Allies of the United States on Thursday rejected its demand that United Nations’ sanctions on Iran be restored, CNN reported.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said America has “every capacity” under United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231, which brought about the Iran nuclear deal, to trigger “snapback” sanctions, because it was a party to the deal at the time it was signed. President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the deal in 2018.

Pompeo was visiting the United Nations office in New York, where he formally intimated the world body that the United States was initiating the process to reinstate all UN sanctions on Iran in existence before the deal was signed. Pompeo, to justify the American move, said Iran had violated the terms of the 2015 agreement. “It’s written, it’s plain, it’s very straightforward,” he said.

China, Russia, France, the United Kingdom and Germany – the other parties to the deal – refused to follow Washington’s lead. They believe the full return of UN sanctions would signal the end of the 2015 agreement.

“The US demand has no legal ground and common sense,” a spokesperson for China’s mission to the United Nations said. “It is nothing but a political show staged by the United States.”

Russia had requested a meeting on Friday to discuss the United States’ plan to trigger snapback sanctions. But it withdrew the request, saying that the US had objected to the meeting. Russia’s deputy ambassador to the United States said it was “unbecoming behaviour” of America.

France, Germany and the United Kingdom said they cannot support the United States’ demand as the country is no longer party to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA. “The US ceased to be a participant to the JCPOA following their withdrawal from the deal on May 8, 2018,” they said in a joint statement. “We cannot therefore support this action which is incompatible with our current efforts to support the JCPOA.”

Pompeo told reporters later that the three countries had “chosen to side with the Ayatollahs”. “Their actions endanger the people of Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon, Syria and indeed, their own citizens as well,” he said, according to PTI.

Pompeo told reporters that the United States will never allow “the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism to freely buy and sell planes, tanks, missiles, and other kinds of conventional weapons”. Reimposing the sanctions will continue the arms embargo, he said.

‘Will stop at nothing to extend arms embargo’

Last week, the United States suffered a diplomatic defeat when the UN Security Council refused to extend the arms embargo on Iran. But US Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Kelly Craft said America will “stop at nothing” to extend the embargo.

Pompeo said the Trump administration does not believe the “fiction” that Iran wants to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. “We will never allow the Islamic Republic of Iran to have a nuclear weapon,” he said. “Our actions today too should come as no surprise to anyone. Our team has made every diplomatic effort over now almost two years to renew this arms embargo.”

In April, Iran’s paramilitary force Islamic Revolution Guards Corps on April 22 launched its first military satellite into space, revealing a secret military space programme. Iran had refused to abide by the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal it signed with several countries, after the Donald Trump-led United States pulled out of it in 2018. The deal, signed during the Barack Obama administration, forbade Iran from developing such missiles.