UN Security Council rejects US’ bid to reimpose sanctions on Iran

Indonesia, the United Nations Security Council president for August, on Tuesday rejected United States’ bid to restore sanctions on Iran on the ground that there was no consensus on it among the 15-member body, Reuters reported.

Thirteen of the 15 members of the council, including allies of the United States, on Friday opposed Washington’s move saying that the demand was illegal as the Donald Trump administration had quit the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, in 2018. “The US ceased to be a participant to the JCPOA following their withdrawal from the deal on May 8, 2018,” they said in a joint statement. “We cannot therefore support this action which is incompatible with our current efforts to support the JCPOA.”

Indonesia’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Dian Triansyah Djani, made the announcement after Russia and China requested to disclose results of the polling on the US action. “In my view, there is no consensus in the council,” Djani was quoted as saying by AP. “Thus, the president is not in the position to take further action.”

On Thursday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had intimated the world body that the US was initiating the process to reinstate all UN sanctions on Iran in existence before the deal was signed. Pompeo, to justify the American move, said Iran had violated the terms of the 2015 agreement. “It’s written, it’s plain, it’s very straightforward,” he had said.

Defending the Trump administration on Tuesday, US Ambassador Kelly Craft made it clear the nation would not back down. “Let me just make it really, really clear: the Trump administration has no fear in standing in limited company on this matter,” she said. “I only regret that other members of this council have lost their way and now find themselves standing in the company of terrorists.”

In a statement issued later, the US mission to the UN said that Washington was “on firm legal ground to initiate the restoration of sanctions” citing the Security Council’s resolution, which had endorsed the 2015 nuclear deal. The US believes that the resolution still names it as a participant to the JCPOA.

Russia’s UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said he hoped the US would stop to restore Iran sanctions. China’s UN Ambassador Zhang Jun hailed Djani’s announcement and said the move was the “right step towards the right direction.”

Iran’s foreign minister Javad Zarif said the US was once again isolated because of its bullying. “Pompeo’s lawless bullying leaves US isolated again,” he tweeted. “While [the] US prevented a Security Council debate about its unlawful notification on Friday, members in today’s meeting on ME refuted US’ attempt as null and void. Time for DonaldTrump to stop listening to novice bullies.”

In April, Iran’s paramilitary force Islamic Revolution Guards Corps on April 22 launched its first military satellite into space, revealing a secret military space programme. Iran had refused to abide by the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal it signed with several countries, after the Donald Trump-led United States pulled out of it in 2018. The deal, signed during the Barack Obama administration, forbade Iran from developing such missiles.


UN Security Council rejects US’ bid to reimpose sanctions on Iran