US to restore all sanctions on Iran, accuses European allies of ‘siding with ayatollahs’

US to restore all sanctions on Iran, accuses European allies of ‘siding with ayatollahs’
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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks to reporters following a meeting with members of the UN Security Council on Aug. 20, 2020. (Mike Segar/Pool via AP)
US to restore all sanctions on Iran, accuses European allies of ‘siding with ayatollahs’
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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivered the notification to the president of the UN Security Council, setting the stage for a showdown in the world body that could lead to a crisis of credibility for its most important and powerful institution. (Reuters/File Photo)
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Updated 21 August 2020

US to restore all sanctions on Iran, accuses European allies of ‘siding with ayatollahs’

US to restore all sanctions on Iran, accuses European allies of ‘siding with ayatollahs’
  • Pompeo accused Iran of refusing to allow the IAEA to insect Iranian sites formerly part of Iran’s nuclear program that are now suspected of re-engaging in undeclared nuclear activity
  • None of the other council members believe the US has the legal right to demand the re-imposition

CHICAGO: US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo informed the United Nations Thursday that the US was restoring all UN sanctions on Iran that were lifted as a result of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) approved under UN Security Council Resolution 2231 in 2015.

The resolution, which Pompeo called “one-sided” in favor of Iran, includes provisions that allow for the sanctions to be immediately re-imposed by the UN if Iran fails to live up to the agreement.

In letters to both UN Secretary-General Guterres and to the president of the UN Security Council, Pompeo said he is initiating the “snapback” process in the Resolution that would reimpose sanctions within 30 days.

“Our message is very, very simple. The United States will never allow the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism to freely buy and sell planes, tanks, missiles, and other kinds of conventional weapons. These UN sanctions will continue the arms embargo,” Pompeo said at a press conference at the UN Thursday.

“These restored sanctions will also reimpose accountability for other forms of Iranian malign activity that the authors of the nuclear deal foolishly downplayed. Iran will be again prohibited from ballistic missile testing. Iran will be back under sanctions for ongoing nuclear activities — such as the enrichment of nuclear material — that could be applied to a nuclear weapons program.”

Pompeo accused Iran of refusing to allow the IAEA to insect Iranian sites formerly part of Iran’s nuclear program that are now suspected of re-engaging in undeclared nuclear activity.

Pompeo acknowledged that American allies including Germany, France and Britain privately support renewing the arms embargo, but declined to publicly support the “snapback” option. Pompeo accused them with “choosing to side with the ayatollahs,” calling it a “failure of leadership” and “appeasement.”

“Our friends in Germany, France, and the United Kingdom — the E3 — all told me privately that they don’t want the arms embargo lifted either’” Pompeo alleged.

“And yet today, in the end, they provided no alternatives, no options. No country but the United States had the courage and conviction to put forward a resolution. Instead, they chose to side with ayatollahs. Their actions endanger the people of Iraq, of Yemen, of Lebanon, of Syria — and indeed, their own citizens as well.”

Pompeo instead praised the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nations for “showing courage and unity” in confronting Iran’s terrorist policies.

“Two weeks ago, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates sent a letter to the Security Council urging a renewal of the arms embargo before it expired in October,” Pompeo said.

“As Iran’s neighbors, they know better than anyone else the havoc that Iran could create with these weapons. Look, the world — and especially our European friends on the Security Council — should have heeded their words.”

Pompeo urged the international community to join the US effort in re-imposing sanctions and “crafting a stronger deal that addresses the full range of Iran’s maligned behavior.”

He said a resolution requesting re-imposition of the sanctions will be introduced to the United Nations Security Council through the “snapback” provision of the original UN Security Council Resolution 2231.

Pompeo acknowledged that some UN members might oppose the move but said, “As for decisions that other nations make, they’re sovereign countries. They get to make their own choices. But make no mistake about it: It is an enormous mistake not to extend this arms embargo. It’s nuts, right? And I haven’t heard privately from any country that thinks it’s wise, except for perhaps from Iran.”

Pompeo said that since 1985 in Europe alone Iran has conducted “terrorist operations across Europe,” hijacked commercial jets, bombed and murdered “innocent Europeans,” assassinated dissidents in Europe, plotted to “blow up Jewish synagogues.”

“This is not a nation that is capable of or trustworthy to be able to buy and sell weapon systems. And so I just urge the whole world to unite. We have every capacity under 2231 to do this, and we’ll continue this effort. We’re going to make sure that this arms embargo doesn’t come back in place.

President Trump announced in May of 2018 that the United States would no longer comply with political commitments that were a part of the 2015 JCPoA agreement.

Pompeo said the US would back down if Iran were to “behave like a normal nation,” but said it was “unlikely” that Iran would.

“If we could get to a place where we got a full-on agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran to behave like a normal nation and live up to the commitments we’ve asked for, we have been prepared to have that conversation for a long time,” Pompeo said.

“Were we able to achieve that, we would consider withdrawing this. I think it’s unlikely in the 31 days between here and there, but, as a diplomat, I always live in hope.”


UAE confirms record 3,529 new COVID-19 cases plus 4 more deaths

UAE confirms record 3,529 new COVID-19 cases plus 4 more deaths
Updated 22 January 2021

UAE confirms record 3,529 new COVID-19 cases plus 4 more deaths

UAE confirms record 3,529 new COVID-19 cases plus 4 more deaths
  • Dubai Economy issued 2,100 fines and warnings, and closed down 175 businesses in 2020
  • Kuwait records 570 cases, Oman reports 169 cases and 1 death

DUBAI: Authorities in the UAE on Thursday recorded 3,529 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, the highest daily count to date, and four more deaths related to the disease.
Officials from the Ministry of Health and Prevention said the total number of cases in the country has reached 267,258, while the death toll stands at 766. A total of 239,322 patients have recovered from the disease, including 3,901 in the past 24 hours.
Dubai Economy, the emirate’s economic development authority, said it carried out 140,000 inspection visits last year, as a result of which it issued 2,100 fines and warnings, and closed down 175 businesses for failing to comply with precautionary measures designed to slow the spread of the virus.

During their latest daily inspection tours, the authority’s officials ordered one business to close, and issued 23 fines and two warnings for not following the health precautions.
Meanwhile Dubai Municipality announced it has stepped up its inspection campaigns. It added that five businesses were ordered to close, 18 were fined, and warnings were issued to 31 for lack of compliance with precautionary measures.
Dubai Tourism said it has issued more than 200 violation notices during the past three weeks and closed down about 20 establishments. It also announced that all previously issued entertainment permits are “on hold, effective immediately,” and added it will continue to evaluate the situation in consultation with the health authorities.
The General Department of Punitive and Correctional Institutions in Dubai Police has started to give the coronavirus vaccine to inmates of penal and correctional institutions, as part of the emirate’s efforts to achieve acquired immunity, according to a report by state news agency WAM.

Inmates reportedly said they were happy to be vaccinated and praised Dubai Police and medical staff in the prisons for providing them with the vaccinations, medical advice and check ups.
The Zayed Higher Organization for People of Determination, in cooperation with the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company, has launched a campaign to vaccinate people with disabilities, and their families. The effort will begin at the organization’s headquarters in Abu Dhabi, before expanding to Al-Ain and Al-Dhafra regions.

Abdullah Abdul Ali Al-Humaidan, the organization’s secretary-general, said that the vaccine is the safest and most effective way to limit the spread of COVID-19 and maintain the health and safety of the public.
Meanwhile, Umm Al-Quwain’s Executive Council informed all government agencies in the emirate that anti-coronavirus measures due to be implemented from Jan. 24 are being amended. The notice said all government employees will be required to take a PCR test every seven days, at their own expense, if they have not received the required two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. This also applies to outsourced employees and public-service companies.
The council also urged all government agencies in the emirate to encourage their employees and workers to get the vaccination, which is available to everyone free of charge.
Elsewhere, Kuwait reported 570 new cases of COVID-19, raising the total in the country to 159,834. The death toll remains at 951, with no additional deaths reported in the previous 24 hours.

Oman’s health ministry confirmed 169 new cases and one additional death, bringing the national totals to 132,486 and 1,517, respectively.

In Bahrain the death toll stands at 366 after no new deaths were reported. The number of confirmed cases in the country increased by 305.