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UN Chief Says Will Take No Action on Iran Sanctions

UN Chief Says Will Take No Action on Iran Sanctions UN Chief Says Will Take No Action on Iran Sanctions

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told the Security Council on Saturday he cannot take any action on a US declaration that all UN sanctions on Iran had been reimposed because “there would appear to be uncertainty” on the issue.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last month that he triggered a 30-day process at the council leading to the return of UN sanctions on Iran on Saturday evening, which would also stop a conventional arms embargo on Tehran from expiring on Oct. 18.
But 13 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 the world powers, which the United States quit in 2018.
“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 council, Reuters reported.
“It is not for the secretary-general to proceed, as if no such uncertainty exists,” he said.
UN officials provide administrative and technical support to the UN Security Council to implement its sanctions regimes and Guterres appoints independent experts to monitor implementation. 
Guterres also said that “pending clarification” of the status of Iran sanctions, he would not take any action to provide that support.
Washington argues it triggered the return of sanctions, known as “snapback”, because a UN resolution that enshrines the pact still names it as a participant. Diplomats say few countries are likely to reimpose the measures lifted under the 2015 nuclear deal.
“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,” Pompeo said in a statement on Saturday.
He said in the coming days, Washington would announce additional measures to strengthen the implementation of the UN sanctions and “hold violators accountable”. The United States is trying to push Iran to negotiate a new deal with Washington.
Russia’s Deputy UN Ambassador Dmitry Polyanskiy responded on Twitter, “We all clearly said in August that US claims to trigger snapback are illegitimate. Is Washington deaf?”
Longtime US allies Britain, France and Germany told the council on Friday that UN sanctions relief for Iran would continue and that any decision or action taken to reimpose UN sanctions “would be incapable of legal effect”.

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