Trump said preparing executive order to sanction any who break Iran arms embargo

US President Donald Trump is planning to sign an executive order authorizing him to enact sanctions against anyone who breaks an arms embargo on Iran which is set to expire in October, Reuters reported Friday, citing multiple sources with knowledge of the matter.

The measure will allow Washington to bar access to US markets to any violators of the embargo, the report said.

The White House has yet to comment on the report.

The US has sought the indefinite extension of an arms embargo that would otherwise expire on October 18 under the nuclear deal. The Security Council rejected a US effort to extend the embargo in a lopsided vote that got support from only one country, the Dominican Republic.

And in defiance of overwhelming opposition, the US is preparing to declare that all international sanctions against Iran have been restored. Few countries believe the move is legal, and such action could provoke a credibility crisis at the United Nations.

Virtually alone in the world on the matter save for Israel, the Trump administration will announce on Saturday that UN sanctions on Iran eased under the 2015 nuclear deal are back in force, after invoking a “snapback” clause despite having pulled out of the landmark pact.

The other members of the UN Security Council, including US allies, say the US lost the right to trigger a return to sanctions and have vowed to ignore the step. That sets the stage for ugly confrontations as the world body prepares to celebrate its 75th anniversary at a coronavirus-restricted General Assembly session next week.

Illustrative: The UN Security Council holds a meeting, at United Nations headquarters, November 20, 2019. (Mary Altaffer/AP)

Aside from Israel and the Gulf Arab states, almost no country in the world agrees with the US. Russia and China, along with American allies Britain, France and Germany, who often disagree but remain parties to the 2015 agreement, are united in declaring the US action “illegal.”

Nonetheless, the US special envoy for Iran, Elliott Abrams, told reporters Wednesday that all UN sanctions would “snap back” at 8 p.m. EDT on Saturday.

”We expect all UN member states to implement their member state responsibilities and respect their obligations to uphold these sanctions,” Abrams told reporters.

Iran has responded angrily to the US bid.

“The reality is simple. The US is not a member of the nuclear deal to use the so-called snapback mechanism against Iran; even if the US were a member of the nuclear deal, it could not do the snapback without implementing its nuclear deal undertakings with goodwill,” Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mohsen Baharvand said on Wednesday, according to the semi-official Fars News Agency.

Iranian lawmakers have openly said the Islamic Republic will resume its nuclear activities if the sanctions are imposed.

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