UN secretary-general calls on international community to protect JCPOA

September 16, 2020 - 0:47

TEHRAN – United Natation Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called on the global community to do all they can to protect a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, Fars news agency reported on Wednesday.

The secretary-general has described the deal as a triumph of “multilateral diplomacy,” calling on countries to do all they can to protect it.

Guterres made the remarks in a Tuesday interview with the Russian RIA Novosti news agency.

The nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), reached a critical juncture on August 20, as the U.S. took the controversial step of triggering the snapback process, a mechanism built into the 2015 nuclear deal to allow the deal’s parties to reinstate all UN sanctions on Iran in case it didn’t uphold its commitments under the deal. The U.S. complaint faced firm opposition from almost all members of the UN Security Council and all remaining parties to the JCPOA. The opponents say the U.S. lost its legal authority to trigger the snapback process after it unilaterally withdrew from the JCPOA on May 8, 2018.

As the 30-day U.S. process of restoring the UN sanctions on Iran is nearing its end, the global community faces a stark test over the JCPOA future. On September 20, the U.S. process will end, and that the U.S. is very likely to announce the return of all UN sanctions on Iran, a move that could create a diplomatic mess at the UN.

Guterres also said that the UN secretariat will coordinate with the Security Council on JCPOA-related issues.

The secretary-general's remarks came ahead of a diplomatic showdown between Iran and the U.S. over the snapback mechanism. Iranian lawmakers have called on the government of Hassan Rouhani to stop the implementation of the JCPOA if the provisions of previous UN Security Council resolutions are reapplied on September 20. On Wednesday, they have drafted a motion calling on the Rouhani government to stop the implementation of the nuclear deal if the UN sanctions are restored.

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