Uncertainty over US declaration that UN sanctions will be ‘reimposed on Iran’

Stating that he cannot take any action, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has told the security council that he can’t make any efforts on a US declaration that all UN sanctions on Iran had been re-imposed citing “there would appear to be uncertainty” on the issue.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that last month he had triggered a 30-day process at the council leading to the return of UN sanctions on Iran on Saturday evening that would also stop a conventional arms embargo on Tehran from expiring on October 18, international media reported.

However, according to 13 of the 15 Security Council members, Washington’s move is “void” because Pompeo used a mechanism agreed under a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, which the United States quit in 2018.

“There would appear to be uncertainty whether or not the process … was indeed initiated and concomitantly whether or not the (sanctions) terminations … continue in effect,” Guterres wrote in a letter to the council, according to an international news agency Reuters.

“It is not for the Secretary-General to proceed as if no such uncertainty exists,” he added.

UN officials provide administrative and technical support to the Security Council to implement its sanctions regimes and Guterres appoints independent experts to monitor implementation. He said that “pending clarification” of the status of the Iran sanctions; he would not take any action to provide that support.

Pertaining to a UN resolution that enshrines the pact still names it as a participant, Washington argues it triggered the return of sanctions – known as “snapback”.

“If the UN Member States fail to fulfil their obligations to implement these sanctions, the United States is prepared to use our domestic authorities to impose consequences for those failures,” Pompeo said in a statement on Saturday.

Saying that in the coming days Washington would announce additional measures to strengthen the implementation of the UN sanctions and “hold violators accountable”

This, while the United States is trying to push Iran to negotiate a new deal with Washington.

Russia’s Deputy UN Ambassador Dmitry Polyanskiy responded on Twitter, “We all clearly said in August that the US claims to trigger snapback are illegitimate. Is Washington deaf?

Iran‘s UN Ambassador Majid Takht Ravanchi said on Twitter on Saturday, “US illegal and false ‘deadline’ has come and gone … Swimming against international currents will only bring it more isolation.”


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