Russia, China Envoys Lay Into US over Iran Snapback Claim
By Staff, Agencies
Senior Russian and Chinese diplomats have 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.”
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.
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.
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.
China’s UN Ambassador Zhang Jun, meanwhile, wrote t 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.