Russia and China dismissed the US move to invoke a mechanism, known as the snapback, under the 2015 nuclear deal to restore UN sanctions on Iran despite its departure from the landmark agreement.
Russia's Permanent Representative to International Organizations in Vienna Mikhail Ulyanov warned that such an attempt could only damage the credibility of the UN Security Council.
“Once again: US attempts to trigger snapback can damage the UNSC, including in the field of sanctions. So far UN sanctions sometimes were not fully implemented, but their validity wasn’t questioned. Snapback can change everything. Is that what US wants to achieve? We don’t,” Ulyanov tweeted on Tuesday.
The administration of US President Donald Trump was left isolated Thursday on the world stage as foreign allies and opponents alike declared its demand to reinstate all international sanctions on Iran illegal and doomed to failure.
Those sanctions had been eased under the nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA, from which the US withdrew in 2018
Other countries that remain party to the deal – China, Russia, France, the United Kingdom and Germany – disagreed with the US legal rationale for the move, as many believe the full return of UN sanctions would kill the JCPOA. They say the US has no standing to make the demand because the Trump administration pulled the US out of the deal.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Sunday that the US push at the UN Security Council will fail, but warned that it may undermine the top body.
“It will produce no result anyway, but it might eventually lead to a very serious scandal and a rift within the UN Security Council, and, in the final analysis, undermine its authority,” Lavrov said.
“We understand that the vast majority of nations realize the incorrectness and counter productivity of this attempt,” said Lavrov, adding that Russia will try its best to dissuade the US from pressing ahead with its “reckless” move.
Unilateralism will fail
China said on Monday the US administration’s unilateralism is unpopular and its hegemonic acts are doomed to failure.
“The US unilateral withdrawal from the JCPOA means it has waived its right as a participant to the JCPOA. It is therefore not eligible to request the launch of a snapback mechanism to restore sanctions against Iran,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters at a regular press briefing in Beijing.
“The fact that 13 member states of the United Nations Security Council have sent a joint letter to oppose the US move reflects the position of the vast majority of the UN Security Council members and the broad consensus of the international community. It once again shows that unilateralism is unpopular, and bullying will not succeed.”
Underlining that the resolution of the Iranian nuclear issue relies on dialogue rather than sanctions, the Chinese official said, “We hope the US side could listen to the voice of most members of the international community and return to the right track of implementing the JCPOA and the Security Council's resolutions.”
In the 24 hours since US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he demanded a one-month countdown to a return of UN sanctions on Iran, including an arms embargo, Britain, France, Germany and Belgium as well as China, Russia, Vietnam, Niger, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, South Africa, Indonesia, Estonia and Tunisia have already written letters in opposition.
Press TV, Reuters and AP contributed to this story.