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Trump administration to reimpose sanctions on Iran

Announcement by Secretary of State Pompeo comes amid rising tensions in the region.

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
(Alex Wong / Getty Images)
Updated: September 20, 2020 - 8:04am

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is moving ahead with plans to reimpose UN sanctions on Iran even if other nations don't join in.

The Trump administration's penalties announced late Saturday include an arms embargo, a ban on uranium enrichment and reprocessing-related activities, a prohibition on ballistic missile testing and development and sanctions on the transfer of nuclear- and missile-related technologies.

"The United States expects all UN Member States to fully comply with their obligations to implement these measures,” Pompeo said in a statement, decrying anew the Obama-era nuclear deal with Tehran as a dangerous failure of appeasement. 

"The return of sanctions today is a step toward international peace and security. The 2015 nuclear deal did not induce Iran to join the community of nations as promised," he added. "Instead, the mullahs took their newfound wealth and used it to foment death and destruction from Yemen to Iraq to Lebanon and Syria – a predictable outcome."

President Trump had hinted at the sanctions last week, putting the administration at odds with several United Nations Security Council members who question the U.S. authority to do so without a new UN vote.

The move comes as tensions in the region have grown, and Pompeo blamed Iran for the situation.

"The greatest threat to peace in the Middle East comes from Islamic Republic of Iran, whose violent efforts to spread revolution have killed thousands and upended the lives of millions of innocent people," he said. "History shows appeasement only emboldens such regimes."

Iran's ambassador to the UN, Majid Ravanchi, went to Twitter to denounce the sanctions as “null and void" and predicted the U.S. “swimming against int’l currents will only bring it more isolation.”

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