US unilaterally claims restoration of UN sanctions against Iran

The US claimed that all pre-2015 UN sanctions against Iran had been restored, a unilateral effort ignored by the international community.

In a statement on Saturday night, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the sanctions were being re-imposed according to the “snapback” mechanism under UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which endorsed the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, reports Xinhua news agency.

The US had unilaterally invoked the “snapback” on August 20 after its failed and isolated attempt in the Security Council to extend the arms embargo against Tehran that expires on October 18.

However, the overwhelming majority of Security Council members asserted that the US has no right to invoke the “snapback” mechanism as the country is no longer a participant following its withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal in May 2018.

In Saturday’s statement, Pompeo also threatened consequences if other countries fail to implement the sanctions.

“The US is prepared to use our domestic authorities to impose consequences for those failures and ensure that Iran does not reap the benefits of UN-prohibited activity,” he said.

He added that additional measures to “strengthen implementation of UN sanctions and hold violators accountable” would be announced in the coming days.

It is reported that the UK, France, and Germany told the Security Council on Friday that any decision or action taken to reimpose UN sanctions against Iran “would be incapable of legal effect”.

Pompeo’s announcement came hours after Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that the US will not be able to restore the pre-2015 sanctions against Tehran since Washington has lost its authority pertaining to any action in the Iranian nuclear deal when it withdrew from the accord in 2018 unilaterally.

The US officials are themselves well aware that their attempt is “void”, but they are resorting to “bullying” policies in international relations, he added.