UN sanctions on Iran have been restored, Pompeo lays out consequences for noncompliance

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The Trump administration declared Saturday U.N. sanctions against Iran lifted in 2015 as part of the disastrous Obama nuclear deal have been restored.

“The United States welcomes the return of virtually all previously terminated UN sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terror and anti-Semitism,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement.

Pompeo called Iran “the greatest threat to peace in the Middle East,” insisting their “violent efforts to spread revolution have killed thousands and upended the lives of millions of innocent people.”

“History shows appeasement only emboldens such regimes,” he added.

The action comes just a day after the head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, Gen. Hossein Salami, has threatened retaliation for the U.S. assassination of terrorist Gen. Qasem Soleimani.

Pompeo explained that the U.S. made the decision “because, in addition to Iran’s failure to perform its JCPOA commitments, the Security Council failed to extend the UN arms embargo on Iran, which had been in place for 13 years.”

“In accordance with our rights under UNSCR 2231, we initiated the snapback process to restore virtually all previously terminated UN sanctions, including the arms embargo,” he said. “The world will be safer as a result.”

Amid reports that countries such as Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia, will not enforce the sanctions, Pompeo was clear about what the expectations are.

“The United States expects all UN Member States to fully comply with their obligations to implement these measures,” the release said. “In addition to the arms embargo, this includes restrictions such as the ban on Iran engaging in enrichment and reprocessing-related activities, the prohibition on ballistic missile testing and development by Iran, and sanctions on the transfer of nuclear- and missile-related technologies to Iran, among others.”

In the event UN members fail to fulfill their obligations, Pompeo said the U.S. “is prepared to use our domestic authorities to impose consequences for those failures and ensure that Iran does not reap the benefits of UN-prohibited activity.”

“In the coming days,” he said, “the United States will announce a range of additional measures to strengthen implementation of UN sanctions and hold violators accountable.”

The White House is planning to issue an executive order on Monday spelling out how the U.S. will do so, according to the Daily Mail.

The referenced “snapback process” is disputed by some Security Council members, who insist the U.S. lost legal standing to invoke snapback when Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal in 2018 and reimposed American sanctions on Iran,” the British tabloid reported.

The U.S. argues that as an original participant in the Iran nuclear deal and a member of the council, it retains that right.

More on what snapback means, from the Daily Mail :

Snapback means that international sanctions eased or lifted by the nuclear deal are reimposed and must be enforced by U.N. member states, including hitting Iran with penalties for uranium enrichment to any level, ballistic missile activity and buying or selling conventional weapons.

 

Naturally, Democrats in Congress are not supporting the administration’s efforts to keep Iran in check.

Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said the move “is the ultimate admission of failure,” according to USA Today.

“The Trump Administration talked a big game but has produced no results,” Engel said.

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Tom Tillison

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