US Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft said in a statement Friday the US “has every right to initiate snapback of provisions of previous Security Council resolutions” and “in the coming days, the United States will follow through on that promise to stop at nothing to extend the arms embargo.”
The US only drew support for the proposal from the Dominican Republic. Russia and China were opposed while Germany, France, the United Kingdom and eight others abstained.
“The United Nations Security Council is charged with the responsibility of maintaining international peace and security. It failed today to uphold its fundamental mission set,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement Friday.
Under the terms of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the conventional weapons ban on Iran is legally set to expire in mid-October. For months, the Trump administration has sought to extend the embargo despite having exited the deal — a campaign that was predicted to fail.
This week, the US tabled a resolution in the UN Security Council that would rollover the existing embargo indefinitely. US Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook argued it was a “a compromise text.”
“We listened to the Security Council members and created a new text that is both reasonable and necessary,” he told reporters Thursday.
Trump administration officials have argued that the US has the legal authority to re-impose sanctions on Iran under UN Security Council Resolution 2231.
“Resolution 2231 establishes a fixed term, ’JCPOA participants,’” Hook told reporters Thursday. “That expressly includes the United States in its definition. Resolution 2231 places no other conditions on the eligibility of states that are among the named JCPOA participants. Developments beyond the four corners of Resolution 2231 did not and could not change the United States’ right to initiate snapback.”
Hook said the US circulated a six-page legal memo on the matter to UN Security Council members Thursday.
The US position had raised eyebrows and scorn among diplomats.
European allies agreed that the potential of weapons flowing in and out of Iran poses a threat, but were furious that the US withdrew from the nuclear agreement but still claimed to be a participant and have the ability to snapback sanctions.
“You can’t have your cake and eat it too,” said one Security Council diplomat.