Washington said on Wednesday it plans to impose sanctions on those who violate a UN arms embargo on Tehran, which the US administration said will stay in place instead of expiring in October as agreed under a 2015 nuclear deal.
US Special Representative for Venezuela and Iran Elliott Abrams said Washington could deny access to the US market to anyone who trades in weapons with Iran.
In 2018 US President Donald Trump quit the Iran nuclear deal - under which Tehran limited its nuclear activities in return for sanctions relief - and reimposed US sanctions. Washington also said it has triggered a return of all UN sanctions on Iran, which would take effect this weekend.
However, the other parties to the nuclear deal - Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia - and most of the UN Security Council have said they do not believe the US can reimpose the UN sanctions.
“It’s like pulling a trigger and no bullet comes out,” a senior UN Security Council diplomat said on condition of anonymity.
“There will be no snapback, the sanctions will remain suspended, the JCPOA (nuclear deal) will remain in place.”
The Trump’s administration accuses Iran of seeking to develop nuclear weapons, however the latter has denied those accusations.
According to Reuters, asked if Washington is “making concrete plans now for secondary sanctions” to enforce the arms embargo, Abrams told reporters: “We are, in many ways, and we will have some announcements over the weekend and more announcements on Monday and then subsequent days next week.”
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday described the opposition to Washington as a “victory of the Iranian nation and the disgraceful defeat of the United States in activation of the snapback mechanism.”