US mulls pressure on European allies for siding with Iran: Report
Iran Press TV
Friday, 28 August 2020 10:32 AM
The administration of US President Donald Trump is reportedly considering options to pressure European members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) following their refusal to support the United States in its efforts to extend an illegal arms embargo on Iran.
Multiple American officials, who spoke to the Washington Free Beacon news website on Thursday, said the Trump administration was mulling repercussions for its European allies after they broke with the US on a proposed Iran arms ban earlier in the month, a move that plunged US diplomatic ties with Europe to a new historic low.
On August 14, the 15-member UNSC unanimously rejected a US resolution to extend an arms embargo on Iran, which is due to expire in October in line with a landmark nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
The resolution needed nine of 15 votes to pass. Eleven members abstained, including France, Germany and Britain, while the US and the Dominican Republic were the only "yes" votes.
The vote highlighted the division between Washington and its European allies since Trump unilaterally withdrew from the JCPOA, which had been endorsed by Security Council Resolution 2231, in May 2018.
The Trump administration's affiliates in Congress expressed anger over Europe's move at the UNSC and acknowledged that relations with the United States could crumble over the Iran dispute.
Washington Free Beacon cited some American officials as saying that the US diplomats were seeking to force European allies to split with Iran as well as Russia and China.
"The fecklessness shown over the last few weeks by Britain, France, and Germany will obviously and unfortunately complicate our relations," said a spokesman for US Republican Senator Ted Cruz, an Iran hawk.
As part of efforts to exert pressure on France, Germany, and the United Kingdom – the E3 – Washington is projected to move forward with plans to levy sanctions on a financial mechanism known as INSTEX, which has been used by Europe to bypass sanctions on Iran and facilitate the export of medical goods from Europe to the country.
The United States could also freeze assets and deny visas to European diplomats who work with INSTEX to help Iran gain access to liquid assets, according to a former senior administration official familiar with the matter.
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