Trump Regime Illegally Imposing Snapback Sanctions and Arms Embargo on Iran

In defiance of world community sentiment and SC Res. 2231 — that’s binding international and US constitutional law — the Trump regime will unilaterally reimpose sanctions on Iran that were lifted when the JCPOA took effect.

According to Trump regime envoy for regime change in Venezuela and Iran Elliott Abrams, “virtually all UN sanctions on Iran will come back into place this weekend at 8:00 PM Eastern Time on Saturday the 19th,” adding:

“The arms embargo will now be reimposed indefinitely and other restrictions will return, including the ban on Iran engaging in enrichment and reprocessing-related activities, the prohibition on ballistic missile testing and development, and sanctions on the transfer of nuclear and missile-related technologies to Iran.”

During a Wednesday press briefing, Pompeo said the following:

“We will return to the United Nations to reimpose sanctions (on Iran) so that the arms embargo will become permanent next week.”

He expects the world community to observe what the vast majority of its member states oppose.

He illegally claimed that the US is unilaterally entitled to impose snapback sanctions on Iran, “and that’s what we’ll do…to ensure that those sanctions are enforced” — even though after abandoning the JCPOA in May 2018, the Trump regime has no legal say on matters relating to the landmark agreement.

On September 1 in Vienna, Joint Commission of the JCPOA signatories Russia, China, Britain, France, Germany and Iran stressed the importance of preserving the JCPOA.

These nations reject imposition of so-called snapback sanctions on Iran.

Following the meeting, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov stressed that

“(w)e are certain that if the international community and the UN Council members will continue to stick to principled positions on this issue, which is what we are working on, then the situation will emerge when the US will be alone in the UN Security Council with this paradoxical point of view.”

With few exceptions, the Trump regime lacks international support to abandon what’s affirmed by SC Res. 2231.

In Vienna, Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said the following:

“All JCPOA members and the majority of the international community members are opposed to the US’ unilateral policies and its policy of weakening multilateralism, international organizations and multilateral approaches in the international relations.”

A joint statement by remaining P4+1 signatories said in part:

“All participants reaffirmed the importance of preserving the agreement, recalling that it is a key element of the global nuclear non-proliferation architecture, as endorsed by UN Security Council Resolution 2231 (2015).”

“Full implementation of the agreement by all sides remains crucial.”

On October 18, the UN conventional arms embargo on Iran expires.

Last month, Security Council members overwhelmingly defeated the Trump regime’s aim to extend it indefinitely — the Dominican Republic alone siding with the US position.

On issues related to Iran, the JCPOA, snapback sanctions, and expiring arms embargo on the country, the US is isolated on the world stage.

During his Wednesday briefing, remarks by Abrams displayed typical US imperial arrogance, saying that “we expect all UN member states to implement the UN sanctions fully and respect the process and obligations to uphold these sanctions” — followed by unacceptable Iran bashing comments repeated many times before by Trump regime officials.

Key going forward is whether nations wanting the JCPOA preserved will maintain their resolve to uphold SC Res. 2231 that affirmed the agreement — especially Britain, France, Germany and Brussels.

Key also is what actions will the Trump regime take against nations unwilling to observe its unlawfully imposed snapback sanctions and arms embargo on Iran — which is their legal right.

Next Tuesday during the General Assembly’s 75th anniversary session, Trump will address the body in New York.

According to his UN envoy Kelly Craft, he’ll likely be “the only world leader to be speaking in person” — others delivering pre-recorded video messages.

He’ll no doubt include his regime’s policies on Iran in his remarks — around six weeks ahead of US November presidential and congressional elections.

Aside from Israel, a few Gulf states, and perhaps a few Latin American ones, the world community is against imposition of snapback sanctions and indefinitely extending an arms embargo on Iran to preserve the landmark JCPOA agreement.

AP News reported that JCPOA signatories Britain, France and Germany “will likely respond” to unlawful Trump regime actions on Iran this weekend “by issuing a statement reiterating their position that the United States cannot trigger snapback” or extend the expiring arms embargo, adding:

“(O)pposition to the US (position on Iran) is widespread and strong, including from 13 of the other 14 Security Council members.”


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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

Visit his blog site at

Featured image is a White House photo by Shealah Craighead

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Articles by: Stephen Lendman

About the author:

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III." Visit his blog site at Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

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