U.S. not entitled to invoke ‘snapback’ mechanism, says top MP

August 30, 2020 - 17:46

TEHRAN — The chairman of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee has said the United States cannot invoke the so-called “snapback” mechanism.

“The U.S. has no legal right to trigger the snapback mechanism,” Mehr on Saturday quoted Mojtaba Zonnour as saying.

Earlier this month, Washington officially informed the UN Security Council that 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 nuclear deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Other parties to the nuclear deal, including Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany, have voiced strong opposition to Washington’s push for sanctions on Iran.

Zonnour explained that paragraphs 36 and 37 of the JCPOA emphasize if one of the JCPOA parties concludes that the other party is not adhering to the obligations of the deal, the other side can use the snapback mechanism.

However, he said, the U.S. has withdrawn from the JCPOA more than two years ago and is not a party to the deal anymore.

“That’s why Europe did not accompany the U.S. in its bid, because the U.S. argument has no legal standing,” the MP remarked.

He added that Washington’s hostile acts against the Iranian people have led to its isolation.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has also argued that the United States is not in a position to reimpose all the UN sanctions on Iran.

“From a legal point of view, the United States has no status to use the snapback mechanism. Three European allies of the United States had announced clearly in the previous session of the United Nations Security Council that the United States cannot apply this mechanism,” Zarif told reporters after a cabinet meeting on August 12.

Trump quit the nuclear deal in May 2018 and introduced the harshest ever sanctions in history on Iran as part of his administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran.

On May 8, 2019, exactly one year after the U.S. withdrawal from the JCPOA, Tehran said its “strategic patience” is over and began to gradually reduce its commitments under the pact to both retaliate for Washington’s departure and Europeans’ failure to honor their commitments.

However, officials in Tehran have repeatedly said if the Europeans honor their commitments, Iran will immediately reverse its decision.

MH/PA

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