United States President Donald Trump vowed to use a controversial technique to unilaterally reinstate UN Iran sanctions on Tehran, a move with huge repercussions for the Iran nuclear deal.
His declaration came a day after the UN Security Council overwhelmingly rejected a US resolution to extend an Iranian arms embargo. “We’ll be doing a snapback,” Trump said during a news conference at his New Jersey golf club. “You’ll be watching it next week.”
The president was referring to the contested argument that the US remains a “participant” in the 2015 Iran nuclear deal — despite Trump’s withdrawal from it — and therefore can force a return to UN Iran sanctions if it sees Iran as being in violation of its terms.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the US had failed to kill off what he called the “half alive” deal with major powers that gave Iran relief from UN Iran sanctions in exchange for curbs on its nuclear programme.
“The United States failed in this conspiracy with humiliation,” said Rouhani. “This day will go down in the history of our Iran and in the history of fighting global arrogance.”
Only two of the Council’s 15 members voted in favour of the US resolution seeking to extend the embargo, highlighting the division between Washington and its European allies since Trump withdrew from the nuclear accord in 2018.
The Europeans on the Council all abstained, and Iran mocked the Trump administration for winning the support of just one other country, the Dominican Republic.
People on the streets of Tehran had mixed reactions. Trump action of UN Iran sanctions back will add insult to injury.
“This is an American political game. One day they give a resolution to the Security Council, the next they say they have taken Iranian fuel”, said a worker at the city’s Grand Bazaar who gave his name only as Ahmadi.
A drugstore employee named Abdoli told AFP she was happy Iran won, but added that it “should interact with the United States and establish relations”.
‘Snapback’ threatens to plunge Council into crisis: experts
European allies have been sceptical on whether Washington can force UN Iran sanctions, with experts saying a “snapback” threatens to plunge the Council into one of its worst-ever diplomatic crises.