European nations oppose US move to impose sanctions on Iran
European members of the UN said they will oppose a motion by the US to impose trade sanctions on Iran. US Secretary of State asserted that the US would enforce sweeping sanctions on Iran, even though the United Nations Security Council voted to not extend an arms embargo on the rogue regime.
The UNSC voting to not extend the international arms embargo on Iran prompted Pompeo to formally notify the group on Thursday of the US intention to "Snap-back" or restore, all UN sanctions on Iran.
Thirty days after Pompeo's notification, a range of U.N. sanctions will be restored, including the requirement that Iran suspends all uranium enrichment-related activities. It will also extend the 13-year arms embargo on Iran.
Britain, Germany and France in a joint statement said that the US cannot call for a snapback as they backed out from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), a nuclear deal in 2018. Iran, in exchange for sanctions relief, accepted limits on its nuclear program until the terms expire in 2025. Relations between the US and Iran have been tense ever since Trump backed out from the nuclear deal and imposed trade sanctions on Iran. Tensions escalated when in January Washington, in a drone attack killed Iran’s top military commander Qassem Soleimani.
Pompeo's remarks to members of the Security Council came hours after Iran's defence minister unveiled new missiles aimed at strengthening "Iran's deterrence power." Iranian Defense Minister Amir Hatami announced that the new ballistic missile has a range of approximately 870 miles and is named after Iranian General Qasem Soleimani.
The statement by the European nations was backed by China, Russia and the EU's top diplomat, Josep Borrell, who said that because the US withdrew from the nuclear deal in 2018, it "cannot, therefore, be considered a participant State for possible sanctions snapback foreseen by the resolution." UK, France and Germany said that they "remain committed to the JCPOA despite the major challenges posed by the US withdrawal", and added that the issue of Iran's "systematic non-compliance with their commitments under the JCPOA must be addressed "within the framework of a dialogue between the participants in the agreement".