U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks throughout a information convention to announce the Trump administration’s restoration of sanctions on Iran, on the U.S. State Division in Washington, September 21, 2020.

Patrick Semansky | Pool | Reuters

WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned Sunday that america will slap sanctions on any particular person or entity that assists Iran’s weapons program, a transfer that can probably additional worsen tensions between Washington and Tehran.

“For the previous 10 years, nations have shunned promoting weapons to Iran beneath numerous UN measures. Any nation that now challenges this prohibition can be very clearly selecting to gas battle and rigidity over selling peace and safety,” Pompeo mentioned in a Sunday assertion.

“Any nation that sells weapons to Iran is impoverishing the Iranian folks by enabling the regime’s diversion of funds away from the folks and towards the regime’s navy goals,” he added.

The menace comes after a decade-long U.N. arms embargo towards Iran formally expired Sunday as a part of the nuclear deal agreed with world powers in 2015.

Iran’s Overseas Ministry introduced that the “Islamic Republic of Iran might procure any needed arms and tools from any supply with none authorized restrictions and solely primarily based on its defensive wants.” Nevertheless, Tehran mentioned it has no intention to go on a shopping for spree of typical arms.

Underneath the U.N. arms embargo, the export of “sure typical arms to Iran” and the “procurement of any arms or associated materiel from Iran” is in violation of the U.N. Safety Council decision and is topic to sanctions.

Nevertheless, the U.N. Safety Council refused in August to help a U.S. effort to increase the arms embargo towards Iran. China and Russia voted towards Washington’s efforts, whereas even shut U.S. allies akin to Britain, France and Germany abstained. Solely the U.S. and the Dominican Republic voted for an extension.

In response, america unilaterally re-imposed U.N. sanctions on Tehran final month by way of a snapback course of, which different U.N. Safety Council members have beforehand mentioned Washington doesn’t have the authority to execute as a result of it withdrew from the nuclear deal in in 2018.

The identical week that the U.S. reimposed the U.N. sanctions the Trump administration upped the ante much more. Pompeo, flanked by Protection Secretary Mark Esper, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, mentioned the administration would sanction Iran’s whole Ministry of Protection.

“Regardless of who you’re, if you happen to violate the U.N. arms embargo on Iran, you threat sanctions,” Pompeo mentioned in an address on Sept. 21. “Our actions right now are a warning that must be heard worldwide,” he added.

Esper adopted on Pompeo’s remarks and mentioned the Pentagon was “prepared to reply to future Iranian aggression” and referred to as on Tehran to “act like a standard nation.”

“We proceed to face shoulder to shoulder with our allies and companions to counter Iran’s destabilizing habits. In doing so, we’ll shield our folks and our pursuits and keep the safety of like-minded nations throughout the area,” Esper added.

Tensions between Washington and Tehran have mounted after President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the landmark Iran nuclear agreement in 2018, calling it “the worst deal ever.”

The 2015 accord lifted sanctions on Iran that crippled its economic system and minimize its oil exports roughly in half. In change for sanctions reduction, Iran accepted limits on its nuclear program till the phrases expire in 2025.

Trump has beforehand mentioned that the U.S. needs to achieve a broader cope with Iran that places stricter limits on its nuclear and ballistic missile work and suppresses the regime’s function in regional proxy wars. Tehran has refused to barter whereas U.S. sanctions stay in place.

Following Washington’s exit from the nuclear deal, different signatories of the pact ⁠— France, Germany, the U.Okay., Russia and China ⁠— tried to maintain the settlement alive. 

Earlier this yr, a U.S. strike that killed Iran’s prime navy commander triggered the regime to additional cut back compliance with the worldwide nuclear pact. In January, Iran mentioned it would no longer limit its uranium enrichment capacity or nuclear research.

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