US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will likely ask the United Nations to reimpose sanctions on Iran this week, according to Reuters.
Pompeo is expected to travel to New York on Thursday to meet with the UN Security Council, where he will argue that Iran has not complied with the 2015 nuclear deal, thus meriting a return of sanctions, diplomats and a UN official told Reuters.
The United States, Iran, Russia, China and the European Union signed the Iran nuclear deal in 2015. The agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), removed sanctions on the Islamic Republic in exchange for its compliance on its nuclear program.
US President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the deal in 2018 and reimposed tough sanctions on Iran as part of a “maximum pressure” strategy. The United States believes Iran is building a nuclear weapon, which Iran denies.
Part of the agreement included adding an expiration date for a UN weapons embargo on Iran. That arms ban is set to expire in October, per the agreement.
The United States has tried to get the embargo extended for months. Last week, the UN Security Council voted against an extension. European countries remain party to the agreement, as do permanent council members Russia and China.
The United States has said it would initiate snapback sanctions against Iran if the arms embargo was not extended, but the feasibility of this is unclear given that Washington is no longer party to the JCPOA.
Iran policy could change should US Democratic Party presumptive presidential nominee Joe Biden defeat Trump in the November election. Biden was vice president when President Barack Obama negotiated the Iran deal and has indicated that he would support the United States rejoining the agreement under certain conditions.