No ‘snapback’ sanctions on Iran’: UNSC president

United Nations: The president of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has said it was “not in position to take further action” on a bid by the United States to trigger “snapback” sanctions against Iran.

Indonesia’s UN ambassador Dian Triansyah Djani, whose country holds the Security Council presidency for the month of August, said he “is not in the position” to take further action as there is no consensus among council members over the issue, Xinhua news agency reported.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo submitted Washington’s demand for the return of all pre-2015 UN sanctions against Iran. But the overwhelming majority of Security Council members hold that the US move does not constitute a “notification” as envisaged in Security Council Resolution 2231, which endorsed the Iran nuclear deal.

They argued that the United States has no right to invoke the “snapback” mechanism as it is no longer a participant since it withdrew from the deal in May 2018.

Under Resolution 2231, any participant state to the Iran nuclear deal can notify the Security Council about an issue that it considers a significant violation of the agreement. The UN sanctions in place before the adoption of Resolution 2231 in July 2015 would then resume 30 days after the notification, unless the Security Council adopts a resolution to decide otherwise.

Under the resolution, if no member of the Security Council has submitted a draft resolution to prevent a snapback within 10 days of a notification by a participant state, the president of the Security Council shall submit such a draft resolution and put it to a vote within 30 days of the notification.

The E3 — Britain, France and Germany — reiterated their common position that the United States is not eligible to invoke the “snapback” mechanism as it has withdrawn from the deal.

Under Resolution 2231, the arms embargo against Iran expires on October 18, 2020.

The US move to invoke the “snapback” mechanism seeks to automatically bring back all pre-2015 sanctions, including the arms embargo.

Once a “snapback” is initiated, the United States could use its veto power in the Security Council to shoot down any draft resolution that seeks to prevent the restoration of the sanctions against Iran.

Image courtesy of (credit: Jakarta Post)

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