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Senior US official: Iran and North Korea resume missile cooperation - Walla! news

2020-09-20T20:25:53.256Z

Washington will impose sanctions on Iran tomorrow to give effect to the operation of the snapback mechanism. According to the senior official, by the end of the year Tehran will have enough fissile material for a nuclear bomb, if it chooses to do so. On targeting also conventional arms deals. In Europe, Russia and China are rejecting the move



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Senior US official: Iran and North Korea renewed missile cooperation

Washington will impose sanctions on Iran tomorrow to give effect to the operation of the snapback mechanism.

According to the senior official, by the end of the year Tehran will have enough fissile material for a nuclear bomb, if it chooses to do so.

On targeting also conventional arms deals.

In Europe, Russia and China are rejecting the move

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  • Iran

  • North Korea

  • United States

  • Nuclear Agreement

Reuters

Sunday, 20 September 2020, 20:52

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In the video: Trump threatened, and Iran warned the United States (Photo: Reuters, Editing: Assaf Drori)

Iran and North Korea have renewed long-range missile cooperation, a senior U.S. official said Monday.

He added that Tehran will have enough fissile material by the end of the year to produce a nuclear bomb.

The source said things ahead of the imposition of sanctions tomorrow on elements and bodies involved in Iran's nuclear, missile and conventional weapons program.

He did not provide further details beyond that.



The sanctions to be imposed tomorrow by President Donald Trump are set to give teeth to the US announcement that all sanctions lifted on Iran under the nuclear deal have been reactivated.

This is after European countries, China and Russia - which signed the nuclear agreement from which the administration withdrew in 2018 - said that the use of a mechanism known as "snap" is illegal.

The United States has warned that they may be harmed by secondary sanctions.



A large part of Trump's effort, which comes a week after the normalization agreements between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, was aimed at fighting the removal of the conventional arms embargo on Iran on October 18, as stipulated in the nuclear deal.

The Republican president, who is trying to attract the votes of pro-Israel voters ahead of the November 3 election, will sign a presidential decree on the issue, as first reported by Reuters in recent days.

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It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post.

Iranian missile launch (Photo: Reuters)

The senior U.S. official said Iran was doing all it could to maintain its ability to develop nuclear weapons as soon as it chose to do so.

Iran denies that it has such an intention, but since Trump re-imposed US sanctions since 2018, it itself has gradually violated the restrictions imposed on it by the nuclear deal.

US sanctions have hit the Iranian economy hard, causing tensions between Washington and its European allies Britain, France and Germany.



Among other things, Iran has increased its enriched uranium reservoir, as well as its level of enrichment, beyond what it was allowed to do.

The US source said the data was based on "all" information available to the United States, including from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The agency, which oversees the agreement, says Iran has begun significant breaches of it only following US withdrawal. 4.5%, well below 20% prior to the agreement signed in 2015, on how much below the 90% required for nuclear weapons.



He said, "Iran and north Korea resumed cooperation in the field of long-range missiles, including the transfer of vital parts" He declined to say when the same cooperation began and when it was stopped and renewed again



.

The White House declined to comment before announcing the sanctions tomorrow.

The president is trying to attract pro-Israel votes.

Trump, Netanyahu and Foreign Ministers of Bahrain and the Emirates (Photo: Reuters)

U.S. secondary sanctions on anyone who buys or sells conventional weapons from Iran will prevent them from gaining access to U.S. markets.

Almost all UN Security Council members, including the superpowers still signing the agreement with Iran, argue that the United States has no right to recapture UN sanctions because it is no longer part of the agreement.

Under the nuclear deal, this mechanism can be activated in the event of significant violations by Iran.



However, Britain, France and Germany made it clear to the Security Council on Friday that the easing of sanctions would continue even after the US declaration.

The Chinese and Russian ambassadors to the Security Council described the Trump administration's move as illegitimate, noting that for them, too, easing sanctions on Iran would continue.



In addition, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also said he could not act on the issue because it was unclear whether the sanctions had indeed been reactivated.

Nuclear scientists and experts on targeting

According to the senior US source, among what will be defined as conventional weapons will also be speedboats, which Iran converts for military purposes, as well as motherboards, which may be used for ballistic missile navigation systems.

He noted that some of those entities and companies that will be included in the list of sanctions tomorrow have already been included in previous rounds, which will rekindle criticism of the administration that this is just a PR exercise.



The sanctions will be imposed on Iranian arms industries, senior officials, scientists and experts from Iran's nuclear program and others involved in its missile and procurement program.



The source declined to elaborate on the targets, which will be revealed tomorrow, saying the United States wants to deter foreign companies from doing business with them even if their governments believe they have permission to do so.

"There may be disagreements in some countries whose governments will argue that UN sanctions have not been re-imposed, but their banks and companies will comply with US sanctions to ensure they are not an end in themselves in the future," he said.

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