Sep 16, 2020
Pompeo insists US to enforce UN sanctions on Iran
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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo insisted Wednesday the United States will enforce new “UN” sanctions on Iran starting next week, despite overwhelming consensus that Washington is out of bounds.
“The United States will do what it always does. It will do its share as part of its responsibilities to enable peace, this time in the Middle East,” Pompeo told a joint news conference with British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.
“We’ll do all the things we need to do to make sure that those sanctions are enforced,” he said.
Pompeo last month headed to the United Nations to announce the “snapback” of sanctions under a 2015 Security Council resolution after failing to extend an embargo on conventional arms sales to Iran.
President Donald Trump pulled out of the accord, which he has repeatedly denounced, but Pompeo argues that the United States remains a “participant” as it was listed in the 2015 resolution.
The sanctions are authorized by a “valid UN Security Council resolution,” Pompeo said.
Trump has already enforced sweeping unilateral US sanctions on Iran, inflicting a heavy toll in a bid to curb the clerical state’s regional influence.
The United Nations has clearly said that it cannot proceed with the reimposition of UN sanctions, with 13 of the Security Council’s 15 nations objecting to the US move.
European allies of the United States say that they support extending the arms embargo but want to preserve a diplomatic solution on the nuclear issue, which they see as more important.
Playing down differences, Raab said of the nuclear accord: “We have always welcomed US and indeed any other efforts to broaden it.”
“The means by which we get there, there may be shades of difference but we have handled them… constructively,” he said.
The issue has come to a head less than two months before Trump seeks another term against Democrat Joe Biden, a supporter of the accord that curbed Iran’s nuclear program.
News Source: newsbrig.com
Trump aims to use UN address to send strong message to China
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump, who prefers speaking to boisterous crowds, is set to give a prerecorded address to the U.N. General Assembly as he grapples with the coronavirus pandemic, chilly relations between the U.S. and China and ongoing threats from North Korea and Iran — all during a heated campaign for reelection.
Trump told reporters Monday that he’d have a “strong message” for China, where the first cases of COVID-19 were reported, but he didn’t elaborate ahead of the Tuesday address. Earlier in his administration, Trump hosted Chinese President Xi Jinping at his Florida club, but now the two leaders are exchanging angry words over trade.
The administration has been slamming the Chinese Communist Party for its handling of COVID-19, election meddling, espionage in the United States and influence peddling across the world.
Trump is not popular at the United Nations and his speech this year comes at a time when U.N. members are pushing back against Washington. On Monday, Trump declared that all U.N. sanctions against Iran have been reimposed, a move that most of the rest of the world rejects as illegal.
Trump’s statement came shortly after he signed an executive order spelling out how the U.S. will enforce the “snapback” of sanctions. “My actions today send a clear message to the Iranian regime and those in the international community who refuse to stand up to Iran,” he said.
The U.S. said it was reimposing sanctions on Iran for being in noncompliance with the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and global powers. But Trump in 2018 pulled out of the deal in which Iran agreed to curb its nuclear program in exchange for billions of dollars in sanctions relief.
Few U.N. member states believe the U.S. has the legal standing to restore the sanctions because Trump withdrew from the agreement. The U.S. argues it retains the right to do so as an original participant in the deal and a member of the council.
The White House has not previewed his U.N. speech, but Trump was expected to highlight agreements the U.S. brokered between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. The historic agreements come as relations between the Jewish state and Arab nations are thawing as a pushback against Iran.
The president likely will take credit for brokering economic cooperation between Serbia and Kosovo and for pressuring NATO nations to meet their pledge to spend 2% of their gross domestic product on their own defenses to lessen the burden on the alliance.
He might also have words for North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. In 2017, Trump told the U.N. he was bringing a “message of peace,” but then said that if the U.S. was forced to defend itself against Kim, “we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.” He called Kim “rocket man,” but has since met with him three times, although North Korea has not made a move to give up its nuclear weapons.
Trump’s has tussled with multilateral organizations throughout his presidency, although his aides say he is not against all multilateral groups, only the ones that aren’t effective. After COVID-19 took hold, Trump yanked support from the U.N.’s World Health Organization, saying it was too beholden to China.
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