US State Secretary Mike Pompeo accused European allies of “siding with the ayatollahs” after they opposed the United States for reimposing sanctions on Iran using “snapback”. The UK, France and Germany had said that the United States doesn’t have legal standing to trigger a snapback because it withdrew from the nuclear deal in 2018.
“No country but the United States had the courage and conviction to put forward a resolution. Instead, they chose to side with ayatollahs,” Pompeo told a press briefing on August 20, referring to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Snapback is a part of the dispute resolution process which could be initiated by a party to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) if it feels that another party is not meeting its obligations, enabling the rapid re-imposition of existing sanctions. The Iran nuclear deal was enshrined in a UNSC resolution which still names the US as a participant and the Trump administration is arguing on the technicality that Washington could still trigger a snapback.
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The US failed to get the required support for a Security Council resolution last week, that would have extended the arms embargo on Iran which is set to expire in October. The UK defended its abstention from the Council vote, saying Britain remains resolutely committed to the JCPoA and to preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.
“We do not support a move to snapback at this time, which would be incompatible with our current efforts to preserve the JCPoA,” said UK Foreign Office in an explanatory statement.
Pompeo warns E3 nations
Pompeo warned that the actions of E3 countries endanger the lives of people of Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon, Syria, as well as their own citizens. He praised the Gulf Cooperation Council nations for “showing courage and unity” Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates sent a letter to the Security Council urging a renewal of the arms embargo.
“As Iran’s neighbours, they know better than anyone else the havoc that Iran could create with these weapons…America will not appease. America will lead,” asserted Pompeo.
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