News ID: 274362
Published: 0908 GMT September 18, 2020

E3 opposes US bid, says UN sanctions relief for Iran to continue beyond Sept. 20

E3 opposes US bid, says UN sanctions relief for Iran to continue beyond Sept. 20

France, Britain and Germany, known as E3, told the UN Security Council on Friday that UN sanctions relief for Iran – agreed under a 2015 nuclear deal – would continue beyond September 20, when the United States asserts that all the measures should be reimposed.

In a letter to the 15-member body, the three European parties to the nuclear deal and long-time US allies said any decision or action taken to reimpose UN sanctions "would be incapable of legal effect and so cannot bring into effect the procedure", Reuters reported. 

The United States quit the nuclear deal in 2018.

“Any decision and actions which would be taken based on this procedure or on its possible outcome would also be incapable of having any effect,” said the UN envoys for France, Britain and Germany.  

"We have worked tirelessly to preserve the nuclear agreement and remain committed to do so," they said, adding that the three countries remain committed to "fully implementing" a 2015 Security Council resolution that enshrines the pact, which also included Russia and China.


‘Absolutely correct’

Russia's Permanent Representative to International Organizations in Vienna Mikhail Ulyanov welcomed the European statement, calling it “absolutely correct”.

“This goes without saying because US attempt to trigger snapback is null and void from legal and procedural viewpoints. There is practically consensus on this issue in the international community,” Ulyanov tweeted on Saturday.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last month that he triggered a 30-day process at the Security Council leading to a return of UN sanctions on Iran on September 20 that would also prevent a conventional arms embargo on Tehran from expiring on Oct. 18.

But 13 of the Security Council members say Washington's move is void because it is no longer a party to the nuclear deal. The United States say it can make the move because the 2015 Security Council resolution still names it as a participant.

Diplomats say few countries are likely to reimpose the measures, which were lifted under the nuclear deal.

US President Donald Trump plans to issue an executive order in the coming days allowing him to impose US sanctions on anyone who violates the UN arms embargo on Iran, sources have said, in a bid to reinforce the US assertion that the measure has been extended indefinitely beyond Oct. 18.


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