Rouhani Says US Push for ‘Snapback’ Futile
Rouhani Says US Push for ‘Snapback’ Futile
President Hassan Rouhani said Wednesday the US will once again fail in its new push to invoke the so-called snapback provision in the 2015 nuclear deal and reimpose all UN sanctions against Iran.

TEHRAN (Iran News) – President Hassan Rouhani said Wednesday the US will once again fail in its new push to invoke the so-called snapback provision in the 2015 nuclear deal and reimpose all UN sanctions against Iran.

“America is no longer a member of the JCPOA to use this mechanism, and all the parties [to the deal] have already condemned the US effort,” he told a cabinet meeting in Tehran, referring to the nuclear accord by its formal name, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, Press TV reported.

US President Donald Trump withdrew his country from the JCPOA in May 2018, calling it “the worst deal ever negotiated.” He also reinstated unilateral economic sanctions against Iran after leaving the multilateral agreement in defiance of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 2231 that enshrined the nuclear agreement.

Now after more than two years, the Trump administration is seeking to trigger the snapback of sanctions at the UN by claiming that it remains a member of the JCPOA.

The new push comes after the US suffered a humiliating defeat at the UNSC on Friday as its resolution to renew the Iranian arms embargo, which is due to expire on Oct. 18 under the nuclear deal, was overwhelmingly rejected.

Rouhani reminded Washington that the snapback mechanism states that “the parties to the JCPOA or one of them” can use it.

“The world knows what will happen if the United States takes this dead-end path. They themselves have burned the bridge and imagine that there is still a bridge [for them] to cross,” he said.

Rouhani also expressed the government’s resolve to keep standing, with all power, against the US and the countries attempting to oppress the nation.

“If anyone in Iran thinks that this tyrannical government in the White House and the oppressive sanctions are permanent, they are wrong because neither the White House tyrants nor the sanctions are there to stay forever,” he said.

“Sanctions will break and disappear. Through resistance, we made them understand that they have made a mistake and the White House has fully understood that they have made a mistake, but they are helpless on the path they have taken and it has become difficult for them to find a way out.”

“The humiliating defeats of the United States have been brought about thanks to the vigilance of the [Islamic] establishment and the government,” he added.

Rouhani further thanked Russia and China for voting against the US-proposed resolution on the extension of the Iranian arms embargo as well as the remaining 11 council members for abstaining.

Battle at UNSC

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is set to travel to New York on Thursday to notify the Security Council president that the United States is invoking the “snapback” mechanism in the council’s Resolution 2231.

Just like the arms embargo extension, the administration’s snapback plan is bitterly opposed by China and Russia as well as the other Security Council members, including US allies Britain and France, and could set the stage for a battle over the legitimacy of the UN’s most powerful body, AP wrote.

Alone among the council’s 15 members, the US argues that as an original participant in the nuclear deal it retains the right to demand restoration of sanctions. The others, which still support the deal, maintain the US lost that standing when Trump pulled out of the accord.

The US argument is highly controversial. It has been ridiculed by the Chinese, Russians and Europeans, and not even the biggest Iran hawks in the United States all agree with it.

Former Trump national security adviser John Bolton, no slouch when it comes to anti-Iran positions, has long said that the US lost its snapback standing when it withdrew from the deal and that moving ahead is not worth the damage it could do to US veto power in the council.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif praised Bolton. “At least he is consistent — a trait notably absent in this US administration,” Zarif tweeted.

And, former US undersecretary of state for political affairs Wendy Sherman, a top negotiator of the nuclear agreement under former president Barack Obama, said: “It was never expected that someone who withdrew from the (deal) would have standing to in fact bring the snapback provision.”

Thus, the US administration’s insistence on moving ahead has set the stage for a contentious dispute and the possibility that Washington’s call would simply be ignored by other UN members. That outcome would potentially call into question the Security Council’s ability to enforce its own legally binding decisions.

But whether any other council member will respond to the US move by introducing a resolution to extend sanctions relief is an open question. Some UN experts believe the others will just ignore the Americans, leaving the Trump administration in the possible position of having to introduce its own resolution to extend sanctions relief for the sole purpose of vetoing it.

  • source : Iran Daily, Irannews