Despite opposition from China, Russia, and the European members of the United Nations Security Council, the United States is set to trigger snapback sanctions on Iran. All U.N. sanctions on the regime will begin September 20, U.S. special envoy for Iran, Elliott Abrams, confirmed Wednesday.

The “snapback” will restore all sanctions on Tehran lifted under the Obama-Kerry nuclear deal. The move is expected to discourage China and Russia from selling arms to the regime and European countries from investing in its oil and gas sectors.

President Donald Trump initiated the snapback process last month after the UN Security Council voted down a U.S. resolution calling for the extension of an international arms embargo on the regime before it expires in mid-October.

“Today I am directing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to notify the U.N. Security Council that the United States intends to restore virtually all the previously suspended United Nations sanctions on Iran,” President Trump said on August 19. “It’s a snapback.”

China and Russia have long been lobbying the UN Security Council to shield Tehran from these sanctions. The United Kingdom, France, and Germany, the European signatories to the 2015 Iran deal, have come out against the proposed U.S. measure.

“UK, France and Germany agree to reject US demand for Iran snapback sanctions,” the UK newspaper Guardian reported referring to the decision reached last week at the ‘E3’ ministerial summit in Kent, England between the foreign ministers of these three European powers.

The Associated Press, on Thursday, reported the impending U.S. move:

In defiance of overwhelming opposition, the United States is preparing to declare that all international sanctions against Iran have been restored. Few countries believe the move is legal, and such action could provoke a credibility crisis at the United Nations. (….) Trump administration will announce on Saturday that U.N. sanctions on Iran eased under the 2015 nuclear deal are back in force. But the other members of the U.N. Security Council, including U.S. allies, disagree and have vowed to ignore the step. That sets the stage for ugly confrontations as the world body prepares to celebrate its 75th anniversary at a coronavirus-restricted General Assembly session next week.

“These will be valid U.N. Security Council (actions) and the United States will do what it always does, it will do its share as part of its responsibilities to enable peace,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday. “We’ll do all the things we need to do to ensure that those sanctions are enforced.”

Pompeo traveled to the United Nations on Aug. 20 to formally notify the Security Council that the U.S. was triggering snapback because Iran is not complying with the nuclear deal. He dismissed suggestions that the administration was engaged in anything legally questionable or even controversial.

He said the snapback mechanism was the “one thing that the previous administration got right” in the nuclear deal that Trump has denounced as the worst deal ever negotiated. The agreement was a signature foreign policy achievement of President Barack Obama and gave Iran billions of dollars in sanctions relief in exchange for curbs on it nuclear program. (…) U.S. special envoy for Iran, Elliott Abrams, told reporters Wednesday that all U.N. sanctions would “snap back” at 8 p.m. EDT on Saturday.

”We expect all U.N. member states to implement their member state responsibilities and respect their obligations to uphold these sanctions,” Abrams told reporters.

The measure taken by the Trump administration is also aimed at China and Russia, who plan to sell vast quantities of arms to Iran once the UN embargo expires. Earlier this week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared that the U.S. would prevent the Iranian regime from buying “Chinese tanks and Russian air defence systems.”

“The Trump administration vowed on Wednesday to impose the ‘full force’ of U.S. sanctions on any international arms manufacturers who deal with Iran once Washington sees a United Nations arms embargo on Tehran as reimposed,” the news agency Reuters reported Thursday.

The sanctions aim to stop Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the regime’s military wing, and a U.S.-designated terrorist outfit, from getting its hands on the latest weapons systems. The Iranian regime and the IRGC supply and fund terrorist groups across the Middle East, including Hamas and Hezbollah.

The snapback mechanism was brought into play by the Obama administration while concluding the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

“If Iran violates the agreement over the next decade, all of the sanctions can snap back into place,” President Obama assured the world at that time.

The Iranian regime has since embarked on an ambitious nuclear-capable missiles program and has denied multiple requests by the UN inspectors to access its nuclear sites.

Secretary Pompeo calls for UN sanctions Iran (August 20)

 

 
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