Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Sunday that the United States’ push to reinstate all UN sanctions on Iran will fail, but warned that it may undermine the United Nations Security Council.
“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 in an interview with the Rossiya-1 TV channel.
“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.
The United States is trying to invoke a “snapback” mechanism in a 2015 international nuclear deal with Iran — from which it withdrew in 2018 — to force the return of the UN sanctions.
The remaining parties to Britain, France, Russia, China, and Germany have all opposed the US push.
The United States claims that it can trigger the sanctions snapback process because a 2015 Security Council resolution which was adopted to endorse the nuclear dal still names it as an accord participant.
However, in a joint letter to the Security Council on Thursday, Britain, Germany and France said: "Any decisions and actions which would be taken based on this procedure or on its possible outcome would also be devoid of any legal effect."
Russian and China also rejected the US move as illegal. In addition, eight other members of the Security Council also opposed the bid.
Lavorv said what the US was trying to do had no legal basis and its argument was merely “legalistic, quasi-juridicial.”
Lavrov pointed to how Washington faced a similar defeat when it recently tried to have an arms embargo on Iran extended beyond its expiry date of October as per the nuclear deal known as the JCPOA. Only the Dominican Republic backed the United States in that bid.
“We explained it all clearly to our American partners. Nevertheless, they made the decision to submit a relevant resolution,” Lavrov said.
“Generally speaking, I think they knew what the result will be, but, evidently, they wanted to send… a message about their determination to settle this matter, and would attempt to ensure the adoption of a new resolution,” the top Russian diplomat said.
He said neither Russia nor the other JCPOA participants see any legal, political, or moral grounds for “deriding UN Security Council’s decisions and the Council itself in such a brutal fashion.”
Washington’s attempts, he said, shows it is trying to do away with the notion of “international law” and replace it with a “rule-based order.”
“There have been many examples of this, and they are becoming more and more frequent. This is a very dangerous tendency,” Lavrov added.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Saturday released a video about the remarks made by some American officials, explaining “in their own words” why Washington has no right to recourse to the UN Security Council Resolution 2231 to return the UN sanctions against Iran.
The video, posted on Zarif’s Twitter account, starts with US President Donald Trump’s 2018 announcement that “the United States will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal.”
Then it shows a presidential memorandum released by the White House on May 8, 2018, which clearly states Washington is “ceasing” its participation in the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran.
It further shows US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s comments that Trump has “terminated the US participation in the JCPOA”.
A press briefing by then national security advisor John Bolton is also shown on the video, clearly stating that the US is not using the “provisions of Resolution 2231 … because we’re out of the deal.”
“On snapback, we are no longer in the Deal, and so, the parties that are still in the deal with have to make their decisions,” Brian Hook, the US State Department’s special envoy for Iran, is also quoted as saying in the video.
The video uses all these statements made by American officials to prove that the US itself admits it is no longer a party to the JCPOA and thus has no right to use the provisions of the UN Security Council resolution.
"After officially and explicitly ceasing its participation in the JCPOA at the highest level, and having violated each and every one of its obligations under the JCPOA and Resolution 2231, the US cannot arrogate to itself any right under that Resolution," Zarif said in the video.
TASS and Press TV contributed to this story.