As the United States prepares to initiate snapback sanctions against Iran, a mechanism within the nuclear deal that Washington withdrew from, Iranian officials have been dismissing the attempts.
Iran’s Ambassador to the United Nations Majid Takht-Ravanchi tweeted today, “The US shouldn’t try its luck. It’ll only be humiliated again.” Ravanchi’s reference to the United States being "humiliated again” speaks to last week when the Donald Trump administration attempted to extend the arms embargo on Iran through the United Nations Security Council and failed with a vote of 2-11.
The snapback sanctions are part of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which the United States formally withdrew from in 2018 and then reapplied sanctions against Iran. In response, Iran restarted parts of its nuclear program in phases. The snapback sanctions part of the JCPOA allows any of the countries from the five permanent members of the UNSC who signed the deal to initiate sanctions on Iran if they claim Iran was in violation of the nuclear deal.
Given that the United States is no longer a part of the JCPOA, it will attempt to use UNSC Resolution 2231, which endorsed the JCPOA, to bring back sanctions. China and Russia have opposed US attempts to extend the arms embargo and bring back UN sanctions. Russia has previously floated the idea of a conference to resolve the issues. There have also been rumors that European countries are seeking to mediate a resolution to this impending crisis.
On the United States' inability to extend the arms embargo on Iran, which expired as part of the JCPOA, Takht-Ravanchi said, “It shows that they are isolated and even their close partners did not cooperate with them.”
President Hassan Rouhani also spoke today about US efforts to bring back sanctions on Iran using the mechanisms of the deal. “They’re not in it to be able to use it,” Rouhani said. “Within [Resolution] 2231, it says everywhere the members of the JCPOA or one member of the JCPOA, where in reality the US stated clearly that they exited the JCPOA and attacked the JCPOA and said it was the worst deal ever.”
The United States reapplied sanctions on Iran after it exited that have had a devastating economic impact on the country, particularly limiting the sale of its oil. The Trump administration hopes that a maximum pressure policy will force the country to renegotiate another nuclear deal. Iran has, however, been insistent that they will not renegotiate another deal. “We know that in this particular situation, the enemy will not reach its goals, but the people are experiencing problems and it has caused them pain,” Rouhani said. “We have to stand against the enemy because this era will end.”
Rouhani added, “If anyone thinks that this tyrant government in the White House or these oppressive sanctions are forever, they are mistaken on both counts.” According to Rouhani, the Trump administration has realized they have made a mistake but they chose a path in which they realized that turning back is very difficult.