The United States welcomes the decision by the UN Security Council's Iran Sanctions Committee (the "1737 Committee") to impose sanctions on two companies significantly involved in Iranian arms smuggling, including smuggling to Syria. These companies -- Yas Air and SAD Import Export Company -- were responsible for shipping ammunition, assault rifles, machine guns, mortar shells and other arms from Iran to Syria. We congratulate the Committee for demonstrating its commitment to imposing and enforcing sanctions as long as Iran refuses to meet its international obligations.
The Committee's decision underscores the growing international concern over Iran's use of the transportation and shipping sectors as a means to export arms and conduct other illicit activities in violation of UN sanctions. The Security Council highlighted this concern in resolution 1929 when it called on states to inspect Iranian cargo to prevent proliferation, including by Iran Air and the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines. We have long known that Iran smuggles weapons and provides military assistance to terrorists and extremist groups worldwide. Iran has also repeatedly been caught providing weapons and military assistance to Syria, where the Assad regime has used them against Syrian civilians. Today's sanctions add to those already imposed by the UN Security Council on Iran’s transportation sector to further erode Iran's ability to exploit transportation and shipping means for its illicit uses. It is incumbent on all states to redouble their efforts to detect, prevent, inspect, and seize any Iranian arms shipments, whether by land, sea or air and to share information with the Committee and its Panel of Experts (POE) to enforce the sanctions against Iran.
While we continue to seek to resolve the international community's concerns about Iran's nuclear program through a comprehensive negotiated solution, we urge the Committee and its POE to take additional steps to improve enforcement of UN sanctions.
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