1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a US flag face mask
Image: picture-alliance/AP Photo/M. Segar

US declares unilateral return of UN sanctions on Iran

September 20, 2020

Washington said the arms embargo against Iran was permanently extended and the US would take action against UN members that didn't comply with the sanctions. European nations called the move "incapable of legal effect."


US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Saturday that "virtually all UN sanctions have returned on Iran." Pompeo said the measures included a permanent extension of an arms embargo on Iran.

In addition, Pompeo said the US would announce more measures to "strengthen enforcement of UN sanctions on Iran." He said that maximum pressure would continue until Iran stopped spreading "chaos, violence and bloodshed."

The US said it would "impose consequences" if other member states of the UN did not comply with the sanctions. 

"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," said Pompeo.

Read more: US starts procedure at UN to reactivate Iran sanctions

Opposition against US move

Pompeo's statement followed hours after Iran's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, said the world community should oppose the US use of sanctions and imposition of its will as a "bully".

Iran's foreign minister, Javad Zarif
Iran's foreign minister, Javad Zarif Image: picture-alliance/abaca/SalamPix

"They (other countries) will face the same thing tomorrow when America takes the same action towards the Nord Stream project, as well as other projects because a bully will continue to act as a bully if he is allowed to do it once," said Zarif.

On Friday, the UK, France and Germany said that UN sanctions relief for Iran would continue after September 20 — the deadline set by the US to reimpose sanctions. The trio of European nations, who were also party to the 2015 nuclear deal the US pulled out of, said reimposing sanctions on Iran would be "incapable of legal effect."

am/sms (Reuters, AP, AFP)

Skip next section Explore more
Skip next section Related topics