Washington unilaterally reimposes UN sanctions on Iran despite opposition from UN Security Council members – including US allies

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo AFP / KARIM JAAFAR US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
Mike Pompeo has claimed that the US is ready to punish countries that won't comply with newly reintroduced sanctions on Iran. However, the UK and France defied Washington, saying the relief agreed under the Iran deal will remain.

The secretary of state announced the unilateral return of virtually all UN sanctions against Iran late on Saturday, hailing the development as "great news for peace in the region."

He proceeded to threaten any nation that refuses to comply with Washington on the matter with "consequences," according to the official statement.

If UN member states fail to fulfill their obligations to implement these sanctions, the United States is prepared to use our domestic authorities to impose consequences for those failures and ensure that Iran does not reap the benefits of UN-prohibited activity.

Pompeo promised to announce measures against those who defy the "obligations." 

However, Washington's NATO allies UK, France and Germany have strongly opposed the move in a letter to the UN Security Council cited by AFP. 

Any decision or action taken with a view to re-installing [the sanctions] would be incapable of legal effect.

Hours before Pompeo's announcement, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called on the international community to stand against the Trump administration's latest move against Tehran.

The Americans as a rule act as a bully and impose sanctions. The world community should decide how to act towards bullying.

Washington's unilaterally-imposed UN sanctions on Iran are in force starting at 12am GMT on Sunday. 

Tensions between Iran and the US reignited after the Trump administration unilaterally withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal – also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA. The agreement was aimed at halting Iran's nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. It was signed by Iran, the US, Russia, China, the UK, Germany and France.