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US plans to enforce UN sanctions on Iran with its own action

US plans to enforce UN sanctions on Iran with its own action
September 17, 2020

US Special Representative for Venezuela and Iran Elliott Abrams said Washington could deny access to the U.S. market to anyone who trades in weapons with Iran, which President Donald Trump’s administration accuses of seeking to develop nuclear weapons.

Iran has denied it is developing nuclear weapons.

In 2018 Trump quit the Iran nuclear deal - under which Tehran limited its nuclear activities in return for sanctions relief - and reimposed US sanctions. Washington also says it has triggered a return of all UN sanctions on Iran, which would take effect this weekend.

But the other parties to the nuclear deal - Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia - and most of the UN Security Council have said they do not believe the United States can reimpose the UN sanctions.

“It’s like pulling a trigger and no bullet comes out,” a senior U.N. Security Council diplomat said on condition of anonymity. “There will be no snapback, the sanctions will remain suspended, the JCPOA (nuclear deal) will remain in place.”

Asked if Washington is “making concrete plans now for secondary sanctions” to enforce the arms embargo, Abrams told reporters: “We are, in many ways, and we will have some announcements over the weekend and more announcements on Monday and then subsequent days next week.”

Earlier on Wednesday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters, “We’ll do all the things we need to do to ensure that those sanctions are enforced.”

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday described the opposition to Washington as a “victory of the Iranian nation and the disgraceful defeat of the United States in activation of the snapback mechanism.”