US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is reportedly drafting his team to come up with legal arguments as to how the United States is still a part on nuclear agreement, although President Donald Trump revoked US participation in 2018, The New York Times reported on Sunday.
According to the report, the moves could be a part of “an intricate strategy to pressure the United Nations Security Council to extend an arms embargo on Tehran” or a move that could result in even harsher sanctions for Iran.
Trump administration officials are reportedly mulling a resolution that would prohibit other countries from exporting conventional arms to Iran after the current ban expires in October. In order for this resolution to circumvent opposition from Russia and China, Pompeo’s team has allegedly come up with a plan in which the White House would claim that, legally, the US is still a part of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.
This could mean that, in the event that the arms embargo is not renewed, the US could enforce it from the position of a signatory, allowing the White House to restore sanctions previously imposed on Tehran before the 2015 accord was signed.
“We cannot allow the Islamic Republic of Iran to purchase conventional weapons in six months. President Obama should never have agreed to end the UN arms embargo. We are prepared to exercise all of our diplomatic options to ensure the arms embargo stays in place at the UN Security Council”, Pompeo declared, as quoted by The NY Times.
Earlier in the week, Pompeo urged the UN to extend the arms embargo against Iran, criticizing Tehran over its recent space launch and calling its space program “neither peaceful nor entirely civilian”.
He also suggested that “no country has ever pursued an intercontinental ballistic missiles capability except for the purpose of delivering nuclear weapons”.