State Dept. says it will impose “snap back” sanctions on Iran, despite US withdrawal from Nuclear Deal

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by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – As the US believes Iran has continued to develop nuclear weapons, and as the United Nations arms embargo on Iran expires next month, the State Department announced Wednesday that it is pressing forward with “snap back” sanctions that are provided for under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) Iran Nuclear deal, Fox News reports. Under the terms of the JCPoA, snapback sanctions can be re-imposed if Iran is perceived to be violating the terms of the agreement. However, as the Trump administration withdrew from the JCPoA in 2018, UNSC members Britain, China, France, Germany, and Russia have unequivocally stated the US has no authority to unilaterally enforce snapback sanctions once the current embargo is lifted on October 18.

Making the case for re-imposing sanctions, US Special Representative for Venezuela and Iran Elliott Abrams has said there could be repercussions for the international community if they tried to engage in arms trade with Iran after next month’s embargo expiry date. The US said it would impose sanctions not only on Iran but also on any nation which violates the terms of the embargo as it now stands, Fox News reports.

“It is astonishing that anyone would think or have thought it sensible to allow the arms embargo on Iran to expire next month, given that regime’s role in destabilizing Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and Lebanon and its continuing support for terrorism,” Abrams said at a press conference.

Nevertheless, UNSC members Germany, France and Britain reiterated in a joint statement last month: “Our position regarding the effectiveness of the U.S. notification pursuant to resolution 2231 has consequently been very clearly expressed to the presidency and all U.N.S.C. Members. We cannot, therefore, support this action, which is incompatible with our current efforts to support the JCPoA.”

Following Wednesday’s State Department announcement, a senior UN Security Council diplomat told Reuters : “It’s like pulling a trigger and no bullet comes out. There will be no snapback, the sanctions will remain suspended, the JCPOA (nuclear deal) will remain in place.”

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