Britain, France, Germany have rejected the Trump administration’s demand to restore UN sanctions on Iran.
The United States has moved to restore all UN sanctions on Iran, arguing Tehran is violating a nuclear deal it struck with world powers in 2015 – which Washington itself abandoned two years ago.
The US submitted a letter to the 15-member UN Security Council accusing Tehran of non-compliance, starting a 30-day clock that could lead to the “snapback” of UN sanctions despite the remaining parties to the nuclear deal oppose this.
Iran was swift to condemn the call, taken partly because of the impending October expiration of a UN arms embargo on Tehran, saying the US had no right to trigger the re-imposition because it had abandoned the original agreement.
The plan to extend the embargo was decisively defeated in a Security Council vote last week, marking an embarrassing rebuke to Washington.
“It is an enormous mistake not to extend this arms embargo. It’s nuts!” the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters at the United Nations as he harshly criticised what he described as the “one-sided, foolish” nuclear deal negotiated by former US President Barack Obama.
A restoration of UN sanctions would reimpose the conventional arms embargo, ban Iran from developing ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons and bring back targeted sanctions on dozens of individuals and entities.
It would also require Iran to halt all nuclear enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, including research and development, and ban imports that could contribute to those activities or the development of nuclear arms delivery systems.
Countries also would be urged to inspect shipments to and from Iran and authorised to seize any banned cargo.
Russia, China and other countries are questioning the legality of the US move because Washington no longer abides by what President Donald Trump called the “worst deal ever.”
Iran’s UN Ambassador Majid Takht Ravanchi said Tehran was confident that the Security Council would reject the US move.
“A permanent member of the Security Council is acting like a child, is being ridiculed by the other members of the international community,” he said.
Russia, which said it would not restore the UN sanctions, called for a meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss Iran on Friday.
Iran’s leadership is determined to remain committed to the nuclear deal, hoping that a victory by Trump rival Democrat Joe Biden in the
November 3 US presidential election will salvage the pact.
Mr Biden, who was Vice-President when the Obama administration negotiated the accord, said he would rejoin the deal if Iran first resumed compliance.