Iran responds to ‘illegal’ US move to reimpose UN sanctions

Iranian president vows ‘crushing response’ amid Trump administration announcement

Iranian president Hassan Rouhani speaks during a cabinet meeting in Tehran, Iran, on Sunday. Photograph: Handout/EPA

Iranian president Hassan Rouhani speaks during a cabinet meeting in Tehran, Iran, on Sunday. Photograph: Handout/EPA

 

The US faces defeat in its move to reimpose UN sanctions on Iran, Iranian president Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday, as Washington declared all UN sanctions on Iran had been restored.

“America is approaching a certain defeat in its sanctions move . . . It faced defeat and negative response from the international community,” Mr Rouhani said in a televised speech.

“We will never yield to US pressure and Iran will give a crushing response to America’s bullying,” he said.

The Iranian rial fell to a record low against the US dollar on Sunday following the Trump administration’s sanctions declaration.

Iran has dismissed the US sanctions move as “void and illegal” and UN secretary general António Guterres told the Security Council on Saturday he cannot take any action on the US declaration because “there would appear to be uncertainty” on the issue.

The three European parties to the Iranian nuclear deal – France, Britain and Germany – said in a statement on Sunday that any decision or action taken to reimpose UN sanctions “would be incapable of legal effect” because Washington was doing so using a mechanism agreed under the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, which the US quit in 2018.

US president Donald Trump is also planning to issue an executive order allowing him to impose US sanctions on anyone violating an arms embargo against Iran.

‘Futile’

The Iranian foreign ministry described Washington’s efforts as “futile”, adding that “the US approach is a major threat to the international peace and security and an unprecedented threat to the UN and the Security Council”.

“Iran emphasises that if the US, directly or with the co-operation of a number of its allies, makes any move in line with these threats, it will face a serious reaction and should account for all its dangerous consequences,” the ministry said in a statement, without elaborating.

Washington has unilaterally reimposed sanctions on Iran since 2018, which combined with a drop in oil prices has crippled the economy in Iran, which also has the highest Covid-19 death toll in the Middle East, with 24,301 deaths.

Iran’s rial has lost about 75 per cent of its value since 2018. – Reuters