Apparently still reeling from last week's United Nations Security Council vote where the door was forever shut on the US bid to indefinitely extend the UN arms embargo on Iran, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Thursday remarks blasted Washington's European allies at a moment he's attempting to trigger "snapback sanctions".
In a news conference from the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), he charged that Germany, France and the UK are hypocritical in supposedly expressing private support for the US position, while at the UN they publicly “chose to side with Ayatollahs” against the controversial procedure to uphold the punitive action rooted in the JCPOA.
It should be recalled in last Friday's initial vote which triggered what many see as but more Washington desperation while Europe largely stands by the terms of the Obama-era nuclear deal, only the tiny Dominican Republic voted "yes" to extend the weapons embargo alongside the US. What's more, Europe is now vehemently opposing Pompeo's controversial procedure to reimpose UN sanctions on Tehran.
He's specifically responding to the latest actions of Britain, France and Germany, all who say—
The US did not have the legal right to trigger the so-called "snapback" of sanctions because it withdrew from the Iranian nuclear accord in 2018.
Ironically, Pompeo is claiming authority to initiate a procedure which is ultimately based on the US still being a participant in the 2015 nuclear deal (JCPOA) with Iran, but obviously the Trump administration withdrew in May 2018.
Pompeo lashed out in response late Thursday, saying:
"No country but US has the courage and conviction to put forward a resolution. Instead, they chose to side with ayatollahs."
“The United States will never allow the world's largest state sponsor of terrorism to freely buy and sell planes, tanks, missiles and other kinds of conventional weapons,” Pompeo asserted in New York. “We will never allow the Islamic Republic of Iran to have a nuclear weapon,” he emphasized during the UNSC address.
The process to re-impose sanctions on Iran begins. Today I hand-delivered a letter to @UN Security Council President Dian Triansyah Djani to formally notify the Council of something we all know too well—Iran's failure to meet its commitments under the terrible nuclear deal. pic.twitter.com/MltLupj7lg— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) August 20, 2020
He did however, praise the Arab Gulf nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) for being firm in calling for the extension of a weapons ban in a formal joint statement.
Meanwhile, Iran is boasting of two new longer range missiles on Thursday - one named after the IRGC Quds Force chief killed this year by US drone strike:
Pompeo at UN today to request snapback sanctions on Iran.— Farnaz Fassihi (@farnazfassihi) August 20, 2020
Majority of Security Council dispute U.S. has legal ground.
Meanwhile, Iran unveils a ballistic missile named after Gen. Sulaimani & a cruise missile named after Abu Muhandes. pic.twitter.com/7qB1SnnsBw
He further vowed that the US will do absolutely everything to ensure to enforce sanctions on Iran if they are violated, especially weapons, even on American allies.
It should be noted that both China and Russia have also called out Washington for being in no legal position whatsoever to renew Iran sanctions related to the JCPOA. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov slammed Washington's latest push as “absurd.”
And China had this to say through its foreign ministry spokesman: “We have repeatedly said that the US has already withdrawn from the JCPOA and therefore has no right to request the restoration of the UN sanctions regime against Iran.”
The reality remains that with the US formally withdrawn from the 2015 nuclear deal, it's in a much more difficult position to force its will on the diplomatic front, which is why it's reverted to increasingly confrontational and aggressive unilateral sanctions enforcement and threats, even lately going so far as seizing fuel-laden Iranian ships on the high seas.