Comment by the Information and Press Department on the U.N. Security Council’s Negative Reaction to Illegal Attempts by the United States to Re-Impose U.N. Sanctions against Iran

August 26, 2020

On August 25, the UN Security Council held an in-depth discussion on the recent US demand to re-impose the UN resolutions on sanctions against Iran, which were cancelled after the adoption of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Iran’s nuclear programme. The unequivocal conclusion is that the Security Council cannot take any action on the basis of the US request.

Our American colleagues have had the opportunity to see that the international community firmly rejects their demand to restore the sanctions under the so-called snapback mechanism stipulated in the JCPOA and UN Security Council Resolution 2231. This provision can only be enacted by a JCPOA participant state. The United States is not such a state, as it has itself stated more than once, reinforcing its statements with decisions and executive acts. These steps by Washington, which constitute a gross violation of the JCPOA and UNSC Resolution 2231, have met with general disappointment and condemnation.

Washington’s desire to force its mistaken interpretation of Resolution 2231 on the international community and to evade responsibility for gross violations of its own obligations has not met with understanding or support in the UN Security Council. Several days earlier, the president of the Security Council received clear official signals from many UNSC member states indicating that they do not recognise the US right to initiate the re-institution of sanctions against Iran. The US side has been clearly shown that it has no legal or procedural standing in the matter and that its actions have no relation to the goal of maintaining international peace and security and, therefore, cannot result in the restoration of the sanctions that were cancelled long ago. In other words, the US initiative has no future and will have no legal consequences.

It is alarming, however, that US representatives, instead of drawing conclusions from this, have thrown accusations at the Security Council and its members and have done this outside the accepted framework of diplomatic discourse. Having ended up alone, the United States continues to harp on about its “leadership” while its chosen policy of ignoring reality is only further complicating the situation.

We urge Washington to take this into account and to get back on track.