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Pompeo Says US Rights Under UNSCR 2231 Separate From Iran Nuclear Agreement


U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at a press briefing at the State Department in Washington, U.S., April 22, 2020.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday said the rights of the United States under the UN Security Council Resolution 2231 are separate from the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

"Our rights under UNSCR 2231 are separate from the JCPOA. But I’ll put you down for Chinese arms sales to Iran on October 18. Which weapons is it okay with you if they send? A couple of divisions of VT-4 tanks good?," Pompeo wrote in a tweet addressed to U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren on Thursday.

In a Fox News program on Wednesday, Pompeo also declared that President Donald Trump is committed to using "every tool" to prevent Iran from buying more conventional arms. He added that the United States is working with the European countries party to the nuclear agreement to prevent Iran from obtaining more weapons.

A ban on selling conventional weapons to Iran ends in October under a 2015 the Security Council resolution that blessed the denuclearization accord negotiated by former President Barack Obama. President Donald Trump officially left the accord in May 2018 while the other participants – France, Britain, Germany, China and Russia – have remained committed to it.

Secretary Pompeo is currently preparing a legal argument to prove that the United States is still a participant in the nuclear agreement. According to the JCPOA, any of the parties to the agreement can call for the resumption of UN sanctions on Iran and Security Council members cannot veto such a move.

In an exclusive interview with RFE/RL on Thursday, the EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell said the United States can no longer be considered as a participating member of the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran.

"It's clear that in the statement by President Trump and the U.S. presidential memorandum of last May, they announced that he was ending his participation in JCPOA," the EU Foreign Policy Chief said.

Borrell, however, said the United States has a right to call for an arms embargo, like any other U.N. member, if they wish.

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