Pompeo: US to call UN vote on Iran arms embargo extension

Cheryl Sanders
August 6, 2020

If the vote fails, Pompeo suggested the USA would invoke the so-called "snapback" mechanism that would restore all United Nations sanctions on Iran. Washington argues it can trigger the sanctions because a Security Council resolution still names it as a participant.

The nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, allows for a return of sanctions though a complex process if Iran violates its obligations and a JCPOA participant files a complaint to the UN Security Council.

FILE - In this November 29, 2018 file photo, Brian Hook, U.S. special representative for Iran, speaks at the Iranian Materiel Display at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington.

"However, let's be realistic here".

Even European allies of the United States have been skeptical on whether Washington can force sanctions and warn that the attempt may delegitimize the Security Council. Earlier, Indonesia expressed concern over escalated tensions in the waters and called on China to adhere to worldwide law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), to settle disputes.

U.S. Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook is resigning from his role at the State Department, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Thursday, and will be replaced by Special Representative for Venezuela Elliott Abrams. President Donald Trump withdrew the USA from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal two years ago but his administration argues it retains the right to invoke the "snapback" of United Nations sanctions because it is a council member.

Since he became envoy, Hook has been a key figure in the execution of the Trump administration's "maximum pressure" campaign toward Iran that coincided with the USA withdrawal from the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) in 2018. In 2018, the US pulled out of the JCPOA and reinstated harsh sanctions on Tehran. China and Russian Federation have threatened to veto any attempt to extend the embargo.

Last month, Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said Iran has told all members of the UN Security Council and its friends that the extension of the arms embargo would be "unacceptable". "But we will do this, one way or another".

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