US ready ‘to block Russia & China’ if they disregard Iran sanctions, Pompeo warns, as Washington pushes for UN ‘snapback’

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Friday that the United States is prepared to block Russia and China if they refuse to reimpose UN sanctions on Iran.

The statement came a day after Britain, France and Germany – who are still party to the Iranian nuclear agreement – joined Beijing and Moscow in rejecting the US push for a “snapback” of UN sanctions against Tehran.

Speaking to Fox News, Pompeo said Washington was disappointed its allies did not support the US effort to trigger a “snapback” of UN sanctions, including an arms embargo.

The Trump administration withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal – the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – two years ago, after accusing Iran of violating the agreement.

On Thursday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov described US statements urging the reimposition of UN sanctions against Iran as absurd, adding that Washington has no legal or political grounds to do so. Ryabkov also warned that such a step could result in a crisis at the UN Security Council.

Because the US has left the JCPOA, “it has lost all rights within this document,” Ryabkov said. “No statements that we hear from Washington about Russia and China allegedly having to think about consequences – in the usual US style – will change our position,” the Russian diplomat said.

China’s Foreign Ministry agreed that the US had forfeited its right to request the restoration of the UN sanctions regime against Iran when it withdrew from the JCPOA.

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