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WASHINGTON - The United States vowed to assert a “snapback” of all prior international sanctions on Iran, effective 8 p.m. Eastern Time on September 19, with more announcements to be made this weekend and next week as to exactly how Washington is planning to enforce the “returned U.N. sanctions.”

“We will return to the United Nations to reimpose sanctions so that the arms embargo will become permanent next week,” said U.

S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Wednesday during a joint press conference with British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.

“I think we absolutely agree that Iran must never be — never be allowed to obtain a nuclear weapon,” said Raab. “We also, I think, share the view that the diplomatic door is open to Iran to negotiate a peaceful way forward. That decision, that choice is there for the leadership in Tehran to take.” He stopped short of saying whether or not and how Britain will implement the snapback sanctions.

Britain, France and Germany, the so-called E3, said in August that they cannot support the U.S. move to restore U.N. sanctions on Iran, saying the action is incompatible with efforts to support the Iran nuclear deal.

U.S. special envoy for Iran and Venezuela Elliott Abrams speaks during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Aug. 4, 2020.

“Whether those countries will in fact ignore the U.N. sanctions [under U.N. Security Council resolution 2231] remains to be seen,” U.S. special envoy for Iran and Venezuela Elliott Abrams told reporters in a Wednesday phone briefing. He added the E3 and other European countries had told Washington that they don't want the Iran arms embargo to end, but they were unable to take any action that kept the UN arms embargo in place.

Abrams said the returned sanctions include “a 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.”

U.S. officials warn that an Iran free from restrictions would lead to further regional destabilization, intensified conflicts and a regional arms race.

Iranian armed forces members march in a military parade in Tehran, Sept. 22, 2018.

The U.S. tried but failed on August 14 to extend an expiring arms embargo against Iran through a resolution at the United Nations Security Council.

The embargo against the sale or transfer to or from Iran of conventional weapons is set to expire on October 18, under the 2015 nuclear deal, known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

With the extension blocked, Washington saw triggering a snapback of U.N. sanctions under Security Council Resolution 2231, which implemented the Iran nuclear agreement, as the only path for restoring the arms embargo.

As the U.S. prepares to snap back sanctions against Iran this weekend, E3 nations are largely seen as likely to ignore them. Some experts said there would be a limited impact on European economies, unless the U.S. punishes those nations with secondary sanctions.

“The immediate U.S. goal in trying to re-impose sanctions is to prevent the end of the U.N. arms embargo in mid-October. But even if the Europeans recognize the U.N. embargo ends next month, British and EU companies are not going to start selling tanks to Tehran. The U.S. expects Chinese and firms to look for arms deals, and they will probably sanction those companies bilaterally. But that doesn't bother the Europeans very much,” said Richard Gowan, U.N. director of International Crisis Group (ICG).

“Overall, the U.S. has realized that this is not a useful fight to pursue,” Gowan told VOA on Wednesday. “Equally, E3 diplomats say that they would prefer to avoid a big public row over snapback too, to limit the harm to relations with Washington.”

Under the JCPOA concluded on July 14, 2015, the five permanent U.N. Security Council members, plus Germany, agreed with Iran to gradually lift international sanctions in return for limits on Tehran's nuclear activities, to prevent it from making a nuclear bomb. It also opened Iran's markets back up to many foreign investors.

The United States withdrew from the deal in May 2018, re-imposing unilateral sanctions on Iran. In response, Tehran resumed some of its nuclear activities, and in July 2019, it breached the deal by exceeding limits on both uranium enrichment and stockpile levels. Iran denies that its nuclear activities are for military purposes.

 

News Source: Voice of America

Tags: sanctions on iran security council arms embargo

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Estée Lauder to film ad campaign from space, NASA confirms

When it comes to cosmetics, Estée Lauder is aiming to be out of this world.

NASA and the international beauty conglomerate are teaming up to produce a new ad campaign filmed at the International Space Station, soaring some 250 miles above in Earth’s orbit.

A NASA spokesperson confirmed on Thursday that as many as 10 bottles of Estée Lauder’s popular “Advanced Night Repair” serum will launch into space at the end of this month aboard a Northrop Grumman Cygnus spacecraft, New Scientist reported, along with four tons of cargo for galactic research.

The space agency’s own astronauts have been charged with filming “imagery and video” of the products in their weightless environment aboard the ISS. The brand will use that footage for upcoming ads and other promotional materials. However, the astronauts won’t personally star in the campaign due to NASA’s ethics policy, which bars them from official brand endorsements.

Phil McAlister, director of commercial spaceflight development at NASA, pledged to “[dedicate] a modest amount of crew time — just 5% — to commercial and marketing activities,” according to CNN Business.

“I’m a risk-taker,” said Estée Lauder president Stephane de la Faverie while on a panel at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics’ Ascend Summit last month. “That tends to basically come with ideas that are a little bit, you know, outside of the normal, traditional ways of doing marketing,” he said.

Technically, this wouldn’t be the first time a commercial was produced in space. Several international brands have organized such marketing stunts, including Pepsi and Pizza Hut.

However, it is being considered one of the most “high profile” commercial projects to be produced by Americans on the ISS.

The campaign comes amid a push by NASA execs to commercialize space travel for revenue to help finance future deep space exploration, following decades of congressional defunding since the Apollo missions. The Trump administration has recently encouraged NASA to examine ways of “catalyzing and nurturing” the US economy, according to the agency’s website. 

Earlier this year, Tom Cruise and NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine announced that the daredevil actor had signed on to produce a film aboard the ISS, the timeline of which has not been revealed.

NASA is excited to work with @TomCruise on a film aboard the @Space_Station! We need popular media to inspire a new generation of engineers and scientists to make @NASA’s ambitious plans a reality. pic.twitter.com/CaPwfXtfUv

— Jim Bridenstine (@JimBridenstine) May 5, 2020

Filed under advertising ,  cosmetics ,  estee lauder ,  international space station ,  nasa ,  space ,  9/18/20

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