By staff and agency

Trump risks crisis at UN by trying to use Iran deal he shredded: Bloomberg

August 12, 2020 - 0:4

In an article published by Bloomberg on Tuesday, it is said that two years after quitting the 2015 nuclear deal, Donald Trump’s administration is risking a crisis at the United Nations by threatening to reimpose international sanctions on Iran that were eased under the agreement.

“It’s a threat that could produce an outcome that once was unthinkable: pushing allies such as Germany and France to side with Russia and China in the UN Security Council, leaving the U.S. isolated,” Bloomberg said in its article.

Following is an excerpt of the article:

Russia and China have threatened to exercise their veto power to kill the resolution. Diplomats say they don’t expect the U.S. will even muster the required nine votes in the 15-member council that would force them to do so.

People familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified discussing private deliberations, said Security Council members still hoped to forestall a crisis through a compromise, perhaps by extending the arms embargo for a certain period, even if the initial resolution is rejected.

The real flashpoint will come if efforts at compromise fail: Pompeo [U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo] and Craft [U.S. Ambassador to UN Kelly Craft] have said the U.S. can -- and will -- invoke a provision in the Iran accord that lets participants “snap back” UN sanctions that were eased in return for constraints on Iran’s nuclear program.

The result would be a significant expansion of the crippling sanctions on Iran that the U.S. already has imposed under the administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign. Less than three months before the U.S. presidential election, it would be a major escalation of U.S. pressure on Iran, much like the increasingly sharp measures the Trump administration has been taking against China.

“If the Trump administration takes this action and everyone else is on the other side of table, then the administration has once again isolated itself and it will fail,” said Wendy Sherman, who was lead negotiator on the Iran accord as undersecretary of state for political affairs under President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry.

The prospect of the U.S. being isolated in the Security Council was laid bare when Pompeo made an online appearance in June to lobby member nations to support the U.S. move to extend the embargo on Iranian arms purchases and sales. While European countries agreed it’s problematic to let the embargo expire, they rejected the American snapback threat.

Europe will not “support unilateral proposals leading to the return of sanctions,” French Ambassador Nicolas de Riviere said during the meeting. “They would only deepen divisions in the Security Council and beyond and would not be likely to improve the situation on the ground of nuclear nonproliferation.”

“By the time November elections come around, we could be dealing with a crisis” at the UN, said Ellie Geranmayeh, an Iran expert with the European Council on Foreign Relations. “We are going to be in a very, very perilous moment for the nuclear program.”

NA/PA

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