» Subscribe Today!
The Power of Information
Home
The Ledger - EST. 1978 - Nashville Edition
X
Skip Navigation LinksHome > Article
VOL. 44 | NO. 34 | Friday, August 21, 2020

US set to demand restoration of UN sanctions against Iran

Print | Front Page | Email this story

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The Trump administration is set on Thursday to demand the restoration of all international sanctions on Iran in a move that will further isolate the United States at the United Nations, test the credibility of the Security Council and possibly deal a fatal blow to one of former President Barack Obama's signature foreign policy achievements.

At President Donald Trump's direction, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is traveling to New York to notify the U.N. that the U.S. is invoking the "snapback" mechanism in the Security Council resolution that endorsed the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

"The United States intends to restore virtually all of the previously suspended United Nations sanctions on Iran," Trump said on Wednesday. "It's a snapback."

The snapback would reimpose U.N. sanctions that were eased in exchange for curbs on Iran's nuclear program. But the U.S. move would face steep opposition and could prompt a revolt from the council's other members. None of them believes the U.S. has the standing to do it because Trump withdrew from the deal two years ago.

"We do not take it that they have the legal right or the reason to initiate this thing," the Russian ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia said Thursday before Pompeo's notification. "So, of course, we will challenge it."

It's possible the U.S. call will simply be ignored, which could call into question the Security Council's relevance and ability to enforce its own legally binding decisions.

Trump and Pompeo have made no secret of their intention to pursue this course, particularly after the administration's embarrassing defeat last week at the Security Council on extending the arms embargo on Iran that expires in October. The U.S. won just one other "yes" vote, with China and Russia opposed and the 11 other members abstaining.

As with the arms embargo, Russia and China bitterly oppose reimposing other U.N. sanctions on Iran. So do U.S. allies Britain and France, which are hoping to preserve the nuclear deal in the event Trump loses his bid for a second term in November's presidential election. Democratic Joe Biden has said he would try to revive the agreement.

The Europeans fear that the reimposition of sanctions may lead Iran to quit the deal entirely and plow ahead with efforts to develop atomic weapons. The Trump administration says it withdrew precisely because it eased sanctions, opening major revenue streams for Iran while gradually easing restrictions on its nuclear activities that money could pay for.

Trump said that when the United States entered the deal, it was clear that the U.S. always would have the right to invoke a reimposition of the sanctions. He predicted that if he wins reelection, Iran will come begging to his administration to make a new deal.

That's not how other countries see it.

In addition to Russia, China has said that since the U.S. is no longer a party to the nuclear deal it "has no right to demand the Security Council to activate the rapid reinstatement of sanctions."

The Europeans have also rejected the U.S. position, which holds that the U.N. sanctions will be automatically restored 30 days after snapback has been invoked. That's because the U.S. would veto any resolution that attempts to prolong the sanctions relief during that period.

The administration's view is that once those 30 days have passed, any country that doesn't enforce the U.N. sanctions will be hit with U.S. penalties for violating a binding Security Council action.

"This will be a fully valid enforceable Security Council resolution and we have every expectation that it will be enforced just like every other Security Council resolution that is in place," Pompeo said Wednesday. "We will be in full compliance with that and we have every expectation that every country in the world will live up to its obligations."

What the administration's position does not account for, however, is a scenario in which the rest of the world simply ignores the United States on the grounds that it no longer has legal standing to invoke snapback.

___

Lee and Riechmann reported from Washington.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter & RSS:
Sign-Up For Our FREE email edition
Get the news first with our free weekly email
Name
Email  
TNLedger.com Knoxville Editon
RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 0 0 0
MORTGAGES 0 0 0
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 0 0
BUILDING PERMITS 0 0 0
BANKRUPTCIES 0 0 0
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 0 0
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0