There will be no “snapback” of sanctions on Iran if the Islamic Republic violates the UN’s arms embargo, Secretary of State John Kerry admitted in an interview with Reuters today.
“The arms embargo is not tied to snapback,” Kerry said. “It is tied to a separate set of obligations. So they are not in material breach of the nuclear agreement for violating the arms piece of it.”
Speaking at a Reuters Newsmaker event, Kerry said a new structure would be created to replace a U.N. panel of experts that has been monitoring compliance with the U.N. sanctions regime. Under the nuclear deal that panel will be abolished in the coming months.
The administration had insisted prior to this concession that the negotiations were only over Iran’s nuclear program.
Iran, backed by Russia and China, demanded that the West lift non-nuclear arms embargoes as negotiations over its nuclear program were concluding. The United States caved to the last-minute demand, allowing the conventional arms embargo against Iran to be lifted after five years and the ballistic missile embargo to be lifted after eight.
A number of Senate Democrats, including Michael Bennet (D – Colo.), Richard Blumenthal (D – Conn.), Robert Casey (D – Penn.) and Chris Coons (D – Del.), expressed their opposition to the arms embargo concession.
Gen. Martin Dempsey, the outgoing chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff, told a Senate hearing late last month that the lifting of the arms embargoes was done against his advice. Andrew Bowen, a senior fellow at the Center for the National Interest, said that doing so would America’s military “at serious risk”
[Photo: Reuters/ YouTube ]