Mike Pompeo delivered an embarrassing, clownish performance at the UN on Tuesday, and his attempt to gain support for an open-ended conventional arms embargo on Iran was rejected the rest of the old P5+1:
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on Tuesday for an arms embargo on Iran to be extended indefinitely, but his appeal fell flat at the United Nations Security Council, where Russia and China rejected it outright and close allies of the United States were ambivalent.
The Trump administration is more isolated than ever in its Iran obsession. The ridiculous effort to invoke the so-called “snapback” provision of the JCPOA more than two years after reneging on the agreement met with failure, just as most observers predicted months ago when it was first floated as a possibility. As I said at the time, “The administration’s latest destructive ploy won’t find any support on the Security Council. There is nothing “intricate” about this idea. It is a crude, heavy-handed attempt to employ the JCPOA’s own provisions to destroy it.” It was never going to work because all of the other parties to the agreement want nothing to do with the administration’s punitive approach, and U.S. withdrawal from the JCPOA meant that it forfeited any rights it had when it was still part of the deal.
Opposition from Russia and China was a given, but the striking thing about the scene at the UN this week was that major US allies joined them in rebuking the administration’s obvious bad faith maneuver:
The pointedly critical tone of the debate saw Germany accusing Washington of violating international law by withdrawing from the nuclear pact, while Berlin aligned itself with China’s claim that the United States has no right to reimpose UN sanctions on Iran.