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Thirteen of the Fifteen UN Security Council Members Reject U.S. Letter on Iran Sanctions

Aug. 22, 2020 (EIRNS)—The United States has almost no support on the Security Council for the action it has taken in the form of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo‛s letter on Iran on Aug. 20. Reuters reported yesterday that 13 of the 15 members of the council have sent letters to the council president (the rotating council presidency is held by Indonesia this month) opposing the U.S. action. In the 24 hours following Pompeo‛s submission, Britain, France, Germany and Belgium, as well as China, Russia, Vietnam, Niger, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, South Africa, Indonesia, Estonia and Tunisia have all written letters in opposition, reports Reuters. The only exception was the Dominican Republic, which had not submitted a letter.

Pompeo again warned Russia and China that they will face U.S. action if they refuse to reimpose the UN measures on Iran.

Paragraph 37 of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the full text of which is included in UN Security Council resolution 2231, states: “Upon receipt of the notification from the complaining participant, as described above, including a description of the good faith efforts the participant made to exhaust the dispute resolution process specified in this JCPOA, the UN Security Council, in accordance with its procedures, shall vote on a resolution to continue the sanctions lifting. If the resolution described above has not been adopted within 30 days of the notification, then the provisions of the old UN Security Council resolutions would be re imposed, unless the UN Security Council decides otherwise.” The previous paragraph, number 36, describes the dispute resolution process which complainants must exhaust before submitting such notification. Not only has the U.S. ignored that process, but also Pompeo blatantly lied when he said during his Aug. 20 press conference that anyone can submit a complaint without any preconditions whatsoever. “It just says these countries” that are named in the resolution “can execute snapback,” he said, without even mentioning the dispute resolution process in paragraphs 36 and 37.

Pompeo and special envoy Brian Hook—in his swan song before turning his duties over to the nasty Elliott Abrams—simply dismissed the opposition to the U.S. letter. “We don’t need anyone’s permission,” Hook told reporters in a briefing Aug. 21. “Iran is in violation of its voluntary nuclear commitments. The condition has been met to initiate snapback. And so we have now started to initiate snapback.” He said that “whether people support or oppose what we’re doing is not material,” and that “today is day one of the 30-day process.”

“To side with the Russians and the Chinese on this important issue at this important moment in time at the UN, I think, is really dangerous for the world,” Pompeo told Fox News yesterday.

The Associated Press reports that diplomats had predicted this overwhelming opposition from council members. In these circumstances, the U.S. action would have no effect and the council president would not be required to introduce a resolution to extend sanctions relief, which would face a U.S. veto, diplomats speaking on condition of anonymity said.

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