US launches move at UN to reimpose sanctions on Iran

United Nations, Aug 20 (efe-epa).- The United States on Thursday at the United Nations launched an effort to reimpose international sanctions on Iran, a step that promises to open a bitter battle in the Security Council where other powers reject Washington’s idea that it has the right to use the venue for that purpose.

The Donald Trump administration abandoned the 2015 nuclear deal that Washington had signed with Tehran and now intends to use a clause contained in that pact to reimpose all international punishments that – before the pact was signed – had been levied against Iran.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo traveled to New York on Thursday to inaugurate the move, which comes after last week the Security Council rejected a US proposal to extend the arms embargo on Iran expiring in October.

Pompeo met at UN headquarters with the rotating president of the Council and delivered a letter in which he denounced Iran’s so-called failure to fulfill the provisions of the pact and called for the clause governing the reestablishment of sanctions to be activated.

Despite the fact that it withdrew from the nuclear pact, the US claims that as an original signer of the deal it has the right to invoke the mechanism designed to reimpose all sanctions on Tehran that the UN had drafted if it could be proven that Iran had violated it.

Iran, which initially respected all its commitments under the pact, has refused to abide by some of them in response to the rupture of the pact by the US and the reimposition of unilateral sanctions by Washington.

Now that the US request has been made official, the Security Council has 30 days to approve a resolution that would keep the sanctions lifted.

If that does not occur, all the punishments and sanctions that had weighed upon Iran before 2015 would automatically be reinstated, including the arms embargo, a prohibition on atomic development activities and assorted sanctions against Iranian individuals and entities.

However, numerous members of the Security Council feel that the US does not have the right to use this mechanism after pulling out of the pact.

Russian Ambassador to the UN Vasily Nebenzya on Thursday claimed that the US “does not have the legal right … to initiate” this process, adding that his country will challenge Washington on the matter.

China has adopted a similar stance to that of Russia and the European nations on the Security Council are also questioning the US move and have said that their main objective is to keep the nuclear deal alive, an agreement that in practice would be completely destroyed if international sanctions are reimposed.


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