Pompeo seeking to 'revive' Obama's nuclear deal but only to justify renewing sanctions on Iran

Pompeo seeking to 'revive' Obama's nuclear deal but only to justify renewing sanctions on Iran
The US Secretary of State appears to have gone back in time and will push to remain in the Iran nuclear deal, even though his president abandoned it.
3 min read
28 April, 2020
Mike Pompeo intends to keep the US part of nuclear accord [Getty]
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is said to be preparing a legal argument to allow the United States to remain part of the Iran nuclear accord, despite President Donald Trump's abandonment of the deal that had been brokered by his predecessor Barack Obama.

The change in tune comes as the US appears more determined than ever to isolate the country and pressure the United Nations Security Council to extend an arms embargo on Tehran, and re-introduce harsh sanctions in the wake of the novel coronavirus.

Pompeo will approve a plan under which the United States would legally claim to remain a “participant state” in the nuclear accord Trump rubbished, for the sole purpose of invoking a “snapback” that would restore UN sanctions on Iran which were in place before the accord.

US administration officials have been circulating a new resolution in the Security Council that would prevent countries from exporting conventional arms to Iran after the current ban expires in October, The New York Times reported.

Pompeo’s strongarm move means that even if the embargo was not renewed, the US could still exercise its right as an original member of the agreement, and it could force through sanctions without the support of all member states.

Not all countries welcome the proposed embargo, with Russia already expressing its intention to resume conventional arms sales to Iran.

Asked about it, Pompeo said in a statement to the Times: “We cannot allow the Islamic Republic of Iran to purchase conventional weapons in six months. President Obama should never have agreed to end the UN arms embargo.”

“We are prepared to exercise all of our diplomatic options to ensure the arms embargo stays in place at the UN Security Council,” he added.

'Cruel’ sanctions

On Thursdya, Iran called for the US to be held accountable for "cruel" sanctions that have hampered its efforts to fight a coronavirus outbreak that it said claimed another 90 lives.

The Islamic republic has been struggling to contain the Covid-19 disease since revealing its first cases more than two months ago.

It accuses its arch enemy the United States of making the crisis worse through sanctions imposed unilaterally since Washington pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal in 2018.

The latest fatalities given by the health ministry for the past 24 hours took the overall death toll in Iran from the coronavirus to 5,481.

"Today, the coronavirus has spread not only in Iran but in almost all countries, and it requires serious effort and collective action to deal with it," said Iran's deputy foreign minister, Abbas Araghchi.

"In addition to fighting the virus, Iran faces illegal and inhuman American sanctions, doubling the pressure on the Iranian people," he was quoted as saying in a ministry statement.

"It is the right of the Iranian people to have access to their financial resources to fight the disease and to counter its economic consequences," said Araghchi.

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