• Kyodo News


In the wake of the nuclear stalemate with Tehran, Japan will freeze the assets of 15 Iranian individuals and 13 institutions designated by a U.N. sanctions resolution as being involved with Iran’s nuclear activities, officials said Friday.

Other measures the Cabinet approved to implement U.N. Security Council Resolution 1747 include banning weapons and items linked to Iran’s nuclear activities.

The resolution, adopted by the U.N. in March, imposed fresh sanctions on Iran for its refusal to halt its uranium enrichment program despite repeated calls from the international community.

“It’s necessary to respond resolutely to the Iranian nuclear issue from the standpoint of ensuring nonproliferation, in consideration of the North Korean nuclear issue and its impact on Middle East security,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuhisa Shiozaki told a news conference.

To implement the resolution, the government will monitor and restrain the transfer of specific weapons as well as remittances to Iran for the purpose of accumulating weapons, he said.

Japan also will not provide fresh grant aid or yen loans to Iran, except for humanitarian and development purposes, and will monitor the entry of individuals related to Iran’s nuclear and missile development programs, said Shiozaki, Japan’s top government spokesman.

The resolution, a followup to one approved in December, expands the list of individuals and entities subject to an assets freeze and travel restrictions. The new list includes seven people and three entities under the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.

The December resolution froze the assets of 12 Iranian individuals and 10 institutions.

As a major importer of Iranian oil and with a stake in the Azadegan oil field in southwestern Iran, Japan has been in a difficult position.

Asked what would happen to Japan’s economic stakes in Iran, Shiozaki simply said, “The response we took this time is in accordance with the U.N. Security Council resolution.”

The Iranian nuclear issue came to light in 2002 thanks to revelations by political dissidents. Iran announced in April 2006 that the country had successfully enriched uranium for the first time and has since reiterated it will continue to do so.

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