US threatens sanctions for China and Russia over Iran arms deals | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

US threatens sanctions for China and Russia over Iran arms deals

Chinese and Russian defense companies that strike weapons deals with Iran will suffer the “very full force” of U.S. sanctions, according to the State Department, despite Western disagreements about the legality of President Trump’s move to renew an international arms embargo.

“It's the position of the United States that the arms embargo should be extended, and had it been extended, we would not have had to snap back to restore the full panoply of U.N. sanctions,” State Department special representative Elliot Abrams, the lead official for Iran, told reporters Wednesday. "So, one practical effect, we believe, will be to say to arms manufacturers and traders around the world that if you engage in business with Iran, very full force of these new, or rather restored, sanctions will be felt immediately, they will be placed on you.”

That threat raises the specter of a U.S. crackdown on China and Russia, which American officials describe as eager to sell high-end weapons systems to the rogue regime. The degree to which European allies would coordinate in that effort remains in doubt, because most Western countries reject the legitimacy of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s decision to invoke the “snapback” mechanism of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal that triggers the renewal of the arms embargo and the rest of the sanctions waived by the pact.

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