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U.S. threatens sanctions after U.N. arms embargo in opposition to Iran expires

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U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks throughout a information convention to announce the Trump administration’s restoration of sanctions on Iran, on the U.S. State Department in Washington, September 21, 2020.

Patrick Semansky | Pool | Reuters

WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned Sunday that the United States will slap sanctions on any particular person or entity that assists Iran’s weapons program, a transfer that can probably additional irritate tensions between Washington and Tehran.

“For the past 10 years, countries have refrained from selling weapons to Iran under various UN measures. Any country that now challenges this prohibition will be very clearly choosing to fuel conflict and tension over promoting peace and security,” Pompeo mentioned in a Sunday assertion.

“Any nation that sells weapons to Iran is impoverishing the Iranian people by enabling the regime’s diversion of funds away from the people and toward the regime’s military aims,” he added.

The risk comes after a decade-long U.N. arms embargo in opposition to Iran formally expired Sunday as a part of the nuclear deal agreed with world powers in 2015.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry introduced that the “Islamic Republic of Iran may procure any necessary arms and equipment from any source without any legal restrictions and solely based on its defensive needs.” However, Tehran mentioned it has no intention to go on a shopping for spree of standard arms.

Under the U.N. arms embargo, the export of “certain conventional arms to Iran” and the “procurement of any arms or related materiel from Iran” is in violation of the U.N. Security Council decision and is topic to sanctions.

However, the U.N. Security Council refused in August to assist a U.S. effort to increase the arms embargo in opposition to Iran. China and Russia voted in opposition to Washington’s efforts, whereas even shut U.S. allies similar to Britain, France and Germany abstained. Only the U.S. and the Dominican Republic voted for an extension.

In response, the United States unilaterally re-imposed U.N. sanctions on Tehran final month by way of a snapback course of, which different U.N. Security Council members have beforehand mentioned Washington doesn’t have the authority to execute as a result of it withdrew from the nuclear deal in in 2018.

The similar week that the U.S. reimposed the U.N. sanctions the Trump administration upped the ante much more. Pompeo, flanked by Defense Secretary Mark Esper, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, mentioned the administration would sanction Iran’s complete Ministry of Defense.

“No matter who you are, if you violate the U.N. arms embargo on Iran, you risk sanctions,” Pompeo mentioned in an tackle on Sept. 21. “Our actions today are a warning that should be heard worldwide,” he added.

Esper adopted on Pompeo’s remarks and mentioned the Pentagon was “ready to respond to future Iranian aggression” and referred to as on Tehran to “act like a normal country.”

“We continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with our allies and partners to counter Iran’s destabilizing behavior. In doing so, we will protect our people and our interests and maintain the security of like-minded nations across the region,” Esper added.

Tensions between Washington and Tehran have mounted after President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the landmark Iran nuclear settlement in 2018, calling it “the worst deal ever.”

The 2015 accord lifted sanctions on Iran that crippled its economic system and reduce its oil exports roughly in half. In trade for sanctions aid, Iran accepted limits on its nuclear program till the phrases expire in 2025.

Trump has beforehand mentioned that the U.S. desires to achieve a broader cope with Iran that places stricter limits on its nuclear and ballistic missile work and suppresses the regime’s position in regional proxy wars. Tehran has refused to barter whereas U.S. sanctions stay in place.

Following Washington’s exit from the nuclear deal, different signatories of the pact ⁠— France, Germany, the U.Ok., Russia and China ⁠— tried to maintain the settlement alive. 

Earlier this yr, a U.S. strike that killed Iran’s high navy commander triggered the regime to additional reduce compliance with the worldwide nuclear pact. In January, Iran mentioned it would not restrict its uranium enrichment capability or nuclear analysis.


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