Intl. reactions to US claim on returning UN sanctions on Iran

TEHRAN, Sep. 20 (MNA) – The US claims on the implementation of the so-called 'Snapback' mechanism and return of all UN sanctions against Iran were met with international reactions.

Under the 2015 nuclear deal that Iran struck with six major powers; the UK, China, France, Germany, Russia and the US, the UN conventional arms embargo is to set to expire on October 18.

On August 14, the 15-member UNSC unanimously rejected a US resolution to extend an arms embargo on Iran, which is due to expire in October in line with a landmark nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

US is also claiming to still be a JCPOA participant as it has sent a letter to the UN Security Council on activation of a mechanism of the nuclear deal. This is while the US has officially ended its participation in the JCPOA in May 2018, and has spared no effort to destroy the agreement.

All other JCPOA participants and most of the UNSC members argue that US is no longer a JCPOA participant and hence cannot use its provisions.

The majority of the UN Security Council members said they would not support the United States’ move to snapback sanctions since the United States unilaterally withdrew from the nuclear agreement in 2018.

However, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed Saturday evening that the US has reimposed UN sanctions against Iran.

"The United States expects all UN Member States to fully comply with their obligations to implement these measures. In addition to the arms embargo, this includes restrictions such as the ban on Iran engaging in enrichment and reprocessing-related activities, the prohibition on ballistic missile testing and development by Iran, and sanctions on the transfer of nuclear- and missile-related technologies to Iran, among others. 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 claimed in a statement.

In a letter to the UN Security Council and to the UN Secretary-General, UN Iranian Ambassador Majid Takht Ravanchi urged the Council to block any attempt by the US to reimpose international sanctions.

"Given that the stated objective of the United States is to completely ruin the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and to that end, its strategy is to create legal complication through presenting unilateral arbitrary interpretations and pseudo-legal arguments, the Islamic Republic of Iran trusts that the members of the Security Council will, once again, reject the United States' continued attempt to abuse the Security Council's process, thus undermining the authority and credibility of the Council and the United Nations," UN Iranian Ambassador Majid Takht Ravanchi said in the letter.

Following US claims on return of UN sanctions on Iran, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told the Security Council on Saturday he cannot take any action on a US declaration that all UN sanctions on Iran had been reimposed because “there would appear to be uncertainty” on the issue.

“It is not for the Secretary-General to proceed as if no such uncertainty exists,” he said.

In this regard, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations Nicolas de Rivière in a message reiterated E3 commitment to implementation of Iran nuclear deal, saying that revocation of UN sanctions on Iran is effective.

"The E3 remains committed to the full implementation of the #JCPOA," Nicolas de Rivière wrote in a tweet on Sunday, adding, "It is the only path forward to contain #Iran nuclear program."

"Today, UN sanctions continue to be lifted and Iran continues to be accountable for meeting up its obligations," he noted.

Criticizing the US move, Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia said that it is painful to see a great country insulting itself in this way and stubbornly opposing other members of the Security Council. 

The United States insists on weakening international law by imposing its selfish will on others, he added.

The foreign ministers of three European countries, known as E3 reaffirmed their full commitment to UN Security Council Resolution 2231 in a joint statement in response to US claims of returning the UN sanctions on Iran.

"Today marks 30 days since the US sought to initiate the ‘snapback mechanism’, which allows a participant to the JCPoA to seek the re-imposition of the multilateral sanctions against Iran lifted in 2015 in accordance with resolution 2231, adopted by the UN Security Council, the statement read.

"France, Germany and the United Kingdom (“the E3”) note that the US ceased to be a participant to the JCPoA following their withdrawal from the deal on 8 May, 2018. Consequently, the purported notification under paragraph 11 of UNSCR 2231 (2015), received from the United States of America and circulated to the UN Security Council Members, is incapable of having legal effect. It flows from this that any decisions and actions which would be taken based on this procedure or on its possible outcome would also be incapable of having any legal effect," it added.

"We remain guided by the objective of upholding the authority and integrity of the United Nations Security Council. The E3 remains committed to fully implementing UNSCR 2231 (2015) by which the JCPoA was endorsed in 2015. We have worked tirelessly to preserve the nuclear agreement and remain committed to do so," it stressed.

Moscow also slammed the US' statement on restoration of Iran sanctions as 'theatrical performance'.

The United States' claim that the UN sanctions on Iran were restored is misleading as the UN Security Council (UNSC) took no steps leading to the restoration of restrictions, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Sunday.

"The US continues to mislead the international community by speculating that the UN Security Council conducted some sort of procedures to restore the effect of UNSC resolutions on Iran sanctions, which were cancelled after the signing of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)", the official statement from Russia read.

"The facts are that the UN Security Council did not take any action that would lead to the restoration of old sanctions against Iran. All that Washington does is nothing more than a theatrical performance staged in order to subordinate the Security Council to its policy of 'maximum pressure' on Iran and turn this authoritative body into its handy tool," the statement added.

Russia further urged Washington to "have enough courage to face the truth and stop speaking on behalf of the UN Security Council".

As expected, the US move will be opposed by other members. Earlier, many experts and informed sources had warned the United States that the international community and even its European allies would not agree to the return of anti-Iranian sanctions, and that this lack of consensus would lead to Washington's discredit on the world stage.

Opposition to the US move showed that the international community would stand up to US unilateralism and coercion and its move once again isolated the country on the world stage.

The US efforts to reactivate the snapback mechanism at the UNSC is doomed to failure once again, all he can do is reimposing US unilateral sanctions on Iran and pretending they are part of the mechanism.

Reported by Zahra Mirzafarjouyan

News Code 163732

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