Defying overwhelming opposition from other countries, the United States is preparing to declare that all international sanctions on Iran have been restored. Few countries believe that the measure is legal and such action could lead to a crisis of credibility at the United Nations.
U.S. plans to enforce U.N. sanctions on Iran with its own action
Donald Trump’s administration will announce Saturday that U.N. sanctions on Iran — softened under the 2015 nuclear deal – are back on Saturday, but the other members of the UN Security Council, including U.S. allies, disagree: they have promised to ignore the decision. This sets the stage for unpleasant diplomatic confrontations as the world agency prepares to celebrate its 75th anniversary at a general assembly session next week with coronavirus restrictions.
The question is how the Trump administration will respond to be ignored. It has already imposed broad sanctions on Iran, but it could punish countries that do not enforce UN sanctions. A total rejection of Washington‘s position could further alienate his government, which has already withdrawn from multiple agencies, organizations and treaties of the United Nations, from the international community.
Amid heated re-election campaign, Trump plans to address Iran’s issue in a speech to the General Assembly on Tuesday. While seeking to prove statesman credentials before the election, Trump has injected uncertainty by threatening to retaliate “1,000 times” harsher against Iran if it attacks U.S. personnel abroad.
…caused over so many years. Any attack by Iran, in any form, against the United States will be met with an attack on Iran that will be 1,000 times greater in magnitude!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 15, 2020
Amid uncertainty on the issue, the other 14 members of the Security Council and 190 of the 195 UN member states say the United States lost its legal capacity to act on sanctions when Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal more than two years ago. The United States argues that it reserves the right to enact the return of sanctions because the Council resolution that approved the agreement refers to it as a participant.