US: Snapback Sanctions Go Into Force

24 Sep 2020

US: Snapback Sanctions Go Into Force

By Andrew Hanna

The United States Institute of Peace

September 21, 2020

Updated September 24, 2020

https://iranprimer.usip.org/blog/2020/sep/21/us-snapback-sanctions-go-force-0

 

On September 19, the Trump administration formally reimposed U.N. sanctions on Iran that had been lifted as part of the 2015 nuclear deal. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared that the United States unilaterally would reenact five sets of U.N. sanctions from 2006 through 2010, despite opposition from the other five major powers that brokered the nuclear deal and most of the 15-member Security Council. The original sanctions had been lifted in Resolution 2231, which was proposed by the Obama Administration and accepted in a unanimous vote by the Security Council in September 2015. Lifting those sanctions was the incentive for Iran to comply with limited its nuclear program and surrendering some parts of it. The old sanctions now reimposed by the United States include: 

  • Resolution 1696: (from July 2006) which urged member states not to the transfer materials and technology for ballistic missile programs. It also demanded Iran halt its uranium enrichment.
  • Resolution 1737 (from December 2006) which prevented the sale or transfer of items to Iran that used for ballistic missiles.
  • Resolution 1747 (from March 2007) which restricted conventional arms transfers to and from Iran.
  • Resolution 1803 (from March 2008) which expanded the scope of restrictions on the transfer of nuclear and items related to ballistic missiles.
  • Resolution 1929 (from June 2010) which required states to prevent the supply of most major conventional arms and combat equipment to Iran. It called on states to inspect vessels on their territory suspected of carrying prohibited items to Iran.

The Trump administration also threatened third-party sanctions, which would punish any U.N. member state that sold or provided Iran with conventional arms and materials for its missile and nuclear industries. “The United States is prepared to use our domestic authorities to impose consequences for those failures and ensure that Iran does not reap the benefits of UN-prohibited activity,” Pompeo said in a statement.

The Trump administration triggered the so-called “snapback provision” — embedded in the nuclear deal — after the Security Council vote rejected a U.S. proposal to indefinitely extend the conventional arms embargo on Iran. The vote — two for, two against and 11 abstentions — was one of the worst diplomatic defeats for Washington at the world body. The Dominican Republic was the only country that voted with the United States. Under the nuclear deal, the arms embargo expires on October 18, 2020.

In additional new sanctions against Iran, the Trump administration targeted 24 government organizations, companies, officials and suppliers connected to conventional arms, nuclear and missile program. On September 21, Pompeo, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, U.N. Ambassador Kelly Knight Craft and National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien spoke at a joint press conference.

The new sanctions targeted:

  • Iran’s Ministry of Defense and Armed Force Logistics (MODAFL)
  • Iran’s Defense Industries Organization (DIO), the state-run conglomerate that oversees domestic military manufacturing, and its director Mehrdad Akhlaghi-Ketabchi.
  • Three Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) deputy directors and the AEOI spokesperson.
  • Six individuals and four companies that supplied liquid fuel for ballistic missiles and space rockets.
  • Five Iranian nationals involved in procuring nuclear material or acquiring knowledge on nuclear technology 
  • Two Iranian officials who supervised or installed advanced centrifuge installation
  • Nicholas Maduro, the president of Venezuela, for the purchase or sale “of arms or related material, including spare parts” from Iran.

President Donald Trump vowed that the United States would use “every tool at our disposal” to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon or expanding its missile program “The United States will not allow the Iranian regime to further advance capabilities to directly threaten and terrorize the rest of the world,” he said in a statement. The following are statements by the White House, the State Department and the Treasury on snapback sanctions.

 

President Donald Trump: Statement by the President Regarding New Restrictions on Iran’s Nuclear, Ballistic Missile, and Conventional Weapons Pursuits

September 21 - Today, I am taking new actions to restrict Iran’s nuclear, ballistic missile, and conventional weapons pursuits.  My Administration will never allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon, nor will we allow Iran to endanger the rest of the world with a fresh supply of ballistic missiles and conventional arms.  To ensure this cannot happen, I am issuing a new Executive Order, restoring United Nations (UN) sanctions on Iran, and imposing new sanctions and export controls on more than two dozen entities and individuals that support Iran’s nuclear, missile, and conventional arms-related activities.

The Executive Order I am issuing today blocks the property, and interests in property, in the United States of those who contribute to the supply, sale, or transfer of conventional arms to or from Iran, as well as those who provide technical training, financial support and services, and other assistance related to these arms.  This Executive Order is critical to enforcing the UN arms embargo on Iran.  The order will greatly diminish the Iranian regime’s capacity to export arms to terrorists and dangerous actors throughout the region, as well as its ability to acquire weapons to build up its own forces.

Today, my Administration is also imposing new sanctions and export control measures on 27 [sic] entities and individuals connected to Iran’s proliferation networks.  These actions target the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran for its role in Iran’s nuclear escalation, the Iranian missile organization Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group for facilitating ballistic missile development, and two Iranian entities for their involvement in the transfer and acquisition of conventional arms.

The United States has now restored UN sanctions on Iran.  The Iranian regime has repeatedly lied about its secret nuclear weapons archive and denied access to international inspectors, further exposing the deep flaws of the last administration’s failed nuclear deal from which I withdrew the United States.  The world cannot afford to sit idly by as Iran builds a nuclear weapon.  My Administration is restoring these sanctions as part of our efforts to ensure that never happens.

My actions today send a clear message to the Iranian regime and those in the international community who refuse to stand up to Iran.  The United States will not allow the Iranian regime to further advance capabilities to directly threaten and terrorize the rest of the world.  My Administration will use every tool at our disposal to stop Iran’s nuclear, ballistic missile, and conventional weapons pursuits.  The Iranian regime must change its behavior if it hopes to provide what the Iranian people so desperately want and deserve: a thriving and prosperous Iran.

 

 

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo: The United States Imposes Sweeping New Sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran

September 21 - The Trump Administration has made clear that the United States will do whatever it takes to prevent the Islamic Republic of Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism and anti-Semitism, from spreading death and mayhem throughout the Middle East and the world. Rather than wait for the day that Iran threatens the world with a nuclear weapon, the United States is again fulfilling the best traditions of American global leadership and taking responsible action.

 

Today, under the leadership of President Donald J. Trump, the Departments of State, Treasury, and Commerce took significant action to counter Iranian nuclear threats as well as missile and conventional arms proliferation.

Across each of these areas, the Islamic Republic of Iran poses a unique threat to the world. The regime uses its nuclear program to extort the international community and threaten regional and international security. Iran possesses the largest ballistic missile force in the Middle East, and it has exported both missiles and missile production technology to violent non-state actors such as Houthi militias in Yemen and Hizballah terrorists in Lebanon and Syria. The U.S. and partner forces have repeatedly interdicted Iranian weapons en-route to the Houthis in the past year, demonstrating that the regime continues to use its arsenal of conventional weapons to destabilize the Middle East and foment sectarian violence and terrorism across the region.

These actions underscore that the United States will not hesitate to counter the Iranian nuclear, missile, and conventional arms threats that led the UN Security Council to unanimously impose sanctions on Iran in the first place beginning in 2006. These measures are now again in force against Iran, thanks to the return of sanctions pursuant to UN Security Council resolution 2231.

Our actions include:

  • Issuance by President Trump of a new Executive Order targeting Iran-related conventional arms transfers. The UN arms embargo on Iran is now re-imposed indefinitely, and we will ensure that it remains in place until Iran changes its behavior. The new Executive Order gives us the tools to hold accountable actors who seek to evade the embargo.
  • Designation by the Department of State of Iran’s Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL), Iran’s Defense Industries Organization (DIO) and its Director, Mehrdad Akhlaghi-Ketabchi, as well as Nicolas Maduro, the illegitimate dictator of Venezuela, for conventional arms-related activities pursuant to the new Iran Conventional Arms Executive Order.
  • Designation by the Departments of State and Treasury of six individuals and three entities associated with the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) pursuant to Executive Order 13382 (WMD Proliferators and Their Supporters). This action includes one individual and one entity who were re-listed by the UN sanctions that returned on September 19, 2020.
  • Addition of five individuals affiliated with the AEOI to the Commerce Department’s Entity List, which will impose export control restrictions on these individuals.
  • Designation by the Department of Treasury of three individuals and four entities associated with Iran’s liquid propellant ballistic missile organization, the Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group (SHIG) pursuant to Executive Order 13382, and updates to the existing sanctions listings for two SHIG individuals already designated pursuant to Executive Order 13382.

The Trump Administration is keeping Americans and citizens across the Middle East and Europe safe by taking responsible actions against the world’s leading state sponsor of terror and anti-Semitism. We will continue and expand our sanctions until Iran is willing to conclude a comprehensive negotiation that addresses the regime’s malign behavior. We are always open to diplomacy with Iran, but Iran must respond with diplomacy, not with more violence, bloodshed, and nuclear extortion. Until then, maximum pressure will continue.

 

Treasury Department: Treasury Sanctions Key Actors in Iran’s Nuclear and Ballistic Missile Programs

Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned three Deputy Directors of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) and a number of its subsidiaries. Companies supplying equipment for Iran’s ballistic missile production overseen by Iran’s Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO) and senior officials working on Iran’s missile programs have also been designated. Today’s actions by Treasury, the Department of State, and the Department of Commerce target entities and personnel directly involved in Iran’s nuclear, ballistic missile, and conventional arms programs.

“The Trump Administration remains fully committed to its maximum pressure campaign against the Iranian regime to prevent the production of a nuclear weapon and other malign activities,” said Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. “The Treasury Department will not hesitate to target anyone who trades conventional arms with Iran, provides support to its nuclear program, or facilitates its development of ballistic missiles.”

 

 

Treasury’s designations are being taken pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13382, which provides authority to impose sanctions on proliferators of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their supporters. These actions are being taken in support of the effort to implement and enforce UN sanctions on Iran previously lifted under UN Security Council Resolution 2231.

SANCTIONS ON IRAN’S NUCLEAR PROGRAM
Treasury designated Mohammad Ghannadi Maragheh, AEOI’s Deputy Head of Nuclear Planning and Strategic Supervision, and Javad Karimi Sabet, AEOI’s Deputy Head and the head of AEOI’s Nuclear Science and Technology Research Institute (NSTRI) pursuant to E.O. 13382 for their relationship to the AEOI, a central part of Iran’s nuclear program. UN sanctions on Ghannadi Maragheh and Karimi Sabet were lifted in January 2016 under UN Security Council Resolution 2231, but have now been reimposed under “snapback”; therefore, these individuals have been added to OFAC’s list of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (SDN List).

On January 30, 2020, the State Department sanctioned the AEOI for having engaged, or attempted to engage, in activities or transactions that have materially contributed to, or pose a risk of materially contributing to, the proliferation of WMD by a foreign country of proliferation concern. The Advanced Technologies Company of Iran (IATC)Mesbah Energy Company, and NSTRI are entities subordinate to the AEOI and active components of Iran’s nuclear program. Treasury previously identified IATCMesbah Energy Company and NSTRI as part of the Government of Iran on November 5, 2018. Their listings have been updated to reflect their designation pursuant to E.O. 13382 and their role as key components of Iran’s nuclear program. AEOI spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi and Deputy Director Pezhman Rahimian, who heads the sanctioned AEOI-affiliated Nuclear Fuel and Raw Materials Production Company, were also designated pursuant to E.O. 13382.

SANCTIONS ON IRAN’S BALLISIC MISSILE PROGRAMS

Treasury designated Iran-based Mammut Industrial Group (Mammut Industries) and its subsidiary Mammut Diesel pursuant to E.O. 13382 for providing support to an entity in Iran’s ballistic missile program. Mammut Industries and Mammut Diesel are key producers and suppliers of military-grade, dual-use goods for Iran’s missile programs. Since early 2000, Mammut Industries has supported the production of ballistic missile equipment for Iran’s AIO and specifically, Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group (SHIG), Iran’s primary developer of liquid propelled missiles. As of late-2019, Mammut Industries continued to support SHIG’s production of ballistic missile equipment. Behzad Ferdows and Mehrzad Ferdows are two of the shareholders of Mammut Industries, and Mehrzad Ferdows is also the company’s CEO. Mohammad Reza Dezfulian is the Managing Director of Mammut DieselBehzad FerdowsMehrzad Ferdows, and Mohammad Reza Dezfulian were designated pursuant to E.O. 13382.

Also designated pursuant to E.O. 13382 are AIO official Asghar Esma’ilpur and long-time SHIG official Mohammad Gholami. Esma’ilpur has served as the Director of SHIG’s Shahid Haj Ali Movahed Research Center, which has played a key role in Iranian-North Korean missile cooperation. Treasury designated Shahid Haj Ali Movahed Research Center pursuant to E.O. 13382 on March 24, 2016 under the name Shahid Movahed Industries and has now updated its SDN listing to reflect this new alias.

Treasury also updated the SDN listing for Seid Mir Ahmad NooshinNooshin previously served as the Director of SHIG and, in that role, was key to negotiations with the North Koreans on long-range missile development projects. Nooshin’s entry on the SDN List was updated to reflect his current position as the Director of AIO.

BASES FOR DESIGNATION

Advanced Technologies Company of Iran, Nuclear Science and Technology Research Institute, and Mesbah Energy Company are being designated for being owned or controlled by the AEOI, a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to E.O. 13382.

Pezhman RahimianBehrouz KamalvandiJavad Karimi Sabet, and Mohammad Ghannadi Maragheh are being designated for acting or purporting to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, the AEOI, a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to E.O. 13382.

Mammut Industries is being designated for having provided, or attempted to provide, financial, material, technological or other support for, or goods or services in support of SHIG, a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to E.O. 13382.

Mammut Diesel is being designated for being owned or controlled by Mammut Industries, a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to E.O. 13382.

Behzad Ferdows and Mehrzad Ferdows are being designated for acting or purporting to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, Mammut Industries, a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to E.O. 13382.

Mohammad Reza Dezfulian is being designated for acting or purporting to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, Mammut Diesel, a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to E.O. 13382.

Asghar Esma’ilpur is being designated for acting or purporting to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, AIO, a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to E.O. 13382.

Mohammad Gholami is being designated for acting or purporting to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, SHIG, a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to E.O. 13382.

Concurrent with this action, the Department of Commerce is adding the names of five Iranian nuclear scientists to its Entity List. Also concurrent with today’s Treasury designations, the State Department is imposing sanctions on AEOI officials Hamid Reza Ghadirian and Ahmad Asghari Shiva’i pursuant to E.O. 13382.

SANCTIONS IMPLICATIONS

As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of these targets that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons must be blocked and reported to OFAC. OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all dealings by U.S. persons or within the United States (including transactions transiting the United States) that involve any property or interests in property of blocked or designated persons.

In addition, persons that engage in certain transactions with the individuals and entities designated today may themselves be exposed to sanctions or subject to an enforcement action. Furthermore, unless an exception applies, any foreign financial institution that knowingly facilitates a significant transaction for any of the individuals or entities designated today could be subject to U.S. sanctions.

 

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo: The Return of UN Sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran

September 19 - The Trump Administration has always understood that the greatest threat to peace in the Middle East comes from Islamic Republic of Iran, whose violent efforts to spread revolution have killed thousands and upended the lives of millions of innocent people. History shows appeasement only emboldens such regimes. Thus today, the United States welcomes the return of virtually all previously terminated UN sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terror and anti-Semitism.

Sanctions are being re-imposed on Iran pursuant to the snapback process under UN Security Council resolution (UNSCR) 2231. On August 20, the United States notified the President of the Security Council of Iran’s significant non-performance of its JCPOA commitments. This notification triggered the 30-day process leading to the snapback of previously terminated UN sanctions, which became effective at 8pm Eastern Daylight Time on September 19. This means that starting today, all of the provisions of UNSCRs 1696, 1737, 1747, 1803, 1835, and 1929 that were terminated by UNSCR 2231 are back in effect. Furthermore, the measures contained in paragraphs 7, 8, and 16 to 20 of UNSCR 2231 are now terminated.

The United States took this decisive action because, in addition to Iran’s failure to perform its JCPOA commitments, the Security Council failed to extend the UN arms embargo on Iran, which had been in place for 13 years. The Security Council’s inaction would have paved the way for Iran to buy all manner of conventional weapons on October 18. Fortunately for the world, the United States took responsible action to stop this from happening. In accordance with our rights under UNSCR 2231, we initiated the snapback process to restore virtually all previously terminated UN sanctions, including the arms embargo. The world will be safer as a result.

The United States expects all UN Member States to fully comply with their obligations to implement these measures. In addition to the arms embargo, this includes restrictions such as the ban on Iran engaging in enrichment and reprocessing-related activities, the prohibition on ballistic missile testing and development by Iran, and sanctions on the transfer of nuclear- and missile-related technologies to Iran, among others. If UN Member States fail to fulfill their obligations to implement these sanctions, the United States is prepared to use our domestic authorities to impose consequences for those failures and ensure that Iran does not reap the benefits of UN-prohibited activity.

The return of sanctions today is a step toward international peace and security. The 2015 nuclear deal did not induce Iran to join “the community of nations” as promised. Instead, the mullahs took their newfound wealth and used it to foment death and destruction from Yemen to Iraq to Lebanon and Syria – a predictable outcome. Were it not for U.S. action to restore UN measures, the Iranian regime would soon be able to buy and sell weapons more freely across the globe. Because of the failures of the JCPOA, Iran is nearly five years closer to the expiration of restrictions on Iran’s uranium enrichment program and reprocessing-related activities, bringing it unacceptably close to a dangerous nuclear breakout capability. However, thanks to the snapback of UN sanctions, Iran is now obligated to suspend enrichment, reprocessing, and heavy-water-related activities. We will never let the world’s leading state sponsor of terror obtain the world’s most deadly weapon.

 

In the coming days, the United States will announce a range of additional measures to strengthen implementation of UN sanctions and hold violators accountable. Our maximum pressure campaign on the Iranian regime will continue until Iran reaches a comprehensive agreement with us to rein in its proliferation threats and stops spreading chaos, violence, and bloodshed.

 

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo: Interview with Felice Friedson of The Media Line

QUESTION:  In August, you notified the United Nations Security Council of Tehran’s breaches of its commitment to JCPOA, the Iranian nuclear agreement, and over the weekend, as the statutory notification period lapsed, you announced the implementation of the snapback provisions, re-establishing previous sanctions.  But the U.S. appears to be alone in its reliance on that provision or even its legitimacy.  How will you enforce it when America’s closest allies are siding with Iran?

SECRETARY POMPEO:  It’s very unfortunate that the French and the Germans and the United Kingdom have all chosen not to stand with us for what’s right, which is to make sure that Iran never has the capacity to buy and sell weapon systems and create wealth and foment terror.  We’re deeply disappointed.  It’s been their longstanding policy with respect to this dangerous nuclear deal that they want to stand by it.  We think this now creates even more risk.

But I don’t think we’re actually alone.  I think there’s a whole lot of countries that understand this risk.  They’re happy that the United States has done what we have done.  They may not be able to admit it publicly, but even those European countries know that the world is safer, and that in fact their people are safer, without Iran being able to buy and sell weapons.

And so at the UN, we’ll have a number of countries who are with us.  The GCC issued a statement in support of what we’ve done at the United Nations.  And the United States will always do the right thing.  We know this is the right thing.  These – we had the authority to execute the snapback.  We’ve now done so.  And we’ll use every tool in America’s diplomatic arsenal to ensure that those new UN Security Council resolutions that have now snapped back will be enforced.  I’m confident, frankly, that companies all around the world will understand the risk of violating those UN Security Council resolutions, and they will comply with them.

QUESTION:  The strength of the United States is formidable.  The threat of American sanctions applied to anyone violating the restrictions is powerful.  Do you see a realistic possibility that U.S. allies will reverse their stance and support the American position on snapback?  And if not, what’s Plan B?

SECRETARY POMPEO:  So, look, I think your first point is right.  I do think that the capacity for the United States to be part of a coalition that enforces these UN Security Council resolutions is real and that we’ll be successful in that.  As for what their governments will choose, I hope the people in these countries will all come to see that their governments got this wrong.  Standing by the Iranians, trying to stay in this deal that the Iranians are clearly in gross violation of today, a nation, a regime that has now got 40 years of terror and has conducted terror campaigns throughout the world – I’ll give you another example.  President Macron is working hard to achieve a good outcome in Lebanon.  We support him on that. 

But at the same time, France is now going to allow Iran to become wealthier and to have weapons that will fall into the hands of Hizballah, creating real risk for the Lebanese people.  You – it is very difficult to hold both of these thoughts in your head at the same time.  And we do hope – we do hope that these – the leaders in these countries will come to see that Iran presents a risk that is worthy of continuing to enforce these Security Council resolutions against.

 

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo: Interview with Fox News Sunday Morning Futures

QUESTION: Are you expecting retaliation of any sort from Iran, and what has been the reaction from the leaderships of these countries in the face of pushback from Iran?  Are they getting bullied by the Iranian officials?

SECRETARY POMPEO: Well, remember there’s two things going on.  One, we have this peace deal, and then last night at midnight the UN sanctions snapped back, putting another increasing restraint on the capacity for the Islamic Republic of Iran to create harm in the Middle East.  We now – the United States has led and will prevent arms trafficking by Iran.  It was – the previous deal with Secretary Kerry and Vice President Biden signed off on was to allow the Iranians on October 18th, just a couple of weeks from now, to traffic in weapons again.  It’s nuts, absolutely nuts.  We stopped that.  We stopped it last night with action at the United Nations.  We’ll talk more about that tomorrow.

But Iran has been fomenting terror in the region for 40 years since the revolution.  There’s no reason to expect that in the short run they have any way of getting out of the box and changing their ideology and their theocratic, kleptocratic nature.  What President Trump has said is we’re going to deny them the resources.  We’re not going to send crates of cash.  We’re not going to allow them to do business in the world.  We’re not going to allow them to create the very wealth that destroys the opportunity for peace in the region.

 

I’ll give you another example.  Everyone wants Lebanon to get better.  President Macron is leading an effort there.  And yet the Europeans have not joined us in stopping arms trafficking.  Those weapons – those weapons that Iran will sell – will end up in the hands of Hizballah and make life tragically worse for the people of Lebanon.

The world needs to unite around the central idea that the Islamic Republic of Iran is the greatest threat, and when that regime changes its behavior, we have the chance to create true global stability in the region.  It’s what we’ve been working on.  It’s what President Trump asked us to do.  And now, three years in, we can show the fruits of that effort.

QUESTION:  Yeah.  I mean, where is Europe in this?  Similar situation as it relates to China.  You’ve got 30 countries pushing back on Huawei and we’re still waiting on any resolution in Europe.  Same with Iran.  Can you talk about that a bit and just give me the practical changes that we’ll see as a result of this snapback in sanctions on Iran?

SECRETARY POMPEO: So the second question as a practical thing, there’ll be a whole lot more things that would have taken place absent the UN Security Council resolutions coming back into effect last night – arms sales, tanks, air defense systems.  All of those in a couple of weeks would have been permitted to have been sold.

And the Europeans have not joined us in this.  They know we’re right.  They tell us privately we don’t want the arms sales to come back.  Indeed, they’ve put in a letter that they are very concerned about these arms sales, but they haven’t lifted a finger.  They haven’t done the work that needs to be done.  They have no option, no alternative to what we’ve done, to ensure that that doesn’t happen.  I hope they’ll join us.  I hope they’ll get to the right place.  They’re still wedded to this silly nuclear deal that was signed now five years ago.  I hope they will come to understand that if you really want to lead, if you want to be part of a global coalition to reduce risk in the Middle East, then you need to join us.  We need these sanctions to snap back.

Europe is getting better, Maria, with respect to how they’re thinking about China.  We spent a couple years just sharing the risks with them.  We’ll begin an EU-China dialogue before too terribly long, where we’ll begin to have conversations about how we can together put down this threat from the Chinese Communist Party that it presents to the freedom, to religious freedom, to commerce and trade – all the things that Western nations value, all the value sets that we hold.  We’ll push back, and I am hopeful that the Europeans will get onboard.  Many of the countries have already.  I hope the larger ones will join us in this as well.

 

Photo Credits: Pompeo by U.S. Department of State via Flickr (Public Domain), Mnuchin by U.S. Department of State via Flickr (Public Domain)

 

Andrew Hanna, a research analyst at the United States Institute of Peace, assembled this report