The U.S. Congress recently overwhelmingly approved, and President Trump signed into law, new U.S. sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran. These sanctions were in response to Iran’s flagrant support for worldwide terrorism, arms smuggling, provocative and destabilizing missile launches, and gross human rights violations. Many of these activities violate Iran’s international obligations, including UN Security Council Resolution 2231. The new U.S. sanctions were unrelated to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the nuclear deal.
Today, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani threatened that Iran would break its commitments under the JCPOA if the United States chooses to take additional steps to hold Iran accountable for its destabilizing behavior outside of the JCPOA.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley responded to this development: “Iran cannot be allowed to use the nuclear deal to hold the world hostage. Iran, under no circumstances, can ever be allowed to have nuclear weapons. At the same time, however, we must also continue to hold Iran responsible for its missile launches, support for terrorism, disregard for human rights, and violations of UN Security Council resolutions. The nuclear deal must not become ‘too big to fail.’”
Next week, Ambassador Haley will visit the headquarters of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna to discuss with IAEA leadership the extent of Iran’s nuclear activities.