Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh has lashed out at the US in light of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s recent move to declare "the return of virtually all previously terminated UN sanctions” against the Islamic Republic.
“Today Iran is still fighting a war. America has waged a war against Iran with no blood”, Zanganeh was cited as saying by the Iranian news agency SHANA, in an apparent nod to the US' anti-Iran sanctions.
The statement followed Iran's President Hassan Rouhani saying in a televised speech on Sunday that the US is facing defeat in its recent sanctions decision against the Islamic Republic.
“America is approaching a certain defeat in its sanctions move […]. It faced defeat and negative response from the international community. We will never yield to US pressure and Iran will give a crushing response to America's bullying”, Rouhani underscored.
This came after UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres made it clear that he cannot take any action on the US' anti-Iran sanctions-related declaration due to a lack of clarity.
“There would appear to be uncertainty whether or not the process […] was indeed initiated and concomitantly whether or not the [sanctions] terminations […] continue in effect. It is not for the Secretary-General to proceed as if no such uncertainty exists”, Guterres pointed out in a letter to UN Security Council members on Sunday.
Tehran Urges Washington 'to Stop the Rebellion'
This followed the Iranian Foreign Ministry urging the White House to stick to its obligations and “stop the rebellion” so that the international community can “accept” Washington following its claims on the reinstatement of the UN sanctions against Tehran.
The EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, for his part, insisted that the US cannot unilaterally re-impose international sanctions against the Islamic Republic, a view that was echoed by the Russian Foreign Ministry, which accused Washington of continuing to mislead the global community.
“The facts are that the UN Security Council did not take any action that would lead to the restoration of old sanctions against Iran. All that Washington does is nothing more than a theatrical performance staged in order to subordinate the Security Council to its policy of 'maximum pressure' on Iran and turn this authoritative body into its handy tool”, the ministry stressed, calling on Washington to "stop speaking on behalf of the UN Security Council”.
On Saturday, Pompeo announced that all UN sanctions against Tehran were allegedly "back in effect" under the “snapback” mechanism of UN Security Council Resolution 2231, featured in the Iran nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
In May 2018, the US unilaterally withdrew from the JCPOA and re-imposed its tough economic sanctions on Iran, to which Tehran responded by gradually abandoning its own commitments under the deal a year later.