US imposes new sanctions against Iran after rejection by allies
The United States has imposed new unilateral sanctions against Iran after it failed to garner support for its anti-Iran move at the United Nations Security Council.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, flanked by some other members of the administration of President Donald Trump, announced the sanctions on Monday, a day after Washington unilaterally declared that all UN sanctions against Tehran were re-instated.
Pompeo said the new sanctions target Iran’s Defense Ministry and the country’s Atomic Energy Organization.
He also said that Trump has issued an executive order "that is a new and powerful tool to enforce the UN arms embargo."
Pompeo also told reporters the US had also imposed new sanctions on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro for working with Tehran.
"For nearly two years ... officials in Tehran have worked with the illegitimate regime in Venezuela to flout the UN arms embargo," he said. "Our actions today are a warning that should be heard worldwide," he added.
US 'has now restored UN sanctions on Iran': Trump
Later on Monday, Trump said that he was imposing sanctions on Iranians and demanded enforcement by US allies, who have roundly rejected his demand.
"The United States has now restored UN sanctions on Iran," Trump said in a statement.
"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 added.
Speaking before a leading US think tank, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that the latest US move would have no "significant impact" on his country.
"The United States has exerted all the pressure it could on Iran, it has. It had hoped that these sanctions will bring our population to the knees. It didn't," Zarif told the Council on Foreign Relations on Monday.
"We have made it very clear that every member state in the United Nations has a responsibility to enforce the sanctions," Pompeo told reporters when asked about European opposition.
"That certainly includes the United Kingdom, France and Germany."
US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, appearing with Pompeo, also announced separate sanctions on the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran.
The new sanctions came just a day after Washington unilaterally declared that all UN sanctions against Iran were re-instated under a mechanism within the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Pompeo announced on Saturday that all UN sanctions against Iran were "back in effect" under the “snapback” provision in the JCPOA.
The claim came 30 days after Pompeo notified the UN Security Council of what he called Iran’s “significant non-performance” with its obligations under the JCPOA – from which Trump withdrew in May 2018.
Following Pompeo's announcement, the three European signatories to the JCPOA said in a statement that the US claim has no legal effect.
The United Nations secretary-general, for his part, said “uncertainty” prevents him from taking any action on a US declaration that all UN sanctions have been reinstated against Iran.