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US 'considering military force' against Iran's nuclear programme

Brian Hook, America's Iran envoy, said military force is "always on the table" [Getty]

Date of publication: 1 July, 2020

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The US said it is not ruling out military action to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

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Iran, US
The US is willing to use military force to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, according to a Tuesday report by Axios, as the US lobbies for the extension of an arms embargo on Tehran.

Brian Hook, US President Donald Trump's Iran envoy, is on a regional tour to push for the extension of an international arms embargo on Iran beyond its 18 October expiration date. His stops include Israel, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain.

"We have made very clear - the president has - that Iran will never acquire a nuclear weapon, and the military option is always on the table," Hook told Israel's Channel 13 News in Jerusalem.

According to Axios, if the embargo extension fails, the US will demand that the Iran nuclear deal's "snapback" mechanism - which allows for the automatic resumption of UN sanctions against Iran - be implemented.

Hook told Channel 13 News the US still has a legal basis for doing so despite having withdrawn from the Iran nuclear deal in 2018.

Though US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pushed for the embargo's extension at the UN Security Council on Tuesday, many member states criticised Donald Trump for withdrawing from the nuclear deal, as Iran has violated several of the deal's terms since then. 

Germany stated the US violated international law with its withdrawal, adding that the US does not have the right to trigger the "snapback" provision, according to Foreign Policy.

The US' efforts to extend the arms embargo was outright opposed by Russia and China.

European members of the Security Council are hoping to keep up the Iran deal throughout the US presidential elections in November in hopes that an administration led by Democrat Joe Biden will rejoin it, the media outlet added.


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