Elizabeth Warren: U.S. cannot invoke sanctions snapback on Iran

August 24, 2020 - 10:51

TEHRAN – Elizabeth Warren, a U.S. senator from Massachusetts, has said that the United States cannot impose the UN sanctions on Iran, calling on the U.S. government to rejoin the nuclear agreement.

“Reality check: Only participants in the #IranDeal can reimpose UN sanctions on Iran, but Trump withdrew from it,” Warren wrote in a tweet on Sunday.

“The Trump Iran policy makes us less safe & more isolated from our allies. Let’s rejoin the nuclear agreement & get Iran back into compliance,” she added.

Other American political figures have also pointed out that the U.S. move to invoke the “snapback” sanctions has no standing.

Former U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton wrote in the Wall Street Journal on August 16 that Washington has no standing to invoke the nuclear agreement’s provisions.

“The agreement’s backers argue that Washington, having withdrawn from the deal, has no standing to invoke its provisions,” Bolton wrote, adding, “They’re right.”

“It’s too cute by half to say we’re in the nuclear deal for purposes we want but not for those we don’t.”

Bolton also argued in an August 17 tweet that Trump’s threat to invoke the snapback sanctions from “Obama’s 2015 nuclear deal”, which the U.S. withdrew in 2018 under the Trump administration, risks long-term permanent damage to the United States’ veto power in the UN Security Council.

The Joe Biden campaign's chief foreign policy adviser has also said the U.S. cannot push for the restoration of the UN sanctions because it is not a participant in the JCPOA anymore.

“The remedies in the resolution are available to ‘participant’ countries,” Tony Blinken wrote in a tweet on August 16. “In pulling out of the agreement the WH literally titled its statement ‘Ending US Participation in the JCPOA.’”

“It would have been wise to stick with an agreement that was working and has teeth,” Blinken added.

He made the comment in response to a tweet by Richard Goldberg, an aide to the U.S. National Security Advisor in the Donald Trump administration, who said via Twitter that “a legally independent snapback is in the plain text of UNSCR 2231 as is the US' eligibility to trigger it (with no provision for ever changing that eligibility).”

Earlier, Wendy Sherman, the former undersecretary of state for political affairs who led the U.S. negotiating team that concluded the Iran nuclear agreement, had said the missile and arms embargo are part of the UN Security Council resolution 2231 but not the JCPOA.

“The JCPOA was endorsed by 2231 but the snap back provision is within the JCPOA itself,” she tweeted on August 15.


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