The Trump administration said on Saturday that all UN sanctions againstThe US announcement came 30 days after Pompeo notified the council that the administration was triggering a “snapback” because Iran was in “significant non-compliance” with its obligations under the agreement, known as name of Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA. have been reinstated, a move that most of the rest of the world rejects as illegal and is likely to ignore. The US announcement is sure to spark controversy at the annual high-level meetings of the UN General Assembly starting Monday, because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
But the overwhelming majority of members of the Council of 15 Nations call the US action illegal because President Donald Trump pulled the US from the plan in 2018.
Guterres has made it clear that the UN will not act until and unless the Council has specifics, reports Pamela Falk of CBS News.
“No action” for the moment
They refer to Security Council resolution 2231, which approved the nuclear deal. It states that a “JCPOA participant state” can trigger the “snapback” mechanism. The United States insists that as an original participant it has the legal right, even if it has ceased to participate.
Guterres noted in the letter that “the Security Council has taken no action following receipt of the letter from the US Secretary of State, or any of its members or its President.”
He said the majority of board members wrote to the board chairman “to the effect that the letter was not a notification” that the “snapback” had been triggered. And he said the council chairmen for August and September “have indicated that they are not in a position to take action on this.”
Therefore, Guterres said: “It is not for the Secretary General to proceed as if such uncertainty does not exist”.
The UN Secretariat, headed by Guterres, provides support to the Security Council in the implementation of sanctions, including the establishment of committees and expert groups to monitor their implementation, as well as websites on the nature of the sanctions and the lists of those who appear on the blacklists of sanctions.
Guterres said the UN would take no action “pending clarification from the Security Council” on whether the sanctions that were lifted should be reimposed.
Under the “snapback” provision, UN sanctions relaxed or lifted by the nuclear deal are reimposed and must be enforced by UN member states. These would include hitting Iran with sanctions for uranium enrichment to any level, ballistic missile activity, and the buying or selling of conventional weapons.
Those bans were either lifted or about to expire under the terms of the 2015 deal in which Iran obtained billions of dollars in sanctions relief in exchange for restrictions on its nuclear program.
Lonely American Position
China and Russia have been particularly adamant in rejecting the US position, but US allies have not been shy either.
In a letter sent Friday to the President of the Security Council, Britain, France and Germany – the three European participants who remain committed to the deal – said the US announcement “is incapable of having a legal effect ”, so that it cannot reimpose sanctions against Iran.
Russia’s Deputy Ambassador to the UN Dmitry Polyanskiy said the United States has only isolated itself. “It is very painful to see how a great country humiliates itself like this, opposes in its stubborn delirium to other members of the UN Security Council,” he wrote on Twitter.
European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, who coordinates the JCPOA Joint Commission, reiterated that the United States cannot be considered “a participating state in the JCPOA and cannot initiate the process of reinstatement of UN sanctions ”. Therefore, he said, the sanctions remain lifted.
The Chinese UN mission tweeted: “The US unilateral announcement on the return of UN sanctions against IRAN is devoid of any legal, political or practical effect. … It is time to end the political drama in the United States. ”
In its own letter to the Security Council on Saturday, Iran said the US decision “is null and void, has no legal force and effect and is therefore completely unacceptable.”
The United States threatens “consequences”
The White House plans to issue an executive order on Monday outlining how the United States will enforce the reinstated sanctions, and the State and Treasury Departments are expected to explain how foreign individuals and businesses will be penalized for violations.
“The United States expects all UN member states to fully meet their obligations to implement these measures,” Pompeo said. “If the UN and member states fail to meet their obligations to implement these sanctions, the US stands ready to use our national authorities to impose consequences for these failures and ensure that Iran does not reap the benefits. activities prohibited by the UN.
It is not yet clear how the administration will react to being ignored, especially by its European allies, who have pledged to keep the nuclear deal alive. A massive rejection of the American position could push the administration, which has already withdrawn from several UN agencies, organizations and treaties, further from the international community.