Despite failing to convince its UN Security Council colleagues to reimpose sanctions on Iran, the US is attempting to circumvent them, setting a date for the ‘snapback’ and daring other countries to call its bluff. Meanwhile, Iran has warned US not to turn multilateral agreements into unilateral punishment.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo unveiled a creative interpretation of UN Security Council Resolution 2231 on Thursday, presenting Tehran with a catch-22: either the sanctions the US wants to reimpose take effect on September 20, or a Security Council member attempts to introduce a resolution to continue sanctions relief – in which case the US will block it.
If any member of the @UN Security Council introduces a resolution to continue sanctions relief, the U.S. will oppose it. If no resolution is introduced, the sanctions on Iran will still return on September 20. That’s how UNSCR 2231 works. pic.twitter.com/KK7tyq0tJP
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) August 27, 2020
“That’s how UNSCR 2231 works,” the diplomat tweeted, with more than a hint of smugness.
UN Security Council President Dian Triansyah Djani has already dismissed US efforts to reimpose UN sanctions on Iran under the provisions of the 2015 JCPOA nuclear deal, noting a lack of consensus among the council’s 15 members – 13 of whom pointed out Washington is no longer a signatory to the deal and thus has no standing to enforce any part of it. However, UNSCR 2231 is not part of the actual JCPOA, though it endorses the treaty and compels Security Council members to respect it.
US unable to produce proof backing claims against Iran
The five other signatories to the nuclear deal all stood firm against the initial US effort to impose snapback sanctions under the agreement, arguing the complaint was not valid since Washington had pulled out of the deal in 2018.
While the US attempted to justify its withdrawal at the time on the grounds that Iran was secretly violating the deal, it was unable to produce any proof to back its claims, and the International Atomic Energy Agency tasked with assuring compliance had repeatedly certified Tehran was holding fast to the deal’s terms.
.@SecPompeo ‘s lawless bullying leaves US isolated again:
While US prevented a Sec. Council debate about its unlawful notification on Friday, members in today's meeting on ME refuted U.S.’ attempt as null and void.
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) August 25, 2020
The Trump administration has scrambled to reimpose the sanctions after its attempt to extend a 13-year arms embargo against the country failed profoundly last week, attracting just one member of the Security Council to join the US in supporting it.
U.S. President Donald Trump slapped sanctions on owners and operators of Iranian construction, textiles, manufacturing and mining sectors, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters Friday in Washington.
Mnuchin and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also announced new sanctions on eight Iranian officials who they said were directly involved in Iran’s ballistic missile strikes Wednesday on Iraqi bases hosting U.S. troops.
Targeted sanctions officials would include the secretary of the Supreme National Council and the commander of Iran’s Basij paramilitary forces and others close to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said Pompeo, without naming the individuals.
The sanctions came in a week that has seen long-term foes Iran and the U.S. draw ever-closer to a direct military confrontation than at any time since the 1979 Islamic Revolution saw Iranians jettison their U.S.-aligned Shah.
Iran has condemned the US efforts to turn multilateral agreements into unilateral punishment, referring to Pompeo’s behavior as “lawless bullying” that has left the US “isolated.”
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi said in a statement that the imposition of new U.S. sanctions against Syria is a “violation of the international law and humanitarian principles.”
“As it has already been announced, the Islamic Republic of Iran does not give any credence to such cruel and unilateral sanctions … and considers them as economic terrorism against the Syrians, which also continues to destabilize Syria,” Mousavi said.
“We will continue economic cooperation with the resisting nation and government of Syria like before, and will strengthen our economic relations with Syria in spite of the sanctions,” he stressed.
The United States on Wednesday announced massive sanctions against Syria, in an effort to further deprive the revenue of the Syrian government.
The latest sanctions, provisioned by the Caesar Act, involve 39 individuals and entities including Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his wife.
RT with additional input by GVS News Desk