Pompeo says European allies “haven’t lifted a finger” to block weapons flowing to Iran.
By Paul Shindman, World Israel News
A senior U.S. official said on the weekend that Iran might have enough weapons-grade uranium to make an atomic bomb by the end of the year.
The official also said that Iran has resumed working with North Korea to improve its long-range ballistic missiles, but did not provide any evidence to back up the claims, Reuters reported, adding that the official spoke on condition of anonymity.
“Because of Iran’s provocative nuclear escalation, it could have sufficient fissile material for a nuclear weapon by the end of this year,” the official said.
On Monday, the U.S. will impose additional sanctions on people and groups involved in Iran’s weapons programs as part of the American move to re-impose arms sanctions on the Islamic Republic, despite opposition from other members of the UN Security Council.
“We will announce a range of additional measures to strengthen enforcement of @UN sanctions on Iran. Our maximum pressure campaign on the Iranian regime will continue until it stops spreading chaos, violence, and bloodshed,” Pompeo tweeted on Sunday, as the U.S. said it was imposing the “snapback mechanism” of sanctions against Iran that were lifted when Iran signed the nuclear deal in 2015.
Those sanctions could affect companies in Europe, China and Russia if they choose to resume arms shipments to Iran once the UN embargo expires on October 18.
“We will not hesitate to enforce our sanctions, and we expect all @UN Member States to fully comply with their obligations under these re-imposed restrictions,” Pompeo said.
However, Britain, France and Germany rejected the U.S. bid to reimpose sanctions, saying in a joint statement that because Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear deal in 2018, anything the Americans said in relation to the Iran nuclear program was “incapable of having any legal effect.”
Despite Iranian violations that occurred after the American withdrawal, the group of three countries said it “remains committed to fully implementing” the Security Council resolution that approved the Iran nuclear deal.
Pompeo criticized the Europeans for sitting back while Iran prepares to buy and sell arms, especially with China and Russia.
“They tell us privately we don’t want the arms sales to come back… but they haven’t lifted a finger,” Pompeo said in a Fox News interview.
Last month, after the United Nations Security Council voted in favor of lifting the arms embargo, Iran unveiled a ballistic missile that reportedly can reach the United States.
A report by Iran’s state-controlled Afkar News boasted about the damage that the Iranian regime could inflict on the U.S.. It was headlined: American Soil Is Now Within the Range of Iranian Bombs.