A U.S. decision to invoke snapback provision would be a strategic error: CSIS deputy chief

May 16, 2020 - 17:35

TEHRAN - Eric Brewer, deputy director at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), has said that a decision by Washington to invoke the snapback provision would be a strategic error and will undermine credibility of the United States.

In an article published at the CSIS website on Friday, he said such an attempt is a bad policy.

“A decision by the United States to invoke the snapback provision would be a strategic error. It would come with a range of negative consequences, few benefits, and kick the current crisis between the United States and Iran into overdrive,” he wrote.

He added, “This so-called ‘snapback’ measure would also dissolve the Iran nuclear deal. Setting aside questions over the legality of such an attempt, it is simply bad policy. It will deepen the rift between the United States and Europe. It will undermine the credibility of the United States and the Security Council. And it will facilitate the expansion of Iran’s nuclear program.”

He also noted that Iran may respond to such action by withdrawing from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT).

“Iran might not get a ‘vote’ at the UN Security Council, but it certainly gets to respond. On this front, Iran has threatened its own ‘nuclear option’ if UN sanctions are reimposed: Abandon the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty,” he said.

He said, “Iran wouldn’t need to make this decision immediately: It can wait. No doubt, Russian, Chinese, and European reactions to the snapback will matter. If Tehran believes the United States is diplomatically isolated and that other parties have no intent to actually honor the snapback, Tehran could easily choose to maintain the diplomatic high ground and remain in the treaty.”

Writing an article in Al-Monitor on Thursday, Mark Fitzpatrick, former executive director of International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS), has said, “As former State Department coordinator for Iran nuclear implementation Jarrett Blanc recently warned, the Trump strategy for sanctions snapback carries several other significant risks: a crisis pitting the United States against the UN, a delegitimization of UN embargoes, a weakening of the sanctions tool for use elsewhere and an acceleration of the very arms sales of most concern. Others note that the Trump administration’s gambit could leave the United States with little leverage to negotiate any other restrictions imposed by the JCPOA that are far more consequential.”  


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