Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is preparing a legal argument claiming the country is still a participant in the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran, a U.S. official confirmed to Fox News on Sunday.
This plan would give the U.S. standing at the United Nations Security Council to push to extend the arms embargo on Iran expiring in October, and restore sanctions for Iran’s violations of the deal, Fox News writes.
The State Department has been considering this strategy to restore U.N. sanctions on Iran that were in place for months before the deal came into effect.
The New York Times wrote that the argument “would, in essence, claim it legally remains a ‘participant state’” in the Iran nuclear deal.
“We cannot allow the Islamic Republic of Iran to purchase conventional weapons in six months. President Obama should never have agreed to end the U.N. arms embargo,” Pompeo told The New York Times.
“We are prepared to exercise all of our diplomatic options to ensure the arms embargo stays in place at the U.N. Security Council,” he added.
Tehran gradually has been rolling back its commitment after President Trump pulled the U.S. out of the deal with world powers in 2018 – and recently announced that it no longer would respect limits set on how many centrifuges it could use to enrich uranium.
Iranian officials said their recent move on uranium enrichment was a “remedial step” in line with the deal and could be reversed.
The nuclear agreement was aimed at convincing Iran to stop developing atomic weapons in exchange for economic incentives.
Iran already has struggled under severe U.S. sanctions blocking the sale of its crude oil abroad, measures imposed after Trump unilaterally withdrew America from Tehran’s nuclear deal. That has led to a months-long period of increased tensions that have persisted through the coronavirus pandemic.