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EghtesadOnline: Russian representative to the United Nations said the issue of reviving global sanctions against Iran, which have been lifted under the 2015 nuclear deal, will not be discussed at the UN Security Council any more.

“What definitely won’t happen is discussion of the issue of the so-called snapback,” Vasily Nebenzya said in his address to the UN Security Council on Thursday at the beginning of Russia’s October presidency, IRNA cited Russian media as reporting.    

Snapback is a process foreseen under the nuclear deal, formally called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which could culminate in the automatic restoration of all UN sanctions on Tehran 30 days after a complaint has been filed by one party.

The United States claimed it had triggered the mechanism in late August, although it had already quit the agreement in 2018 and reimposed its own unilateral sanctions on Iran.

Out of the 15 UNSC members, 13 countries expressed their opposition, arguing that the US move is void since it is no longer a participant. 

Indonesia, the former president of UNSC, said it was “not in the position to take further action” on the US bid because there was no consensus in the 15-member body.

Niger, the next president, also announced that it stood by the same decision. 

"Permanent representatives of the UNSC member states and my predecessors at the post of the council’s president have already unambiguously commented on the illegitimacy of any American efforts in this regard," the Russian diplomat also said on Thursday.  

The US argued that it was entitled to use the process because UNSC Resolution 2231 that endorsed the nuclear deal still named it as a participant.

Despite all opposition, Washington asserted after the deadline that the UN restrictions had been restored and slapped new sanctions against Iran to underpin its statement. 

Other JCPOA parties, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Russia and China refused to recognize the resumption of UN measures against Iran. 

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said last week that “these attempts using illegal means have no prospect of succeeding”.

The three European powers also said the actions were incapable of having any legal effect.

The impetus for US action was the impending expiry of a UN arms embargo on Iran in October and an effort to warn foreign actors that they will face American sanctions if they buy or sell arms to Iran.

“No matter who you are, if you violate the UN arms embargo on Iran, you risk sanctions,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told a news conference after the announcement.

The UN Security Council had earlier rejected the US attempt to extend the arms ban indefinitely. 

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the UN Security Council’s plans in October under Moscow’s presidency will include ministerial debates on the Persian Gulf situation affected by the Iran-US conflict.

“The topicality of this issue is determined by the growth of crisis in the region, in part, against the backdrop of Washington’s heavy pressure on Iran and its efforts to undermine the implementation of JCPOA and Security Council Resolution 2231,” she told a press briefing on Thursday. 


UNSC Iran Russia UN Security Council United Nations global sanctions