They failed to trigger a mechanism for the return of sanctions against Tehran. The U.S. lost the battle for the return of sanctions against Iran. Indonesia, which chairs the UN Security Council, has refused to take any procedural steps on the basis of a U.S. request due to a lack of consensus among the members of the Security Council. Russian diplomats speak of an important victory in the international community. However, it is too early to talk about The final defeat of Washington.
Dian Jani, a spokeswoman for Indonesia’s U.N. Security Council, said Tuesday that he was “unable to take further action” over the U.S. request to use the mechanism to bring back tough U.N. sanctions on Iran. The reason is the lack of consensus among the 15 members of the Security Council.
Mr. Jani’s words were made during a security council meeting on the Middle East in response to a request from Russia and China. It is clear to me that there is one country that takes a certain position, while a significant number of countries have a conflicting opinion,” he said.
“It is very important that the chairman of the Security Council has made it clear that given the position of the vast majority of the UN Security Council members on the illegality of the mechanism snap back, he is not able to promote this procedure. This means NO snap back,” Dmitry Polyansky, Russia’s first deputy ambassador to the Un, said on his Twitter account. It was Russian and Chinese diplomats who did everything possible to thwart the U.S. plans.
Even before the decision of the UN Security Council President became known, Iran declared the “100 percent failure of the U.S. pressure policy” (as the U.S. characterizes its actions against Iran.) failed 100%. That’s what everyone thinks. What was the maximum pressure? They wanted to force the Iranian government to come to the negotiating table,” Islamic Republic President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday. He added that “the next U.S. government, whoever it is – Republicans or someone else – will definitely think about a new way to deal” with Tehran.
Last Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo personally handed over to the UN Security Council documents on Iran’s non-compliance with its obligations under the nuclear deal – the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), signed in 2015 by five members of the UN Security Council, as well as Germany and Iran and enshrined in Security Council Resolution 2231.
Thus, Washington hoped to start the process of restoring UN sanctions against Tehran and completely destroy the JCPOA. The decision to take these measures was taken after the failure of the attempt to pass through the UN Security Council a resolution on the extension of the arms embargo – the restrictive regime for arms supplies to Iran, which was part of the JCPOA and Resolution 2231. This regime expires on October 18, after which Iran will be able to purchase weapons, for example, from Russia and China without agreement with the Security Council. The Americans believe that this will lead to a significant destabilization of the region. But in the end, only the United States and the Dominican Republic supported the extension of the arms embargo. Against – Russia and China, the other 11 members of the Security Council abstained.
Having failed to achieve an extension of the arms embargo, the U.S. hoped to use the mechanism to snap back to restore all international anti-Iranian sanctions that were in place before the nuclear deal. But even in this, they were defeated. On Friday, the day after the official U.S. address to the United Nations and Michael Pompeo’s meetings with Diane Jani and U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, all members of the UN Security Council, with the exception of Indonesia and the United States themselves, expressed their opposition to Washington’s plans.
They considered that the U.S. has no right to rule on Iran’s compliance with the terms of the nuclear deal, as they themselves withdrew from it in May 2018.
However, the U.S. authorities claim that the country retained the status of a party to the deal, as it still includes 2,231 among the “member states of the JCPOA” in the UN Security Council resolution.”I think it is a wise step given the position of the majority of the members of the council,” Vasily Nebenzia, the Russian ambassador, immediately responded to Diana Jani’s words, adding that the majority considers it necessary to preserve the JCPOA. He also expressed hope that Washington will no longer follow a path that “is not only illegal but simply will not lead to the result that the United States expected.”
The Security Council meeting was held in a video format. At the same time, it was not originally going to discuss Iran’s nuclear program. But two attempts by Russia to convene a special meeting on this issue- open or closed – were blocked by the United States. Therefore, Russia and China raised the issue of the illegitimacy of the U.S. actions during the event on another topic.
Representatives of other countries confirmed their disagreement with the U.S. actions.
“We do not support the proposal to launch a snapback at the moment, as this would be incompatible with our common efforts to preserve the Iranian nuclear deal,” said British Deputy Ambassador James Rascoe.
At the same time, he expressed a traditional agreement for London with the U.S. concern over the possibility of Iran purchasing weapons after the expiration of the permissive regime.U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Kraft, in turn, accused the council of lack of “courage and ethics.” “Let me just make this clear: the trump administration is not afraid to be in the minority on this issue. I only regret that the other members of this council have gone astray and are now in the company of terrorists,” Kelly Kraft said. At the same time, she did not forget to let go of the jab at Moscow and Beijing: “Russia and China are triumphant at the inability of this council to make decisions.”
But the refusal of members of the Security Council or its current chairman to launch a snapback mechanism at the request of the United States does not mean that the proponents of preserving the Iran nuclear deal have won a final victory. Washington has other options. For example, the United States can either itself or, through one of the council member countries (the weakest link, the Dominican Republic), submit to the Security Council a draft resolution that the Iran nuclear deal remains in force. And then make an unprecedented move by vetoing its own resolution. This will turn the procedure into an absolute farce but will allow the American side to achieve its goal of burying the JCPOA.
Or the Americans will wait 30 days from the time of their request to launch a mechanism to restore sanctions, and then simply declare that the sanctions have re-entered into force, no matter what others say. The result may be a paradoxical situation. The international community will argue that there are no UN sanctions against Iran, but the U.S. will punish anyone who dares to violate these “non-existent” sanctions.
For example, Russia or China will decide to supply Iran with certain weapons or other previously subject to sanctions goods, and the U.S. will blacklist relevant Russian and Chinese companies, which can greatly complicate their work. In addition to the negative consequences for Iran and its partners, this situation is fraught with the fact that the UN Security Council will finally cease to be considered a key body for the settlement of international contradictions.
Russia and its associates won a tactical victory, preventing the U.S. from implementing its plan. But in the long run, this fight is likely to have no winners. Everybody’s going to lose.