US: ‘Snapback’ of UN’s Iran Sanctions Now in Effect
Theatrical performance? Mike Pompeo (State Department)

US: ‘Snapback’ of UN’s Iran Sanctions Now in Effect

The Trump Administration says that as far as it is concerned, UN sanctions have gone back into effect against Iran as of 00:00 UTC on September 20, while a UN arms embargo on the Islamic Republic will remain in force after its scheduled expiration date of October 18. “The return of sanctions… is a step toward international peace and security,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement issued in Washington on Saturday. “In the coming days, the United States will announce a range of additional measures to strengthen implementation of UN sanctions and hold violators accountable.” In 2015, the US, under the Obama administration, as well as Russia, China, the UK, France and the European Union, agreed to drop UN-backed sanctions and the arms embargo in return for a pledge from Iran not to develop nuclear weapons. In May 2018, the Trump Administration withdrew, saying the deal did not go far enough, and reinstated its own sanctions and embargoes. More recently, it sought approval from the Security Council to snap back all UN sanctions and extend the arms embargo, noting that Tehran was no longer upholding its end of the agreement because it has been enriching more uranium than allowed under the deal, and at higher levels of purity. It failed, with council members noting that in having dropped out of the agreement, Washington no longer had a say in the matter. Now, Pompeo’s claim that the US is formulating “additional measures” to “hold violators” – apparently of the sanctions and arms ban – “accountable” indicates a possible intent by the administration to take steps against those countries doing business with Iran or allowing it to purchase or sell arms. On Sunday, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman condemned the US move and said: “We expect the international community and all the countries in the world to stand against these reckless actions by the regime in the White House and speak in one voice.” In Moscow, the Russian Foreign Ministry termed Washington’s stance a “theatrical performance.”

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