Experts told CNN that this unilateral effort – which comes two months before the presidential election – is unlikely to have an impact on arms sales on its own. Some say the move alienates the US from its E3 allies – Germany, France and the United Kingdom and jointly pursues the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
Although the US withdrew that deal in 2018, administration officials have argued that they have the legal authority to trigger sanctions lifted as part of the agreement.
Iran’s Special Representative Elliott Abrams told reporters this week that at 8 pm ET on Saturday, “all UN sanctions on Iran will be back”.
“We expect each nation to comply with UN Security Council resolutions – period, full stop,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Thursday. “And the United States is intent on implementing all UN Security Council resolutions. And come Monday, there will be a new series of UN Security Council resolutions that we implement, and we want each country to stand behind them. Intend to be told to be. ”
Barbara Slavin, director of the Future of Iran Initiative at the Atlantic Council, said, but given that most countries have rejected the US legal argument and are willing to ignore snapback restrictions, “absolutely nothing will change.”
“It has no practical meaning, and in a sense it just looks ridiculous and more isolated, because we’re screaming, you know, ‘this is the case,’ and the rest of the world is saying, ‘No, no it’s not Is, ” he told CNN.
“It is still illegal under US law for American companies to sell weapons to Iran. There is a European weapon, which will continue until 2023. The rest of the world will wait for the US presidential elections and then decide whether Iran will Not to sell weapons, “Slavin said.” It’s really more about the Trump administration trying to bury the JCPOA, while it thinks it’s the opportunity. ”
Slavin and Eric Brewer, deputy director and senior fellow with the project on nuclear issues at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said the US could already take a wide range of sanctions under its own authorities without re-enforcing Snapchat restrictions .
“I think at this point it’s mostly about prompting the collapse of the JCPOA, because I think the administration has such a feeling at this point that they actually put a lot of pressure on the way they argue. The goal is to pour. Brewer told CNN, “At this point, where it comes back to the table and the United States is willing to make many concessions on the demands it has placed.”
Richard Goldberg, a senior adviser at the Foundation for Defense of Democracy, argued that “the JCPOA is basically dead already. We have not yet been cremated.”
Goldberg told CNN that he would expect President Donald Trump to issue an executive order “authorizing sanctions imposed on any firm or individual associated with the transfer of advanced conventional weapons going forward to Iran.”
“This is a major threat to their global defense sales, both from Moscow and Beijing,” he said. “They have to make a calculation, if the president is willing to implement those restrictions, whether they want to sacrifice their other sales around the world to help or risk the Islamic Republic.”
However, experts said that Russia and China are unlikely to proceed with any arms transfer until after the US election in November.
“Nobody is really in the mood to participate in it before November, when we see what happens in the United States,” Brewer said.