“Two years ago, I withdrew the United States from the disastrous Iran nuclear deal, which was a product of the Obama-Biden foreign policy failure, a failure like few people have seen in terms of the amount of money we paid for absolutely nothing in a short-term deal,” Trump said.
“I won’t say anything because I don't like saying it, but Iran doesn't have so much money to give to the world anymore — to the terrorists, to give to al-Qaeda, various other groups of people that they were funding.”
On Thursday, Pompeo will officially notify the Security Council that Iran is no longer complying with its commitments under the nuclear deal negotiated with the United States and other world powers. That sets the clock to trigger “snapback” sanctions in 30 days.
The move represents a second diplomatic shot after the Security Council roundly rejected a U.S. proposal last week to extend an arms embargo, another part of the nuclear agreement. Only the Dominican Republic voted with the United States, while 11 of the 15 members abstained. Among them were France, Britain and Germany, all of which co-negotiated the nuclear deal with Iran and oppose escalating sanctions.
Now, the Trump administration is relying on a State Department legal opinion that the United States still has authority to invoke the snapback provision because it was a “participant state” in the original agreement. The agreement itself does not address whether a signatory loses its privileges if it withdraws.
Russia, China and the Europeans have all expressed astonishment that the administration would fall back on a clause within the deal to undermine it.
With the U.S. presidential election looming, experts say many countries may ignore the administration’s move while waiting to see if Democratic nominee Joe Biden defeats Trump in November and takes a less confrontational approach to Iran.
Pompeo is undeterred, believing that the rest of the world will abide by the U.N. sanctions, which the Security Council lifted more than four years ago and would return if the Security Council does nothing.
“We have every expectation that they’ll be enforced just like every other U.N. Security Council resolution that is in place,” he told reporters in a news conference Wednesday.
“The enforcement mechanisms will be just the same enforcement mechanisms we have for all of the U.N. Security Council resolutions,” he added.