U.S. Special Representative to Iran Brian Hook said the U.S. will not permit Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon even though a lapse in an arms embargo could be forthcoming.
During an interview with Israeli reporter Barak Ravid, the U.S. envoy to Iran said "the military option is always on the table."
Hook said, "yes, of course," the U.S. would consider taking military measures against Iran in order to stop the country from acquiring nuclear weapons.
Hook said the U.S. intends to use all legal abilities to extend its arms embargo against Iran. If that does not work, he said the U.S. would invoke a U.N. "snapback" measure within the Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). That would resume U.N. sanctions on Iran, even though the U.S. withdrew from the deal in 2018.
Hook said the U.S. would need Russia and China to agree to extend the embargo, which is the preferred option over the snapback measure. The embargo is set to expire in October.
"There are seven countries that are listed in U.N. Security Council resolution 2231 that have the right to initiate snapback and that is a right that exists independently of whether one is in or out of the deal," Hook said. "Though our preference is to just simply extend the arms embargo."
Hook said leaving the deal "was the right thing to do."
"The question we ask, on behalf of the American people is, what is the best means to prevent Iran from ever getting a nuclear weapon, and the answer is not the JCPOA," he said.
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