UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres
File Photo

UNITED NATIONS, Sep 20 (APP): United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has expressed his inability to take any action on a US declaration that all UN sanctions have been reinstated against Iran because of an apparent “uncertainty” on the issue, according to a media report.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Saturday that all UN sanctions against Iran were “back in effect” under a “snapback” mechanism featured in the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.

“There would appear to be uncertainty whether or not the process … was indeed initiated and concomitantly whether or not the (sanctions) terminations … continue in effect,” Guterres wrote in a letter to the UN Security Council, according to Reuters news agency.

In his statement, Pompeo also warned UN member states with “consequences” if they refused to implement the sanctions.

“If UN member states fail to fulfill their obligations to implement these sanctions, the United States is prepared to use our domestic authorities to impose consequences for those failures and ensure that Iran does not reap the benefits of UN-prohibited activity,” he said.

The top US diplomat “notified” the UN Secretariat last month that Washington was triggering the mechanism.
However, other signatories to the nuclear accord assert that the American procedure lacks legal effect because Washington left the deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in 2018.

“It is not for the Secretary-General to proceed as if no such uncertainty exists,” the UN chief added to his remarks that coincided with the deadline set by Washington.

Thirteen of the 15 Security Council members say Washington’s move is void because Pompeo used a mechanism agreed under a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, which the United States quit in 2018.

U.N. officials provide administrative and technical support to the Security Council to implement its sanctions regimes and Guterres appoints independent experts to monitor implementation.

Guterres said that “pending clarification” of the status of the Iran sanctions, he would not take any action to provide that support.

Meanwhile, Iran’s UN Ambassador Majid Takht Ravanchi tweeted, “US illegal and false ‘deadline’ has come and gone … Swimming against international currents will only bring it more isolation.”

Russia’s Deputy UN Ambassador Dmitry Polyanskiy said on Twitter, “We all clearly said in August that US claims to trigger snapback are illegitimate. Is Washington deaf?”
In August, the Security Council rejected a US-drafted resolution seeking to prevent an arms embargo on the Islamic Republic from expiring in October under the JCPOA.

China and Russia strongly opposed the resolution and eleven countries withheld their votes on the draft that was only backed by the Dominican Republic.