The US wants to reintroduce UN sanctions against Tehran. Foreign Minister Pompeo says that anyone who sees it differently will be punished. Almost everyone sees it differently.
The US is threatening to take action against states that do not agree to the re-establishment of all UN sanctions against Iran, as demanded by the Trump administration. The UN sanctions, which had been gradually lifted as a result of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, are “back in force,” said US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington at the weekend. Should the UN member states fail to meet “their obligation to implement the sanctions”, the US would “draw the consequences”.
This was rejected by the parties to the nuclear agreement with Iran, France, Great Britain, Germany, Russia and China. The foreign ministers of Germany, France and Great Britain declared on Sunday that the finding of Pompeos had “no legal effect” or legal consequences for other states.
The US unilaterally withdrew from the nuclear deal with Iran in 2018. Since then they have imposed massive unilateral sanctions against Iran and also against companies and banks from third countries in order to force them to end all economic relations with Iran.
The Trump administration invokes a “snapback mechanism” provided for in the agreement. This mechanism enables all sanctions to be automatically reinstated without the Security Council being able to object or veto 30 days after a state party to the agreement determines that Iran has violated its requirements. The US government made this determination on August 20. On the night of Sunday, the 30-day period from which the sanctions automatically come into force again, according to the US, expired.
In their joint statement, however, the three EU foreign ministers argue that the US is no longer part of the treaty after its unilateral termination of the nuclear deal with Iran. It follows from this “that all decisions and measures that would be taken on the basis of this procedure or its possible outcome can also have no legal effect”. In a statement published in Brussels, EU foreign affairs representative Josep Borrell affirmed this view, which is also shared by 13 of the 15 members of the UN Security Council.
US Secretary of State Pompeo did not give details of future punitive measures in his statement. But according to Reuters information on Friday, President Trump has already signed a decree that allows sanctions against foreign arms companies that supply weapons to Iran. UN diplomats in New York expect Trump to announce concrete measures in his speech scheduled for tomorrow (Tuesday) at the opening session of this year’s UN General Assembly.
Iran’s government spokesman Said Chatibsadeh said on Sunday: “This is a television show whose presenter, audience and fans consist only of Mr. Pompeo and a handful of others.”