Trump not receptive to Putin-backed summit on Iran

Putin suggestion came after Trump said he would trigger a ‘snapback’ of sanctions

US president Donald Trump. Photograph: Doug Mills/The New York Times

US president Donald Trump. Photograph: Doug Mills/The New York Times

 

US president Donald Trump has all but dismissed Russian president Vladimir Putin’s call for a summit of world leaders to discuss Iran, saying he probably would not participate.

During a news conference at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, at the weekend, Trump also said he intended to move next week to trigger a “snapback” of sanctions on Iran at the United Nations.

This US threat to trigger a return of all UN sanctions on Iran using a provision in a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers – which was abandoned by Trump in 2018 – would face a tough, messy battle, diplomats have said.

The US lost its bid on Friday to extend the UN arms embargo after Putin proposed a summit of world leaders to avoid “confrontation” over the American “snapback” threat.

“Probably not,” Trump said when asked whether he would participate in the Putin-backed summit.

In the Security Council vote, Russia and China opposed extending the weapons ban, which is due to expire in October. Eleven members abstained, including France, Germany and the UK, while the US and the Dominican Republic were the only yes votes.

‘Serious mistake’

Iranian president Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday the US suffered a humiliating defeat at the Security Council.

“I don’t remember the United States preparing a resolution for months to strike a blow at the Islamic Republic of Iran, and it garners only one vote,” Rouhani said in a televised speech. “But the great success was that the United States was defeated in this conspiracy with humiliation.”

“It’s a serious mistake, we regret that,” US secretary of state Mike Pompeo said on Saturday of the Security Council vote in a news conference during a visit to Poland.

Israeli foreign minister Gabi Ashkenazi said the Security Council’s decision not to extend the arms embargo on Iran would lead to further instability in the Middle East.

“The extremist regime in Iran doesn’t just finance terrorism: it takes an active part in terrorism through its branches around the world and uses it as a political tool. This behaviour represents a danger to regional and international stability,” Ashkenazi said in a statement. – Reuters