Exclusive: Hook Says United States Is Hopeful About Return Of All UN Sanction On Iran
Radio Farda Samira Gharaei August 24, 2020
In an exclusive interview with Radio Farda, Brian Hook, the United States Special Representative for Iran, said the U.S. is hoping that all U.N. sanctions against Iran will be re-imposed in 29 days.
"Many good things are going to happen," Hook said. "The arms embargo on Iran will be extended and Iran will not be allowed to enrich uranium."
Hook stressed that Iran's violation of its nuclear commitments authorizes the U.A. to activate the "trigger" mechanism of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear agreement, and to start the re-imposition of all sanctions on Iran.
The trigger mechanism, part of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, gives participating countries the power to claim that Iran has not fulfilled its obligations and subsequently re-activate or "snapback" the previous U.N. sanctions against the nation.
The United States started the procedure for the activation of the snapback option on August 20.
Iran has argued over the past months that the U.S., which pulled out of the JCPOA in May 2018, is no longer a participating country, while the U.S.' counter-argument is that the country is entitled to activate the trigger mechanism as one of the original signatories to the agreement. The remaining members of the JCPOA have taken Iran's side on the matter.
Emphasizing that both Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. Congress endorse the extension of the arms embargo on Iran that will be lifted in October, Hook explained, "We tried to do this using a simple mechanism but the U.N. Security Council did not support our proposed resolution so we had to invoke the trigger mechanism on Thursday to return all U.N. sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran".
Thirteen of the fifteen members of the U.N. Security Council abstained from the vote on the U.S. move to extend the embargo on August 14, with only the Dominican Republic joining the United States to vote in the affirmative.
"The United States has always done the right and courageous thing to ensure peace and security," Hook said, adding that the JCPOA is only a "political agreement that even lacks signatures."
Hook also told Radio Farda that the Trump administration wants the remaining parties in the nuclear agreement to join the U.S.' diplomatic efforts against Iran, claiming that U.S. diplomacy has been successful in weakening the Iranian regime and its proxies in the region.
Criticizing the European countries' approach to the issue of the Iran arms embargo and emphasizing that Iran is a threat to the security of Europe, Hook alleged that Iran has "carried out tens of terrorist plans and operations."
"I don't know who may think that giving weapons to this regime is the right decision," he said.
The Trump administration is seeking a comprehensive agreement in the place of the JCPOA that includes measures against threats posed by the Iranian regime, including its nuclear and missile programs and aggressive behavior in the Middle East.
Hook cited the $200 billion impact that the sanctions have cost Iran as proof of the effectiveness of the U.S. administration's maximum pressure policy on the country, calling the current situation a result of the "Iranian Supreme Leader's choice," despite having been warned that Iran could either start negotiations with the United States or prepare itself for an economic collapse.
Hook also pointed out that the recent U.S.-brokered deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates was a consequence of the United States' withdrawal from the JCPOA, with Israel and the UAE both considering the deal to be a betrayal of their security.
Copyright (c) 2020. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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