image Photo: Reuters

Israel-US demand UN sanctions on Iran

The United States is initiating the restoration of virtually all UN sanctions on Iran lifted under UN Security Council Resolution 2231.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that he personally delivered letters to “formally notify” United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres and Security Council (UNSC) President Dian Triansyah Djani that “ This process will lead to those sanctions coming back into effect 30 days from today.”

Secretary Pompeo said the Trump Administration’s message “is very, very simple: 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. These UN sanctions will continue the arms embargo. I’m pleased to say, too, that these restored sanctions will also reimpose accountability for other forms of Iranian malign activity that the authors of the nuclear deal foolishly downplayed. Iran will be again prohibited from ballistic missile testing. Iran will be back under sanctions for ongoing nuclear activities – such as the enrichment of nuclear material – that could be applied to a nuclear weapons program.”

“This is happening, of course, at a moment when Iran is refusing to allow the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) to inspect sites suspected of undeclared nuclear activity, that were formerly part of Iran’s nuclear weapons program. President Trump and this administration have discarded the fiction that the regime merely seeks a peaceful nuclear program,” Pompeo said at a press briefing, underscoring that “We will never allow the Islamic Republic of Iran to have a nuclear weapon.”

When asked about a dismissal of the White House decision by European countries, including European Union Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell – who practically sided with the Iranian narrative over the legal position of the United States; Secretary Pompeo stressed that while sovereign countries make their own choices, Europe is making “an enormous mistake.”

“Since 1985 alone, the Iranian regime has conducted terrorist operations across Europe. It’s hijacked commercial jets; its bombings murdered innocent Europeans. It’s conducted assassinations of dissidents in Europe, plots to blow up Jewish synagogues. This is all in Europe by the Iranians. Does it make any sense for them to have more weapons? But we should not forget that just this year they took down a commercial airliner. This is not a nation that is capable of or trustworthy to be able to buy and sell weapon systems. And so, I just urge the whole world to unite. We have every capacity under 2231 to do this, and we’ll continue this effort. We’re going to make sure that this arms embargo doesn’t come back in place,” he said.

The top American diplomat also pointed out that, “No resolution can be altered unilaterally by any country – not by Iran, not by Russia, not China, nor by the United States. Security Council resolutions can only be changed by subsequent Security Council resolutions. And so, we think this is really straightforward. We think this is very simple. These UN Security Council resolutions will come back into place 31 days from now and the United States will vigorously enforce them.”

It is important to explain that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal with Iran was never ratified by any of the parliaments of the respective countries that negotiated it – including the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain plus Germany.

Therefore, the pact’s only legal endorsement stems from the 20 July 2015 vote on UNSC Resolution 2231. Despite its May 2018 withdrawal from the JCPOA, the US is a permanent member of the UNSC and thus maintains the legal right in accordance with paragraphs 10-12 of Res. 2231 to restore previous resolutions that leveled crippling sanctions on Iran’s economy.

The Ayatollah regime, however, insists that Res. 2231 and JCPOA are legally intertwined; and that the US lost any legal standing after pulling out of the multilateral agreement.

Iran’s UN Ambassador Majid Takht Ravanchi said that having “Failed in its recent attempt to convince the Security Council to impose arms embargo on Iran, this time the US intends to apply its so-called ‘maximum pressure policy’ on the UN, the Security Council and its members. The U.S. move is a clear example of abusing the process which is prohibited under international law. This is nothing but a legal and political bullying.”

“We are definitely confident that the Security Council will reject the latest US move, because the latest US move has no place in international law and has no place in the UN charter, does not enjoy the political support of the members of the Security council and is definitely doomed to failure,” added the Iranian diplomat.

While none of the participating parties act in compliance with the JCPOA, they are seemingly adamant to preserve it regardless of frustration over the world body’s inability to handle malign Iranian activities expressed by its regional neighbors, including Gulf Arab States and Israel.

Speaking from Jerusalem; Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a call that all “Responsible countries should support the United States in seeking a real solution, one that will prevent Iran from building nuclear weapons.”

“Israel stands proudly and firmly with the United States, as do governments across the Middle East who opposed the JCPOA quietly; and now support the restoration of sanctions publicly,” underscored Netanyahu, adding that, “Ultimately, the tyrants of Tehran must understand this: If Iran wants to be treated like a normal country, it must start acting like a normal country.”

Meanwhile in Tehran, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani held a meeting with top defense officials, during which he claimed that his nation’s newly developed, 1,400-kilometer range ballistic and Cruise missiles are solely for defensive purposes.

“Whatever the Islamic Republic produces, researches and tries, in the field of defense, is based on a deterrent and defense strategy,” Rouhani declared, insisting, “We do not have a strategy of aggression, we do not want to occupy any place or harm any nation.”

The Iranian President ironically made these remarks just blocks from the city’s so-called Palestine Square, where the Ayatollah regime placed a digital clock that proclaims to count down to the destruction of the State of Israel set for the year 2040.