President Donald Trumps government reported on Saturday that all UN sanctions against Iran have been reinstated, a move that most of the rest of the world considers illegal and sets the stage for a potentially unpleasant confrontation during the world bodys annual General Assembly.
The United States took this decisive measure because, in addition to Irans failure to comply with its JCPOA obligations, the Security Council has not extended the United Nations arms embargo to Iran, which had been in force for 13 years, Pompeo said in a statement issued on Sunday.
In accordance with our rights … we have begun the process of re-imposition to restore virtually all previously rescinded UN sanctions, including the arms embargo, he said. The world will be safer as a result.
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The White House plans to issue an executive order on Monday detailing how the United States will impose the reinstated sanctions, and the State and Treasury Departments are expected to explain how foreign individuals or businesses would be sanctioned for not respecting the sanctions.
The United States expects all UN member states to fully comply with their obligations to implement these measures, Pompeo said
If UN member states do not fully comply with their obligations to implement such sanctions, the United States is prepared to use its national authorities to impose consequences for non-compliance and to ensure that Iran does not reap the benefits of UN-banned activity.
The head of US diplomacy explained that his country has taken this decisive action not only because it considers that Tehran has not fulfilled its obligations in the nuclear agreement, but also because the Security Council has failed to extend the UN arms embargo on Iran, which has been in force for 13 years.
The Security Councils inaction would have paved the way for Iran to purchase all kinds of conventional weapons from 18 October, Pompeo stressed. Fortunately for the world, the US took responsible action to prevent this from happening.
However, the United States decision faces stiff opposition from other members of the UN Security Council who have assured that they will ignore it. They point out that the United States lost the legal position to appeal for a re-imposition at the time when President Donald Trump withdrew from the nuclear agreement in 2018 and re-established US sanctions on Iran. The United States argues that it maintains the right to do so as an original participant in the agreement and a member of the Council.
Pompeo said that in the next few days Washigton will announce a series of measures to strengthen the application of UN sanctions and to hold violators accountable.
And it issued a warning to countries that oppose it: The US expects all UN members to fully comply with their obligations to implement these measures.
Apart from the arms embargo, this includes restrictions such as a ban on Iranian enrichment and reprocessing related activities (of uranium), a ban on Iranian ballistic missile testing and development, and sanctions on the transfer of nuclear and missile-related technology to Iran, he detailed.
He warned that if UN members fail to meet their obligations to implement these sanctions, the US is ready to use its domestic authorities to impose consequences for those failures and ensure that Iran does not reap the benefits of a UN-banned activity.
France, Germany and the United Kingdom stressed on Friday that, in their opinion, the international sanctions against Iran will continue without effect beyond this Saturday, when the US is arguing that they come into force.
In a letter to the UN Security Council, Paris, Berlin and London insisted that the US movement has no legal effect and that therefore any action taken on its basis does not have legal effect either.
This issue is expected to be a focus of the UN General Assembly, which next week will bring together world leaders virtually.