E3 believes U.S. has no legal right to trigger UN sanctions snapback: Iran’s diplomat

June 30, 2020 - 18:25

TEHRAN – Iran’s Ambassador to London Hamid Baeidinejad has said that France, Germany and the United Kingdom, known as E3, believe that the United States has no legal right to trigger a so-called snapback of all UN sanctions on Iran.

“[U.S. Secretary of State Mike] Pompeo has repeatedly threatened to trigger snapback mechanism if the [UN] Security Council does not support arms embargo on Iran. The three European countries believe that the United States has no legal right to take such action,” he tweeted on Monday.

Britain, France and Germany, three countries party to the nuclear deal, said on June 19 they would not back U.S. efforts to unilaterally trigger the reimposition of United Nations sanctions on Iran, but said they wanted talks with Tehran over its decision to remove cap on its nuclear program. 

“We firmly believe that any unilateral attempt to trigger UN sanctions snapback would have serious adverse consequences in the UN Security Council,” the foreign ministers of the three European countries said in a statement.

“We would not support such a decision, which would be incompatible with our current efforts to preserve the JCPOA (the Iran nuclear deal),” they said after discussing Iran in Berlin.
“We remain committed to the JCPOA and, in order to preserve it, urge Iran to reverse all measures inconsistent with the agreement and return to full compliance without delay,” they said, according to Reuters. 

The United States has stepped up calls for the extension of UN arms embargo on Iran since April.

Under the UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which endorsed the 2015 nuclear deal, the arms embargo on Iran expires in October.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration has threatened that it may seek to trigger a snapback of all sanctions on Iran if attempts to extend the arms embargo fail.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said in a press conference on Monday that Iran plans to take two or three actions if the arms embargo is extended.

Mousavi also said that the U.S. has violated the JCPOA and has no right to trigger snapback of all sanctions.

“The United States is not in the position to ruin the JCPOA and its achievements,” he said.

The U.S. is no longer a party to the nuclear deal, JCPOA, as Donald Trump officially declared the U.S. withdrawal from the multilateral agreement in May 2018. 

According to international law, the U.S. no longer has the right to call for the return of UN sanctions.

On June 9, European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said the United States has clearly withdrawn from Iran nuclear deal and could no longer claim to be a party to the agreement.
“The United States has withdrawn from the JCPOA, and now they cannot claim that they are still part of the JCPOA in order to deal with this issue from the JCPOA agreement. They withdraw. It’s clear. They withdraw,” Borrell said.

Iran has signaled if arms embargo is extended it may quit the JCPOA. It has also threatened that if UN sanctions are returned it may withdraw from the NPT.

Iran removed limits on its nuclear activities after waiting for a full year. The decision was taken after the Europeans failed to compensate for the U.S. sanctions on Iran. However, Iran has said if the Europeans honor their commitments to the JCPOA, it will immediately reverse its decision.