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17 Aug, 2020 01:39

Pompeo mocked for saying ‘no other state’ can block MULTILATERAL sanctions US wants to impose on Iran despite UNSC pushback

Pompeo mocked for saying ‘no other state’ can block MULTILATERAL sanctions US wants to impose on Iran despite UNSC pushback

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo faced ridicule online after dismissing opposition from other UNSC members to ‘snapback’ sanctions the US wants to hit Iran with, while saying the punitive measures would be “multilateral.”

“If at any time the United States believes Iran has failed to meet its commitments, no other state can block our ability to snap back those multilateral sanctions,” Pompeo declared in a statement posted on his official Twitter account on Sunday evening.

The top US diplomat was referring to the avalanche of sanctions Washington has been hellbent on slapping on Tehran after the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) overwhelmingly rejected the US resolution to extend a 13-year arms embargo against the Islamic Republic past October earlier this week.

The humiliating defeat, which saw only one member of the 15-nation body (the Dominican Republic) siding with the US, while China and Russia opposed the resolution, and all other nations, including France and the UK, abstained, did not discourage Washington, which doubled down on its threat to hit Iran with biting sanctions.

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US Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft said that the US would leave no stone unturned in its push to impose sanctions on Iran, saying that the US “has every right” to target it with so-called ‘snapback’ sanctions under the 2015 nuclear deal which can be enforced if a signatory deems Iran to be in violation of the agreement. Despite leaving the deal in 2018 and effectively bringing it to the brink of collapse with its unilateral withdrawal, the US reportedly circulated a memorandum among the UNSC members, claiming that it was still a member of the accord.

Pompeo’s interpretation of ‘multilateral’ coupled with his intent to disregard any objections other parties to the nuclear agreement (Russia, China, Britain, France, and Germany) may have, baffled quite a few people online.

“Of course other states can block America’s ability to impose multilateral sanctions. The US can impose sanctions by itself, but can’t force others to do it,” Nicholas Grossman, teaching assistant professor at the Department of Political Science, University of Illinois, tweeted.

“That’s what ‘multilateral’ means. Is our SecState really this dumb?” Grossman asked.

Daniel Larison, senior editor at the American Conservative, suggested that Pompeo might be having a hard time grasping the meaning of the word ‘multilateral’.

Some argued that Pompeo could not be unaware of the contradictory nature of his statement. Dan Murphy, former Middle East and South Asia correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor, called it “one of the most diplomatically illiterate sentences of all time.”

“I guess the end game here is [to] alienate the rest of the world even further to feed his persecution complex?” Murphy wrote.

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