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U.S. cannot 'snapback' sanctions on Iran, U.N. Security Council president says

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo suffered another blow to his plans to reinstate previous U.N. sanctions on Iran Tuesday, as the U.N. Security Council president said the snapback mechanism has not been triggered. Photo by Debbie Hill/UPI
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo suffered another blow to his plans to reinstate previous U.N. sanctions on Iran Tuesday, as the U.N. Security Council president said the "snapback mechanism" has not been triggered. Photo by Debbie Hill/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 25 (UPI) -- U.N. Security Council President Triansyah Djani said Tuesday that the United States cannot snapback sanctions on Iran.

Djani, who is also Indonesia's U.N. ambassador, said Tuesday that the "snapback mechanism" has not been triggered due to lack of Security Council members consensus.

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"There is no consensus in the council and thus the president is not in the position to take further action," Djani said during a monthly U.N. Security Council meeting Tuesday in the Middle East.

Djani made the comment in response to a question about U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's formal request Thursday for the sanctions to be reinstated due to Iran's noncompliance.

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Previous U.N. sanctions against Iran were removed following the signing of an Obama-era nuclear accord, but Pompeo has argued that the United States could trigger snapback mechanism under Resolution 2231 that recognized the nuclear accord to reinstate sanctions. But most U.N. Security Council members say that the United States lost its snapback power when President Donald Trump removed the United States from the nuclear deal in 2018, stating that it was "defective at its core."

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Thirteen of the 15 U.N. Security Council members have said that the U.S. request is illegal since the United States withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in May 2018, four days before a Saturday deadline to decide whether to re-certify the 2015 pact. The multilateral agreement also approved by China, Russia, Germany, France, Britain and the European Union has lifted sanctions on Iran in return for limits on its nuclear program.

Since the United States unilaterally pulled out of the nuclear accord about two years ago, Iran has restarted nuclear activities banned under the multilateral agreement.

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Pompeo has been attempting for months to use the country's former membership in the 2015 nuclear deal to extend an arms embargo on Iran after U.N. sanctions expire in October.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said it's up to member states of the U.N. Security Council to resolve whether the U.S. request to snapback the arms embargo is legal.

Indonesia holds onto the U.N. Security Council presidency until the end of the month, and then it will rotate to Niger.

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U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft speaking in a virtual council session criticized most Security Council members for not agreeing with her that the United States has snapback power to reinstate sanctions even though it has withdrawn from the nuclear deal.

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"I only regret that other members of this council have lost their way, and now find themselves standing in the company of terrorists," Craft said.

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