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Exclusive: Hook Says United States Is Hopeful About Return Of All UN Sanction On Iran

"We Are In A Much Better Position To Deny The Iran Regime A Path To A Nuclear Weapon," Says Brian Hook
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"We Are In A Much Better Position To Deny The Iran Regime A Path To A Nuclear Weapon," Says Brian Hook

In an exclusive interview with Radio Farda, Brian Hook, the United States Special Representative for Iran, said the U.S. is hoping that all U.N. sanctions against Iran will be re-imposed in 29 days.

“There are a lot of good things are going to happen after these sanctions are put back in place,” Hook said. “The arms embargo is going to be renewed and Iran will be prohibited from enriching nuclear material".

Hook stressed that Iran's violation of its nuclear commitments authorizes the U.A. to activate the "trigger" mechanism of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear agreement, and to start the re-imposition of all sanctions on Iran.

The trigger mechanism, part of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, gives participating countries the power to claim that Iran has not fulfilled its obligations and subsequently re-activate or "snapback" the previous U.N. sanctions against the nation.

The United States started the procedure for the activation of the snapback option on August 20.

Iran has argued over the past months that the U.S., which pulled out of the JCPOA in May 2018, is no longer a participating country, while the U.S.' counter-argument is that the country is entitled to activate the trigger mechanism as one of the original signatories to the agreement. The remaining members of the JCPOA have taken Iran's side on the matter.

Emphasizing that both Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. Congress endorse the extension of the arms embargo on Iran that will be lifted in October, Hook explained, "We tried to do it the easy way last week but the [U.N. Security Council] did not pass our resolution so that forced us yesterday to begin the process of snapping back all the U.N sanctions that were lifted under the Iran deal".

Thirteen of the fifteen members of the U.N. Security Council abstained from the vote on the U.S. move to extend the embargo on August 14, with only the Dominican Republic joining the United States to vote in the affirmative.

"We are doing the right thing. The way we see it is national security, it's not a popularity contest. The United States has been down this road before, doing the right and courageous thing to enhance peace and security," Hook said and added that the JCPOA a "political commitment", is not legally binding and "does not even have signatures".

Hook also told Radio Farda that the Trump administration wants the remaining parties in the nuclear agreement to join the U.S.’ diplomatic efforts against Iran, claiming that U.S. diplomacy has been successful in weakening the Iranian regime and its proxies in the region.

Criticizing the European countries' approach to the issue of the Iran arms embargo and emphasizing that Iran is a threat to the security of Europe, Hook alleged that since 1985 the Iranian regime has conducted "dozens of tens of acts of terrorism” in Europe and killed Europeans.

"I don't know who thinks it's a good idea to give this regime more weapons," he asked.

The Trump administration is seeking a comprehensive agreement in the place of the JCPOA that includes measures against threats posed by the Iranian regime, including its nuclear and missile programs, aggressive behavior in the Middle East and hostage-taking.

Hook cited the $200 billion impact that the sanctions have cost Iran as proof of the effectiveness of the U.S. administration's maximum pressure policy on the country, calling the current situation a result of the "Iranian Supreme Leader's choice," despite having been warned that Iran could either start negotiations with the United States or prepare itself for an economic collapse.

Hook also pointed out that the recent U.S.-brokered deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates was a consequence of the United States' withdrawal from the JCPOA, with Israel and the UAE both considering the deal to be a betrayal of their security.

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    Samira Gharaei

    Samira Gharaei is a journalist working at Radio Farda, covering political news. She worked in various Iranian newspapers for 10 years before she joined Radio Farda.