The United States has publicly threatened to trigger all UN sanctions on Iran if the Security Council fails to extend the arms embargo which is due to expire in October. US special envoy for Iran, Brian Hook, wrote in the Wall Street Journal that Washington will ensure the extension of the arms embargo “one way or other”.
In order to get the Security Council resolution adopted, the US would need nine votes in favour and no vetoes from permanent members including Russia and China. While Russia has already signalled to veto the resolution drafted by the US, Hook said that it will “press ahead with diplomacy and build support”.
#Nebenzia: I do not see any reasons why #ArmsEmbargo should be imposed on #Iran. It expires on 19 October. It was temporary. Let’s call a spade a spade: it was not in fact even an embargo. It is the order where Iran is allowed to export/import armaments on the consent of #UNSC. pic.twitter.com/BhOFS07nmO— Russian Mission UN (@RussiaUN) May 13, 2020
Earlier, the senior diplomat had asserted that it is “quite easy” to renew the arms embargo since there is a policy precedent and it has been voted on unanimously in the past. However, Hook had emphasised that the United States is prepared to use “every diplomatic option available” if the efforts through Security Council do not come to fruition.
The Iran nuclear deal was enshrined in a UN Security Council resolution will still names the United States as a participant and the Trump administration is arguing on the technicality that Washington could still trigger a snapback. Snapback is basically a part of the dispute resolution process which could be initiated by a party to JCPOA if it feels that another party is not meeting its obligations, enabling the rapid re-imposition of existing sanctions.
Russia’s Ambassador to the United Nations had lashed out at the US assertion that Washington is still a member of Iran nuclear deal of 2015 and could trigger a snapback on all UN sanctions on Tehran. Calling the claim “ridiculous”, Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia told the reporters that the United States is not a member anymore and they have no right to trigger the sanctions on Iran. The Russian diplomat reportedly warned that snapback will definitely be the end of the JCPOA and most intrusive inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will cease.