have applications in missiles, specifically in items such as rocket motor exit cones and nozzles, reentry vehicle nosetips, heat shields, and leading edges of control surfaces.

    September 2011: Iran’s Defense Ministry reportedly delivers the Qader anti-ship cruise missile to Iran’s Navy and to the IRGC’s Naval Force. According to Iran’s defense minister, the Qader has a range of 200 km.

    November 2011: The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reports that under Project 111, Iran allegedly studied how to integrate a new spherical payload onto the Shahab-3 missile, including a high explosive and detonation package suitable for use in an implosion device.

    December 2011 – January 2012: Iran test-fires the Qader, Nasr, and Mehrab missiles during the “Velayat-90” naval exercise in the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman, according to Iran’s Ministry of Defense. The Qader is an anti-ship cruise missile with a range of 200 km and is described as an upgrade of Iran’s Noor missile. The Nasr is a short-range anti-ship missile, which was tested for the first time during the exercise. The Mehrab is a naval surface-to-air missile with anti-radar and anti-jamming capabilities, according to Iranian Naval officials.

    February 2012: Iran successfully launches the Navid-e Elm-o (Navid) satellite into orbit using the Safir launch-vehicle, according to Iran’s Ministry of Defense. The satellite weighs roughly 50 kg and is set to orbit at an altitude between 250 km of 375 km. According to Iranian defense officials, the Navid was developed in coordination with Iran’s Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO) and the Sharif University of Technology.

    February 2012: Iran inaugurates a production line for the Zafar naval cruise missile, which is a short-range, anti-ship, radar-guided missile, according to Iran’s defense minister. A first shipment of missiles is delivered to the IRGC. The Zafar appears to be a modified version of the Chinese C-701AR missile, according to analysts.

    March 2012: David Levick, a 50 year old Australian national, and his company ICM Components Inc., are indicted by a U.S. federal grand jury in the District of Columbia for illegally exporting to Iran equipment that could be used in missiles, drones, and torpedoes, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Equipment reportedly included VG-34 Series Miniature Vertical Gyroscopes used to control the pitch and roll of missiles and torpedoes.

    April 2012: According to a U.S. Department of Defense report, Iran may be technically capable of testing an intercontinental ballistic missile by 2015, and continues to develop the Ashura missile and an extended-range variant of the Shabab-3 missile. Iran also provides missiles and rockets to militant groups in the region through the IRGC Qods Force, including Hamas, Lebanese Hezbollah, and the Taliban.

    April 2012: A group of 12 officials from the Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group (SHIG), which is involved in Iran’s ballistic missile program, reportedly attend a failed rocket launch in North Korea.

    July 2012: Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) reportedly fires tens of short- and medium-range missiles during the “Great Prophet 7” war games, including the Shahab 1, 2, and 3, as well as the Fateh, Qiyam (Qiam), Tondar, Khalij Fars, and Zelzal.

    July 2012: Pursuant to Executive Order 13382, the Treasury Department imposes financial sanctions on entities linked to Iran’s ballistic missile program, including, Electronic Components Industries Co. (ECI), Information Systems Iran (ISIRAN), Advanced Information and Communication Technology Center, Digital Media Lab DML, Value-Added Services Laboratory (VASL), Ministry of Defense Logistics Export (MODLEX), International General Resourcing FZE, and Malek Ashtar University. Three individuals are also sanctioned, including IRGC Navy Commander Ali Fadavi, Daniel Frosch, and Hamid Reza Rabiee.

    August 2012: Iran’s Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO) reportedly test-fires a fourth generation Fateh-110 ballistic missile. The Fatah-110 is a solid fuel missile with a range of 300 km.

    September 2012: Iran displays the Raad (Thunder) air defense system, which carries missiles with a range of 50 km and is capable of striking a target at 22,000 meters, according to IRGC General Ami Ali Hajizadeh.

    October 2012: The European Union bans exports to Iran of graphite, raw or semi-finished metals, including aluminum and steel, and software for integrating industrial processes.

    November 2012: IRGC commander Mohammad Ali Jafari announces that Iran has provided Fajr-5 rocket technology to Hamas.

    2012-2013: According to a U.N. Panel of Experts report, a German citizen with an Iranian background made several attempts to procure dual-use items for Shahid Bagheri Industrial Group (SBIG), which is responsible for Iran’s solid-fuel missiles. The items were procured in Germany or third countries and trans-shipped via the United Arab Emirates to a SBIG front company in Iran.

    January 2013: Iran reportedly begins mass production of the Ya Zahra short-range air defense system. Iran’s Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi describes the Ya Zahra system as being able to detect, track, and destroy multiple short range targets simultaneously.

    February 2013: An Iranian shipment of explosives, mortars, rocket-propelled grenades, IED precursors, and man-portable anti-aircraft missiles, intended for insurgents operating in Yemen, is intercepted by the Government of Yemen.

    May 2013: Israel reportedly carries out a series of airstrikes near Damascus aimed at destroying an Iranian shipment of surface-to-surface missiles, including Fateh-110s.

    May 2013: Iran displays at least 26 transporter erector launchers (TELs), reportedly including some large enough to carry the Shahab-3 and the Sejjil ballistic missiles. The TELs are displayed at a ceremony to mark their delivery to the IRGC.

    May 2013: Pursuant to Executive Order 13382, the Treasury Department imposes sanctions on fourteen entities for their role in Iran’s international procurement and proliferation operations, including Deputy Defense Minister Reza Mozaffarinia. Mozaffarinia is also dean of Malek Ashtar University and has made “significant contributions” to Iran’s missile and space launch programs, according to the Treasury Department.

    June 2013: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad inaugurates the Imam Sadeq Observation and Monitoring Center, a space monitoring center in the Delijan District of the Markazi Province. The center is equipped with radar, electro-optical, and radio tracking, and was built with help from the Ministry of Defense.

    July 2013: U.S. military intelligence reports that Iran could develop and test an ICBM capable of reaching the United States by 2015 and that Iran’s two-stage Simorgh space launch vehicle could serve as a test bed for developing ICBM technologies.

    August 2013: Iran appears to be developing a new space launch facility 40 km southeast of the city of Shahrud, according to an analysis of satellite imagery by IHS Jane’s. The new site has a larger launch pad than the existing Semnan space center and is equipped with a horizontal rocket checkout facility and a 23 meter launch tower. Both the Semnan and Shahrud facilities are believed to be capable of launching Iran’s Simorgh satellite launch vehicle.

    September 2013: Iran displays its Shahab-3, Sejil, and Ghadr missiles in a military parade marking the start of Sacred Defense Week. The solid-fuel Sejil missile has two stages and a greater range than the Shahab-3.

    October 2013: U.S. authorities indict Reza Olangian on charges of attempting to acquire and transfer surface-to-air missiles to Iran.

    November 2013: A report by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) estimates that Iran is “unlikely” to deploy an operational ICBM before 2020.

    December 2013: Pursuant to Executive Order 13382, the Treasury Department imposes sanctions on several Iranian entities for their links to Iran’s ballistic missile and military aviation programs, including Maro Sanat Company, Navid Composite Material Company, and Qods Aviation Industries, as well as Qods front companies Fan Pardazan and Ertebat Gostar Novin and Qods’s commercial manager Reza Amidi. Navid Composite is building a carbon fiber production plant in Iran, according to the Treasury Department.

    December 2013: Iran launches a monkey into space for the second time, using a liquid-fueled rocket that travels 120 km into space and returns to earth after 15 minutes, according to Iranian scientists.

    January 2014: Iran’s ballistic missiles are “inherently capable of delivering WMD,” according to a worldwide threat assessment by the U.S. intelligence community. The intelligence community also assesses that Iran’s space launch program provides the country with the means to develop longer-range missiles, including an ICBM, and that Iran maintains the largest inventory of ballistic missiles in the Middle East.

    February 2014: Iran displays two satellites developed by a researcher at Malek Ashtar University. “Tadbir” (Wisdom) is an improved version of the “Navid-e-Elm-o-Sanat” (The Promise of Science and Industry) satellite, with upgraded imagery resolution, while the “Khalij-e-Fars” (Persian Gulf) satellite supports secure wireless communications.

    February 2014: German authorities reportedly arrest a German-Iranian man, Dr. Ali Reza B., on charges of providing Iran with components for its missile program. The equipment, worth nearly $315,000, includes dual-use items such as vacuum pumps and valves.

    February 2014: Iran announces the test of a ballistic missile known as the “Barani.” Iran claims the missile has a new submunition warhead able to better evade missile defense systems and attack multiple targets simultaneously.

    March 2014: Israel intercepts a ship carrying Iranian weapons bound for Gaza. The arms seized from the Klos C, a cargo ship, include M-302 rockets, which are capable of reaching any point in Israel.

    March 2014: According to a senior State Department official, Li Fangwei, a Chinese businessman indicted in 2009 for alleged sales of missile parts to Iran, remains a major supplier of Tehran’s missile program. Both Li (also known as Karl Lee) and his company, LIMMT, have been sanctioned by the United States.

    March 2014: Iran’s defense minister announces the delivery of more accurate versions of the Qadr H, Qiam, Fateh 110, and Khalij-e Fars (Persian Gulf) missiles to the IRGC.

    April 2014: Spain’s Civil Guard uncovers a network that was attempting to export dual-use industrial machinery to Iran that could be used to manufacture missiles, arresting three Spaniards and one Iranian.

    April 2014: The Iranian Navy announces the deployment of the Ghadir anti-ship cruise missile on warships and coastal defense units. The Ghadir is an upgrade over the Nour and Qader missiles, according to Iranian naval officials.

    April 2014: The Iranian military announces the deployment of the Sayyad 3 solid-fuel missile on its S-200 air defense system.

    May 2014: The IRGC Aerospace Force announces it has equipped its Zelzal missiles, a 300-km range solid-fuel system, with a multiple reentry vehicle (MRV) conventional payload.

    May 2014: The IRGC Aerospace Force unveils variants of the Fateh-100 ballistic missile called the Hormuz-1 (anti-radar) and Hormuz-2 (anti-ship). Both missiles reportedly have a range of up to 300 km.

    August 2014: The Iranian military announces the successful test of the Bavar 373, an Iranian-built version of the Russian S-300 air defense system.

    February 2015: In its first satellite launch since 2012, Iran successfully sends its fourth domestically built satellite, the Fajr, into orbit. The satellite, which was launched from the 21-meter, 26-ton Safir-1B launch vehicle, had a launch weight of 52 kg, with a height of 49 cm and a width of 35 cm, according to media and analyst reports. Iran’s Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO) is responsible for the launcher; Iran Electronics Industries (IEI) built the satellite.

    March 2015: Iran’s Defense Ministry unveils the Soumar missile, a ground-launched cruise missile with a reported approximate range of 2,500 to 3,000 km. It is reportedly a copy of the Russian-made Raduga Kh-55 cruise missile, twelve of which Iran acquired covertly.

    March 2015: Iran begins mass production of its Qadir cruise missile, which reportedly has a range of 300 km.

    July 2015: The P5+1 group of countries (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States) agree to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran. In a related action, the U.N. Security Council unanimously adopts resolution 2231, which prohibits the supply, sale, or transfer of missile-related items to Iran until October 2023, or until the IAEA confirms that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities. The resolution also calls upon Iran not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles “designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons” over the same period of time.

    August 2015: The Iranian military unveils the Fateh-313, a solid-fuel missile with a reported range of up to 500 km.

    October 2015: Iran’s Defense Ministry announces the successful test of the Emad, a ballistic missile with a reported range of 1,700 km. According to Jane’s Defence Weekly, the Emad is not a new missile but rather a steerable reentry vehicle that can be fitted atop the Shahab-3 and Ghadr-series rockets to improve their accuracy. A confidential report of a U.N. Panel of Experts later determines that the Emad launch is a violation of U.N. resolution 1929.

    October 2015: The IRGC releases footage of an underground missile launch facility. According to Iranian news reports, the military base is 500 meters underground and one of hundreds located throughout the country.

    November 2015: Iran’s defense minister confirms that the contract for the delivery of the S-300 air defense system from Russian to Iran has been signed. According to media reports, the systems will be delivered by September 2016 and Iranian military personnel will receive training at the Mozharsky Academy in St. Petersburg.

    November 2015: Iran tests the liquid-fueled, medium-range Ghadr-110, an improved version of the Shahab-3, with a reported range of about 1,900 km. U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power said that “the U.S. is conducting a serious review of the reported incident” and would bring the matter to the U.N. Security Council if it determined the test violated U.N. resolutions.

    January 2016: With the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), U.N. Security Council resolution 2231 takes effect and officially terminates the provisions of previous Iran-related resolutions: resolutions 1696 (2006), 1737 (2006), 1747 (2007), 1803 (2008), 1929 (2010), and 2224 (2015).

    January 2016: The Treasury Department sanctions eleven entities involved in illicit procurement for Iran’s ballistic missile program, including three Iranian officials—Sayyed Javad Musavi, Sayyed Medhi Farahi, and Seyed Mirahmad Nooshin—directly linked to cooperation with the North Korean government on missile development. According to the Treasury Department, Iranian missile technicians from the Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group (SHIG) traveled to North Korea to work on an 80-ton rocket booster jointly developed with the North Korean government. Iranian officials also coordinated shipments of missile technology from the Korea Mining Development Trading Corporation (KOMID) to Iran.

    March 2016: The IRGC test-fires the Qiam-1, Shahab-3, Ghadr-H, and Ghadr-F ballistic missiles during two days of missile exercises.

    March 2016: According to Reuters, a joint U.S., British, French, and German letter to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Spain’s U.N. Ambassador calls Iran’s ballistic missile tests in March 2016 “inconsistent with” and “in defiance of” U.N. resolution 2231. The letter states that the missiles are “inherently capable of delivering nuclear weapons” and asks the Security Council to discuss “appropriate responses” to Iran’s actions.

    March 2016: Pursuant to Executive Order 13382, the Treasury Department sanctions two Iranian defense firms for their involvement in Iran’s ballistic missile program. Shahid Nuri Industries and Shahid Movahed Industries are designated as subordinates of Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group (SHIG), which is responsible for Iran’s liquid-fueled ballistic missile program.

    April 2016: Iran reportedly conducts its first test launch of the Simorgh space launch vehicle, which is judged partly successful by U.S. intelligence agencies. The event reportedly is either an unsuccessful launch or a test that was not intended to send a satellite into orbit, according to U.S. defense officials. According to analysts, the Simorgh is a two-stage, liquid-fueled rocket believed to be similar in size and based on the technology of the 85-ton North Korean Unha rocket. Iranian Space Agency officials state that the Simorgh is capable of launching a 100 kg payload into a 500 km orbit.

    May 2016: A senior Iranian defense official announces the recent test of a ballistic missile with a range of 2,000 km and a margin of error of 8 meters. Iran’s defense minister subsequently refutes the specifics of this claim but does not deny the missile test itself.

    May 2016: Iran’s defense minister announces that at least one S-300 air defense system has been delivered from Russia to Khatam ol-Anbia Air Defense Base in Iran. Russian officials state that at least four S-300 batteries will be delivered to Iran by the end of 2016.

    July 2016: Iran reportedly tests a variant of the North Korean BM-25 Musudan ballistic missile for the first time. The missile reportedly explodes shortly after launch.

    July 2016: Iran reportedly receives the first delivery of missiles for the S-300 air defense system from Russia. According to Iranian news outlets, the missiles appear to be for the advanced S-300-PMU2 version of the system.

    September 2016: Iran test-fires a new short-range ballistic missile, the Zolfaghar (Zulfiqar), for the first time. The Zolfaghar is reportedly a variant of the solid-fueled Fateh-110 ballistic missile series, with a range of 700 km. Coinciding with the test, Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan inaugurates the Zolfaghar production line.

    September 2016: Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan informs the Iranian parliament that production of the Sejil, Ghadir, and Khorramshahr missiles will begin by March 2017.

    October 2016: Russia completes delivery of the S-300 air defense systems to Iran, according to news reports citing Russia’s state arms export agency.

    December 2016: Iran reportedly successfully tests the Shahab-3 ballistic missile as part of a military exercise.

    January 2017: The Iranian parliament approves a bill that requires the government to increase the country’s missile and air defense capabilities. The bill is part of Iran’s Sixth Economic Development Plan (2016-2021).

    January 2017: Iran tests a new missile called the Khorramshahr. The Khorramshahr is a medium-range ballistic missile capable of carrying a payload greater than 500 kg to a range of over 1,000 km.

    February 2017: U.S. National Security Advisor Michael Flynn condemns Iran’s recent missile test and announces that the U.S. has officially put Iran “on notice.”

    February 2017: Iran reportedly tests a nuclear-capable cruise missile called the Sumar for the first time, according to German intelligence officials. The missile has a reported range of 2,000 to 3,000 km.

    February 2017: Pursuant to Executive Order 13382, the Treasury Department imposes sanctions on entities linked to Iran’s ballistic missile program, including Abdollah Asgharzadeh and entities related to his Iran- and China-based procurement network, and MKS International and its CEO Kambiz Rostamian. Mostafa Zahedi, Mohammad Magham, Ghodrat Zargari, Ervin Danesh Aryan Company, and Zist Tajhiz Pooyesh Company are also sanctioned for being tied to Mabrooka Trading.

    February 2017: Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) tests several missile systems during the “Defenders of the Velayat Skies” aerospace drills, according to Iranian news outlets. The missile systems reportedly tested include the Khordad-III, which has a reported range of 75 km and the ability to hit multiple targets at once, the Tabas, which is also capable of engaging multiple targets and has a reported range of 60 km, and the Sayyad-II, which has a reported range of 75 km and the ability to counter electronic warfare.

    February 2017: Iran reportedly tests the short-range Mersad surface-to-air-missile to a range of 55 km.

    February 2017: Iranian officials claim to successfully test two new missiles during naval drills, including  the Nasir cruise missile and the Dehlaviyeh, an advanced anti-ship guided missile.

    March 2017: Iran successfully tests the S-300 air defense system during the “Damavand” war games.

    April 2017: The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Navy is formally equipped with the Nasir anti-ship cruise missile, according to the Iranian Defense Ministry.

    May 2017: Iran reportedly attempts to test a submarine-launched cruise missile in the Strait of Hormuz from a Ghadir-class “midget” submarine. The Ghadir is an Iranian variant of the North Korean Yono-class submarine.

    May 2017: Pursuant to Executive Order 13382, the Treasury Department imposes sanctions on several entities linked to Iran’s ballistic missile program, including two Iranian defense officials, Morteza Farasatpour and Rahim Ahmadi, as well as one Iranian company, Matin Sanat Nik Andishan. The Treasury Department also sanctions Chinese national Ruan Runling and three Chinese companies—Shanghai North Begins International, Shanghai Gang Quan Trade Co., and Shanghai North Transway International Trading Co.—for selling navigation and guidance technology to Shiraz Electronics Industries (SEI).

    May 2017: A senior Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commander claims that Iran has a third underground missile production facility, which he says was built “in recent years.”

    June 2017: Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) fires six Zolfaghar (Zulfiqar) ballistic missiles at an ISIS command center and car bomb operation in Deir ez-Zor, Syria. An IRGC spokesman says the strike was in response to recent terrorist attacks in Tehran.

    June 2017: According to NCRI, Iran has received assistance from North Korea in constructing missile sites in Iran, including underground facilities to produce, store, and maintain missiles. NCRI also claims to identify the locations of 42 missile sites in Iran, 12 of which were previously undisclosed.

    July 2017: Pursuant to Executive Order 13382, the State Department imposes sanctions on entities involved in the research, development, and testing of Iran’s ballistic missiles, including the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Aerospace Force Self Sufficiency Jihad Organization (ASF SSJO) and the IRGC Research and Self Sufficiency Jehad Organization (RSSJO).

    July 2017: Iran inaugurates the production line of the Sayyad-3 (Hunter-3), a surface-to-air missile (SAM) that will reportedly be used with the Talash-2 air defense system. According to the Iran’s defense minister, the missile has a maximum range of 120 km and a maximum altitude of 27 km.

    July 2017: Iran launches the Simorgh satellite launch vehicle from the Imam Khomeini National Space Center. The Simorgh reportedly can carry a payload of up to 250 kg into an orbit with a maximum altitude of 500 km. According to U.S. officials, the launch was unsuccessful.

    July 2017: Pursuant to Executive Order 13382, the Treasury Department imposes sanctions on six Iranian entities subordinate to Shahid Hemat Industrial Group (SHIG) for their involvement in the development and production of Iran’s ballistic missiles. The sanctioned entities include Shahid Karimi Industries, Shahid Rastegar Industries, Shahid Cheraghi Industries, Shahid Varamini Industries, Shahid Kalhor Industries, and Amir Al Mo’Menin Industries.

    August 2017: The Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (P.L. 115-44) is signed into law, directing the President to impose sanctions on any person who knowingly contributes to Iran’s ballistic missile program or other weapons of mass destruction (WMD) delivery system programs, and to submit a report to Congress every 180 days describing such contributions.

    September 2017: Iran displays its Khorramshahr medium-range ballistic missile at a military parade. The commander of the IRGC Aerospace Force claims the missile is capable of carrying multiple warheads and has a range of 2,000 km. The Khorramshahr is based on North Korea’s BM-25 Musudan.