Iran: US faces 'maximum isolation' as EU powers reject sanctions

2020-09-22 13:22:03
Iran: US faces 'maximum isolation' as EU powers reject sanctions

Iran's president says the United States is facing "maximum isolation" after America’s European allies dismissed a unilateral US declaration that UN sanctions against the Islamic Republic were back in force.

Addressing a cabinet session on Sunday, President Hassan Rouhani said the Islamic Republic will never give in to US bullying.

"We have always said that there is only one way of dealing with the Iranian nation and that is to show respect for the rights of the Iranian nation and speak to it with the language of respect," he emphasized.

"As Iran's president, I announce that if the US wants to continue its bullying and take a practical step in line with its incorrect assertion - which has been rejected by all parties - that it has been able to restore [anti-Iran] resolutions [passed by the UN Security Council], he will be faced with our categorical response," Iran's president said.

Rouhani made the comments after US President Donald Trump’s administration claimed it has restored all UN sanctions against Tehran through the so-called snapback mechanism of a landmark nuclear deal clinched in 2015, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Saturday that all UN sanctions against Iran were "back in effect" under the “snapback” provision in the JCPOA.

The claim came 30 days after Pompeo notified the UN Security Council (UNSC) of what he called Iran’s “significant non-performance” with its obligations under the JCPOA – from which Trump withdrew in May 2018.

Following Pompeo's announcement, the three European signatories to the JCPOA said in a statement that the US claim has no legal effect.

“France, Germany and the United Kingdom (“the E3”) note that the US ceased to be a participant to the JCPOA following their withdrawal from the deal on 8 May, 2018. Consequently, the purported notification under paragraph 11 of UNSCR 2231 (2015), received from the United States of America and circulated to the UN Security Council Members, is incapable of having legal effect. It flows from this that any decisions and actions which would be taken based on this procedure or on its possible outcome would also be incapable of having any legal effect,” the statement read.

The United Nations secretary-general, for his part, said “uncertainty” prevents him from taking any action on a US declaration that all UN sanctions have been reinstated against Iran.

“There would appear to be uncertainty whether or not the process ... was indeed initiated,” Antonio Guterres said on Saturday in a letter to the UN Security Council that was seen by Reuters.

The UN Security Council almost unanimously refused in mid-August to support a US-sponsored draft resolution on extending the arms embargo against Iran, which is due to expire in October under the JCPOA.

During the 15-member Security Council vote, the US received support only from the Dominican Republic for its anti-Iran resolution, leaving it far short of the minimum nine “yes” votes required for adoption.

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