19:01 GMT30 September 2020
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    The US has been fruitlessly trying to force the UN Security Council to reinstate all sanctions against Iran that were previously lifted under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. However, ironically, Washington's decision to pull out of the JCPOA in 2018 stripped it of the right to invoke these "snapback" sanctions for other UNSC members.

    As scientists around the world are still arguing about the possibility of visiting and studying alternate or parallel universes, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo apparently lives in one, according to a mocking Twitter post by Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh. The spokesperson commented on Pompeo's recent claim that the so-called "snapback" sanctions against Iran would inevitably come into effect on 20 September, noting that when it comes to the reinstatement of sanctions, the clock "is ticking just in Pompeo's parallel alternate universe".

    Khatibzadeh reminded the secretary of state about the US' recent fiasco at the UN Security Council after members declined Washington's bid to initiate the "snapback" sanctions mechanism, citing the lack of the country's authority to set it in motion.

    "Thirteen members, including President of the UNSC have declared that America has no legal standing in the first place to recourse to 2231, as it's not a JCPOA participant", Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesperson said.

    Failure of US Bid at UNSC

    Last week, Pompeo "notified" the UN Security Council that the US would be triggering the "snapback" sanctions mechanism, which oversees the reinstatement of international sanctions against Iran and prolongs the embargo on weapons sales. The mechanism is a part of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA, also known as the Iran nuclear deal) that was signed by the US, Russia, China, and a group of European countries in 2015. The mechanism is supposed to be invoked should Tehran violate the provisions of the nuclear deal and one of the members of the accord submit a complaint about it.

    Trump's administration has been opposed to the Iran nuclear from the start and Washington withdrew from the JCPOA in 2018 after Tehran refused to limit its missile programme, which was never a part of the accord. Ironically, this withdrawal currently prevents the US from triggering the "snapback" mechanism as other members of the UNSC have indicated that Washington is no longer a party to the nuclear deal and thus cannot prevent the lifting of a weapons embargo and re-introduce international sanctions against Iran.

    Pompeo disagrees with this interpretation, however, and recently claimed that in order to enact international sanctions relief, UNSC members must vote for a respective resolution, which the top diplomat has vowed to block. At the same time, the remaining signatories to the JCPOA may ignore Washington, as the point regulating a resolution to lift sanctions is also a part of the nuclear deal, which is therefore beyond the US ability to control.

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    Tags:
    sanctions, Iran, US, parallel universes, Mike Pompeo
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