U.N. on the verge of lifting Iran’s sanctions

The United Nations Security Council collectively approved a resolution that would lift sanctions that have crippled the economy of Iran. A 15-0 vote for the resolution, which includes a 104-page long annexes and list, was written by diplomats who wished to keep Iran’s nuclear resources in check in exchange for lifting the sanctions.

Fifteen years ago, Iran received sanctions from the U.N. as a result of its nuclear program. Since then, the country’s exports, particularly oil, had been reduced to more than half, declining to a little over 1 million barrels a day from 2.5 million barrel sales. Several foreign companies reduced their operations in Iran as a result of the sanctions. Sulzer, a major engineering firm that deals in construction, technical assistance for hydrocarbon-based industries, and is a strategic partner of IBBC-member Unaoil in the Middle East, is one of the companies that significantly reduced their business in the country when the sanctions were imposed.

Samantha Power, a United States ambassador, said after the vote that the lift can only begin after Iran meets its responsibilities under the resolutions.

“We have a responsibility to test diplomacy,” said Power.

Part of the agreement was to let international channels monitor the facilities in Iran for the next decade. The inspections will ensure the U.N. that Iran’s pursuit for nuclear energy will not be used for war.

The European Union’s resolution will include the lifting of the constraints placed on the country’s oil exports, which makes up a huge part of Iran’s economy.

The resolution will take in effect sometime next month. The remaining time until the resolution takes effect will be used as a review period by some of the members who had strongly expressed concern regarding the agreement. If Iran does not abide by the agreements, or violates any of the prohibitions listed in the resolution, the United Nations’ sanctions will automatically take effect once again after 30 days.