Trump threatens to restore UN sanctions on Iran

Washington DC, Aug 19 (efe-epa).- The president of the United States announced Wednesday that his secretary of state will demand activating a mechanism to reimpose sanctions on Iran that were lifted with the 2015 nuclear agreement, a move that promises to generate dispute within the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

“Today I’m directing the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to notify the UN Security Council that the United States intends to restore virtually all of the previously suspended United Nations sanctions on Iran,” Donald Trump said during a press conference at the White House, referring to a controversial so-called “snapback” mechanism.

“My administration will not allow this Iran nuclear situation to go on,” the president added.

Trump’s statements came shortly after the office of the UN’s secretary general, António Guterres, announced that Pompeo will visit New York on Thursday to meet with him.

While speaking to journalists in Washington, the secretary of state on Wednesday was “confident that every country” of the UNSC “will see that it is in their best interest that UN Security Council Resolution 2231 is fully enforced.”

The resolution endorsed the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

The move comes after last Friday when the US failed to get the support needed at the UNSC to pass a resolution to extend the arms embargo on Iran, which expires in October.

The text promoted by the US only achieved the support of the Dominican Republic, while Russia and China voted against it, and European powers abstained.

Before the vote, the White House had warned that if the embargo was not extended it could invoke the clause, part of the nuclear agreement and that was designed to reimpose on Tehran all the sanctions that had been lifted, however only in the event that Iran was found to have violated the pact.

In recent months, Iran has breached some of its commitments in response to the US pulling out of the nuclear deal and the imposition of unilateral sanctions by Washington.

European powers, as well as China and Russia, question whether the US has the right to use the snapback mechanism, given that Washington abandoned the 2015 pact and stopped meeting its commitments, which is why a dispute in the UNSC is expected.

Once the US makes its request official, the UNSC will have a period of 30 days to approve a resolution that maintains the lifting of sanctions.

If that does not happen, all the punishments that weighed on Iran before 2015 would be automatically reimposed, including the arms embargo, a ban on atomic development activities and penalties against individuals and entities.

Given that the US has the right of veto in the UNSC, it can stop the adoption of any resolution and, on paper, force the automatic reinstatement of sanctions.

In recent months, several countries have warned that this would entail the end of the nuclear deal, which for now Iran and the countries that have signed – excluding the US the – are still trying to keep alive.

Trump said in his press conference on Wednesday that Iran is willing to negotiate with him to reduce tensions, and that if he wins the November US election “within the first month, Iran will come to us and they are going to be asking for a deal so quickly because they are doing very poorly.” EFE-EPA


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