Last month, the P5+1 and Iran arranged for an extension of Joint Plan of Action (JPOA), the interim nuclear deal that was agreed to in Geneva in late 2013 and implemented in January of this year. The deal has been prolonged for four months as the parties continue to seek a comprehensive solution. Remarkably absent from the text of the JPOA, however, is a reference to the status of Iran’s ballistic missile program.
The failure to discuss possible nuclear delivery mechanisms when focusing on Iran’s nuclear capability has largely been a result of Western stove-piping. In the decade-long drive for an agreement, negotiations have managed to excise the science behind Iran’s nuclear program from the strategic considerations that drove it. But the omission of ballistic missiles from the current P5+1 negotiations runs contrary to numerous United Nations Security Council resolutions (UNSCRs), which deliberately target the missile program and those who seek to aid it.
For example, after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) referred Iran to the Security Council in 2006, a series of UNSCRs were passed, the second of which was UNSCR 1737. Its Annex contained a small list of “Entities involved in the ballistic missile programme” subject to an asset freeze. This list included the likes of Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group (SHIG), which is an Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO) subsidiary that is said to be overseen by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).
Interestingly, SHIG officials were reportedly slated to be present at a North Korean missile drill back in 2012. In the murky world of companies and organizations working to help out the Iranian missile program, SHIG, as designated by the UNSC, is a price-floor, not price-ceiling.who aid Iran’s program less overtly, and avoid being targeted.
Read the full article at War on the Rocks.