U.S. cannot benefit from fruits of its unlawful act, Zarif warns

August 21, 2020 - 17:23

TEHRAN – The United States cannot benefit from the fruits of its unlawful act, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in a letter to the chairman of the UN Security Council on Thursday, pointing to the U.S. withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and its efforts to invoke parts of the JCPOA to impose sanctions on Iran.

“Based on the universally accepted general principle of law, the United States cannot benefit from the fruits of its unlawful act of withdrawal from the JCPOA by assuming that it has no obligation to submit its notification alongside a description of good-faith efforts,” Zarif wrote in his letter.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday officially informed the UN Security Council it is demanding the restoration of all UN sanctions on Iran, insisting that the U.S. has the legal right to “snap back” UN sanctions even though U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of the UNSC-endorsed deal between Iran and six major powers.

Zarif said the U.S. has no right to abuse mechanisms enshrined in the JCPOA to restore UN sanctions after they were lifted under the accord.

He said the dangerous and unlawful position of the United States defies the established norms of international law and procedures, which have been put in place through centuries to safeguard the world from chaos.

As part of an illegal underway push, the United States has been trying to invoke the so-called “snapback” mechanism in the nuclear deal, although by leaving the JCPOA the United States forfeited all of its rights under the nuclear deal

Washington also launched a bid to prevent expiry of an arms embargo against Iran that will expire in October under the accord, but the move received almost no support at the UN Security Council meeting last week, prompting Washington to threaten to trigger the JCPOA mechanism that would restore all of the UNSC sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

In his letter, Zarif underlined that given the baseless and illegal nature of the United States’ bid, it has to be “rejected on the part of the Security Council and the international community.”

“It is imperative that the international community be wary of such [attempts at] abusing the Security Council’s mechanisms,” he wrote.

“Iran advises the Council to stop this abuse of mechanism -- which carries serious repercussions for the international peace and security,” he added.

The Iranian Foreign Minister also had a phone conversation with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday, when he highlighted the responsibility of the UN Security Council and the secretary-general with regard to the U.S. unlawful act.

“All parties to the JCPOA, the Security Council member states and international jurists all share the view that the U.S. is no longer a party to the JCPOA, and Washington’s move has no basis as per the Security Council Resolution 2231 and the JCPOA,” Zarif said, according to the Foreign Ministry website.

He warned that the U.S. move will have dangerous consequences for international law, and will result in nothing but damaging international mechanisms and discrediting the Security Council.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran expects the secretary-general and the Security Council member states to fulfill their legal duties and counter the U.S. administration’s rogue behavior,” Zarif pointed out.

Guterres, in turn, vowed to carefully consider the points made by Iran’s chief diplomat.

‘Trump administration will be once again isolated, disgraced’ 

On Friday, Zarif wrote on his Instagram account that the Trump administration will be once again isolated and disgraced at the world stage.

“Last night, Pompeo, in his own illusion, activated the mechanism for returning the repealed Security Council resolutions, but at the same time, Iran, along with Russia, China, the European Union, Germany, France, and Britain in separate letters described the Trump administration’s action as illegal,” Zarif wrote.

“Some other members of the Security Council are likely to take similar stances today, once again isolating and disgracing the Trump administration at the world stage,” he said.

The chief Iranian diplomat added that such circumstances are unprecedented in the history of the UN Security Council.

Earlier, France, the UK, and Germany released a joint statement telling the U.S. that it could not use “snapback” measures against Iran as it is no longer part of the nuclear deal.

“France, Germany, and the United Kingdom note that the U.S. ceased to be a participant to the JCPOA following their withdrawal from the deal on May 8, 2018,” the statement said. “We cannot, therefore, support this action which is incompatible with our current efforts to support the JCPOA.”

In response, Pompeo on Thursday accused the three European countries of “siding with the ayatollahs”, claiming that “their actions endanger the people of Iraq, of Yemen, Lebanon, Syria, and indeed their own citizens as well.”


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