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U.S. threatens sanctions over arms trade with Iran

Christian Fernsby |
The United States threatened to impose new sanctions to prevent foreign arms trade with Iran after the expiration of the UN arms embargo against Tehran.

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Topics: U.S.    IRAN   

"We will return to the United Nations to reimpose sanctions so that the arms embargo will become permanent next week," U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said during a press briefing with visiting British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.

The United States will "do all the things we need to do to ensure that those sanctions are enforced," Pompeo added.

All UN sanctions against Iran will be restored on Saturday evening, Elliott Abrams, U.S. special representative for Iran and Venezuela, said later in the day.

"The arms embargo will now be reimposed indefinitely and other restrictions will return, including the ban on Iran engaging in enrichment and reprocessing-related activities, the prohibition on ballistic missile testing and development, and sanctions on the transfer of nuclear and missile-related technologies to Iran," Abrams told reporters in a phone briefing.

Abrams also noted that details of the sanctions enforcement measures will be announced on Monday, which he called "will have a very significant impact."

The Trump administration has sought to invoke the "snapback" mechanism to restore all pre-2015 UN sanctions against Iran after its failed and isolated attempt in the UN Security Council to extend the arms embargo against Tehran.

However, the overwhelming majority of Security Council members asserted that the United States has no right to invoke the "snapback" mechanism as the country is no longer a participant after its withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal in May 2018.

Indonesia's UN ambassador Dian Triansyah Djani, whose country holds the Security Council presidency for the month of August, said last month that he "is not in the position" to take further action as there is no consensus among council members over the issue.

Under Security Council Resolution 2231, which endorsed the 2015 nuclear deal, the arms embargo against Iran expires on Oct. 18, 2020. Tehran said it will not accept a renewal of the embargo.

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