- The US has also refrained from participating in related meetings, and so cannot legally make any demands based on the treaty.
- EU lawmakers are likely to resist the move.
- Pompeo has asked nations to deny Iran overflight rights.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has announced that the Trump administration is going to extend Iran’s weapons embargo. The ban was set to expire in October, as outlined in the Iranian nuclear deal. The unprecedented move has provoked its European allies, who have pointed out that the United States withdrew from the agreement in 2018 on its own accord.
The US has also refrained from participating in related meetings, and so cannot legally make any demands based on the treaty. Pompeo has told reporters that the government will be working to extend the small arms prohibition from expiring in October 2020 as scheduled.
“We’re not going to let that happen. The administration is urging the E3 – Germany, France and the United Kingdom – to take action which is within their capacity today. We’ll work with the UN Security Council to extend that prohibition on those arms sales. And then in the event we can’t get anyone else to act, the United States is evaluating every possibility about how we might do that.”
Pompeo’s pronouncement means that the US can still assert itself in a process that it walked away from two years ago. Because the embargo is enshrined in the Iranian Deal, and therefore a legal segment of the treaty, the EU is unlikely to consent to the matter. Allowing the United States to steamroll through the pact would void other aspects of the deal.
US Calls for Iran Overflight Ban
Apart from the arms embargo, the US government has additionally called upon other nations to deny overflight rights to the Iran-owned Mahan Air. The airline is currently under US sanctions. It was recently involved in unknown deliveries to the currently embattled Venezuelan government, which has also been slapped with economic sanctions by the US.
Pompeo added, “over the last few days, multiple aircraft belonging to Mahan Air have transferred unknown support to the Maduro regime. This is the same terrorist airline that Iran used to move weapons and fighters around the Middle East.” He said that the flights have to stop.
The Trump administration has been putting economic as well as diplomatic pressure on Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro’s regime in order to usurp him from power. His 2018 re-election was considered to be a sham by many Western countries.
Maduro himself currently faces corruption and drug trafficking charges. The US government recently indicted him and a few of his associates for colluding with Colombian cartels to traffic drugs into the United States.
The US considers opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country’s interim president as of January last year. Maduro, however, remains in power. He’s backed by his country’s military and friendly nations such as China, Russia, and Cuba.