U.S. Triggers Return of Iran Sanctions at U.N.

August 20, 2020


Margaret Besheer


Voice of America

Related Country: 

  • France
  • Germany
  • Russia
  • United Kingdom

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo formally notified the United Nations that the United States is seeking the return of all international sanctions on Iran, or "snapback," under the terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). According to the JCPOA, any participant to the agreement can notify the U.N. Security Council that Iran is no longer complying with the agreement. If the U.N. Security Council fails to pass a resolution extending sanctions relief within 30 days of such a notification, all previous U.N. sanctions on Iran automatically come back into effect. France, Germany, Iran, Russia, and the United Kingdom argue that the United States lacks the standing to invoke the JCPOA because the United States withdrew from the agreement in 2018. The United States argues that it has the "explicit right" to evoke snapback since the JCPOA was enshrined by U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231. The U.S. move to invoke the full "snapback" of sanctions follows its failure to extend a U.N. arms embargo on Iran.