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AFP
September 23, 2020

West’s unity on Iran hinges on US vote

World

AFP
September 23, 2020

PARIS: The reimposition of UN sanctions on Iran by the United States in the face of protests by Washington’s European allies marks a highly unusual trans-Atlantic rupture that may only be healed by the coming American elections.

The administration of US President Donald Trump says it has decided to unilaterally reinstate virtually all UN sanctions on Iran lifted under a 2015 nuclear accord with Tehran negotiated under former president Barack Obama.

Trump pulled out of the deal in 2018 to the dismay of European powers. But his administration insists it is still a “participant” and can therefore go ahead with the sanctions, a position denounced by Europe as absurd.

Britain, France and Germany said in a statement on Sunday that the American move “is incapable of having legal effect.” “We have worked tirelessly to preserve the nuclear agreement and remain committed to do so,” they said. The US invasion of Iraq in 2003 had also created a major split in Europe, with France and Germany furiously opposing the military action to oust Saddam Hussein. But Britain, as well as several other European states, joined the US-led coalition.