News ID: 274500
Published: 0301 GMT September 21, 2020

Russia, China envoys lay into US over Iran snapback claim

Russia, China envoys lay into US over Iran snapback claim

Senior Russian and Chinese diplomats lashed out at the United States over Washington’s unrealistic claim that its abortive campaign to bring back the United Nations’ sanctions against Iran has actually resulted in restoring the bans.

“US claims that previous UN sanctions are re-imposed on #Iran and threatens that all those who disagree with the US national interpretation of snapback will be punished,” Russian Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the International Organizations in Vienna Mikhail Ulyanov tweeted on Sunday. The envoy called such position “unjustifiable,” Press TV reported.

Last month, US Secretary of State Pompeo told the UN that his country was “initiating” a process to return the sanctions, citing what he called Iran’s violation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), a 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and others.

Thirteen members of the UN Security Council’s 15-strong board, however, refused to lend any credit to the US bid, reminding that Washington left the JCPOA in 2018, therefore, giving up the right to invoke the sanction “snapback” mechanism that is included in the deal.

On Saturday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he could not take any action on the US demand on grounds of “uncertainty” about whether Washington’s bid had ever been initiated and the bans restored.

The remarks came after Pompeo insisted that the sanctions had snapped back on Saturday and threatened the countries potentially defying this with “consequences.”

“Ironically and cynically, Washington calls this unjustifiable position a step toward int. peace and security,” the Russian official added.


‘World is not an American computer game’

The Russian Foreign Ministry also minced no words in deriding the United States’ allegations.

“Now, they are trying to force everyone to put on ‘augmented reality glasses’ labeled ‘Made in USA’ and perceive what is happening around Iran and the JCPOA exclusively through them,” it said in a statement. “But the world is not an American computer game,” the ministry added.


Illegal demands

China’s UN Ambassador Zhang Jun, meanwhile, wrote to the Security Council, calling Pompeo’s remarks unilateral and re-emphasizing the fact that the US’s departure from the JCPOA took away all of its rights to benefit from the agreement in any way.

“Therefore, it is illegitimate for the United States to demand the Security Council invoke the snapback mechanism,” the Chinese envoy said.

“China is committed to upholding the efficacy of the JCPOA and the authority of the Security Council resolution, and will make relentless efforts toward the political solution of the Iranian nuclear issue,” he added.

The JCPOA was hailed upon its conclusion as a pillar of regional and international peace and security. The rest of its signatories – the UK, France, Russia, and China plus Germany – have changelessly been reprimanding the US over its withdrawal from the deal.

Despite being among the US’s arch-allies, the European trio of London, Paris, and Berlin has likewise refused to validate Washington’s claim that the anti-Iran sanctions have in effect been reinstated.

On Sunday, France, Germany and Britain issued a joint statement, saying Washington’s “purported notification” was “incapable of having any legal effect.”


US ire

The Europeans’ opposition has angered Washington.

Pompeo said on Sunday that European leaders “haven’t lifted a finger” to halt arms sales to Iran, according to AFP.

Pompeo told Fox News that “arms sales, tanks, air defense systems, all of those, in a couple of weeks, would have been permitted to have been sold” to Iran.

The European nations have not joined the US in this, he said.


Threatening UN member states

On the same day, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, in a Twitter message, said, “[While] the world says NO Security Council sanctions were restored,” Pompeo keeps claiming that the bans are back in force and threatens other countries to comply with them, Press TV wrote.

Zarif slammed his US counterpart for sticking to the assertion that UN sanctions are back in place despite rejections by other Security Council members, urging President Donald Trump to rein in his secretary of state.

On Saturday, Pompeo went as far as threatening other member states of the United Nations by saying, “If UN Member States fail to fulfill their obligations to implement the sanctions, the United States is prepared to use our domestic authorities to impose consequences for those failures and ensure that Iran does not reap the benefits of UN-prohibited activity.”



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