US officially asks UN to activate Iran 'snapback'

US initiates the restoration of UN sanctions on Iran lifted in 2013. Israel welcomes the move.

Elad Benari ,

Mike Pompeo
Mike Pompeo

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo officially announced on Thursday that the United States will initiate the restoration of UN sanctions on Iran lifted under UN Security Council Resolution 2231.

This process will lead to those sanctions coming back into effect in 30 days.

Pompeo had met in New York with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and the UN ambassador from Indonesia, which holds the Security Council's rotating presidency. He presented both with the written "snapback" request, according to Axios.

The snapback request initiates a 30-day consultation period, during which time an unprecedented legal and political fight is expected at the Security Council.

The US says the "snapback" move is necessary to prevent Iran from buying arms on the international market.

President Donald Trump announced on Wednesday he had directed Pompeo to notify the United Nations Security Council that the United States intends to restore virtually all previously suspended UN sanctions on Iran.

Trump’s move to activate the “snapback” comes after the UN Security Council rejected the US resolution to extend the arms embargo on Iran, which is due to expire in October.

Only two of the Council's 15 members voted in favor of the US resolution.

Israel welcomed the American decision to call on the UN Security Council to operate the “snapback” mechanism, saying that this is an important and necessary step following the Security Council’s failure last week to extend the arms embargo on Iran.

Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi said, “The United States, and President Trump, have shown the leadership and responsibility to restore security and stability in the face of the greatest threat posed - Iran and its nuclear and regional aspirations.”

“The US has the gratitude and appreciation of the State of Israel, and we are also sure, of its partners and allies in the Middle East,” he continued.

“This is an important and courageous decision by the US administration aimed at restoring law and order to the international system after Iran's repeated violations of the agreements it signed, which are reflected, among other things, in the arming of terrorist organizations throughout the Middle East.”

“Iran's violations began on the day that UN Resolution 2231 was adopted and have continued unabated until today.”

“We call on the international community to support the American initiative and thus restore the stability of the international system that rests on full compliance with UN Security Council resolutions," concluded Ashkenazi.