Iran nuclear deal: US unveils new sanctions on arms sales


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legendTrump administration wants to decrease Iran’s ability to acquire new weapons

The United States has imposed new sanctions on Iran, after other powers rejected their demand to reinstate the UN measures that were lifted under a 2015 nuclear deal.

US President Donald Trump has issued an executive order that opens foreign governments and businesses to economic sanctions if they sell weapons to Iran.

He also announced sanctions against two dozen entities and individuals involved in Iran’s nuclear, missile and conventional weapons activities.

Iran has said they will have no effect.

What is the context of the move?

As part of the nuclear deal, the P5 + 1 group of world powers – China, France, Russia, UK, US and Germany – granted sanctions relief to Iran in exchange for limits to its nuclear program. They have sought to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon – which it denies it wants to do.

The deal has been on the brink of collapse since 2018, when President Trump abandoned it and reinstated US economic sanctions in a bid to force Iran to negotiate a replacement; this would impose indefinite restrictions on its nuclear activities and also halt its development of ballistic missiles.

media legendWhat is the Iran nuclear deal?

Iran has so far refused and has retaliated against US sanctions by canceling a number of key commitments, including those on the production of enriched uranium, which can be used to make reactor fuel, but also nuclear warheads.

Last month, the United Nations Security Council rejected a US draft resolution that would have indefinitely prolonged an arms embargo against Iran that expired in mid-October.

In response, the Trump administration has attempted to “pull back” (re-impose) UN sanctions on Iran, accusing it of significant non-compliance with the nuclear deal.

But other members of the Security Council said the move was void because the United States abandoned the deal two years ago.

Despite this, the Trump administration insisted on Saturday on reinstating UN sanctions on Iran and that the arms embargo would no longer expire.

What is the United States trying to do?

President Trump said on Monday that his new executive order was “essential to enforce” the United Nations arms embargo.

“This order will considerably diminish the capacity of the Iranian regime to export weapons to terrorists and dangerous actors throughout the region, as well as its capacity to acquire weapons to constitute its own forces,” he added.

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The new sanctions will block the ownership and property interests in the United States of those who assist in the supply, sale or transfer of conventional weapons to or from Iran, as well as those who provide technical training, a financial and service support, and other related assistance.

Mr. Trump also announced measures targeting 27 entities and individuals linked to what he called “Iran’s proliferation networks.”

They include the Iranian defense ministry; the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran; the industrial group Shahid Hemmat, which the president said facilitated the development of Iran’s ballistic missiles; and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who has fostered closer ties between his country and Iran.

Iranian envoy to the UN, Majid Takht-Ravanchi, tweeted: “The American decision today to impose sanctions on Iran has no practical effect; rather it is a clear sign of desperation after his recent failures [the] The UN which only added to the isolation of the United States. ”


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