US threatens sanctions over arms trade with Iran

(180718) — TEHRAN, July 18, 2018 (Xinhua) — Spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Behrouz Kamalvandi speaks during a press conference in Tehran, Iran, on July 17, 2018. Iran has set up a factory to manufacture rotors used in advanced centrifuge machines, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) announced on Wednesday. (Xinhua/Ahmad Halabisaz)(rh)

Tehran, Sep 17 (IANS) The US has threatened to impose new sanctions to prevent foreign arms trade with Iran after the expiration of the UN embargo against Tehran.

“We will return to the US to re-impose sanctions so that the arms embargo will become permanent next week,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said at a press briefing on Wednesday with visiting UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.

The US 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, US special representative for Iran and Venezuela, said later in the day.

“The arms embargo will now be re-imposed indefinitely and other restrictions will return, including the ban on Iran engaging in enrichment and re-processing 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.

The representative also noted that details of the sanctions enforcement measures will be announced on September 21, which he said “will have a very significant impact”.

President Donald Trump’s administration has sought to invoke the “snapback” mechanism to restore all pre-2015 UN sanctions against Iran after its failed and isolated attempt at the UN Security Council to extend the arms embargo against Tehran.

However, the overwhelming majority of Security Council members asserted that the US 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 held the Security Council presidency for the month of August, said that he was “is not in the position” to take further action as there was 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 October 18.

Tehran has said that it will not accept a renewal of the embargo.

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