By Amir Taghati
The US special representative for Iran is visiting the United Nations in New York to update the five permanent members of the Security Council about US policy on Iran, as the White House continues to ratchet up pressure on the Iranian Regime.
The US State Department released a statement about Brian Hook’s visit on April 30 and May 1, which read: “He will underscore the importance of holding Iran accountable for its defiance of UN Security Council resolutions on the development and testing of ballistic missiles.”
The statement went on to say that Hook would reiterate the importance of fully implementing all relevant UN Security Council resolutions related to Iran, “including the enforcement of the Council’s legally binding travel restrictions and arms embargoes”.
The US has taken a tough approach to Iran since Donald Trump took office in 2017, which led to the US withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear agreement last May and the reimbursement of sanctions.
Trump said the accord, designed to get Iran to restrict its nuclear program was “fatally flawed” because it failed to address Iran’s ballistic-missile program or state sponsorship of terrorism.
Iran, of course, denied a military aspect to its nuclear program, claimed its ballistic missile program is merely defensive and claimed that it didn’t fund militant groups in the Middle East.
Since pulling out of the nuclear deal, Trump has reimposed nuclear sanctions on Iran, designated Iran regime’s Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) a “foreign terrorist organization”, and ended the sanctions waivers granted in November to the eight largest importers of Iranian oil.
The decision to allow the six-month sanctions waivers to expire was announced by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on April 22 as part of the US push to reduce Iranian regime’s oil exports to zero.
The Iranian regime claimed it will keep exporting oil, but that will be increasingly hard now that the US designated the IRGC as a terrorist group – the first time the US has done so to a state entity of another government – because the IRGC control much of the oil industry, so anyone purchasing Iranian oil will not only be breaking US sanctions but supporting a terror group.
The Iranian regime responded by preposterously designating the US military as a terror group, which was ridiculed by pundits across the political spectrum.
The US has also criticised Germany, France, and Britain for their attempts to launch a new trade mechanism to bypass US sanctions and help foreign firms do business with Tehran.