Germany, France and Britain reject 'snapback' of Iran sanctions

Germany, France and Britain say the US ceased to be a participant in Iran deal and as such cannot push for sanctions snapback mechanism.

Elad Benari ,

UN Security Council
UN Security Council

Germany, France and Britain announced on Thursday that they reject the US initiative to initiate a “snapback” of the UN sanctions on Iran.

“France, Germany and the United Kingdom note that the US ceased to be a participant to the JCPoA following their withdrawal from the deal on May 8, 2018,” the foreign ministers of the three countries said in a joint statement, referring to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, the official name of which is the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

“Our position regarding the effectiveness of the US notification pursuant to resolution 2231 has consequently been very clearly expressed to the Presidency and all UNSC Members. We cannot therefore support this action which is incompatible with our current efforts to support the JCPOA,” they added.

France, Germany and the United Kingdom “are committed to preserving the processes and institutions which constitute the foundation of multilateralism. We remain guided by the objective of upholding the authority and integrity of the United Nations Security Council. We call on all UNSC members to refrain from any action that would only deepen divisions in the Security Council or that would have serious adverse consequences on its work,” the statement said.

The three foreign ministers said that their countries “remain committed to the JCPoA despite the significant challenges caused by US withdrawal. We believe that we should address the current issue of systematic Iranian non-compliance with its JCPoA obligations through dialogue between JCPoA participants, including through the Joint Commission and use of the Dispute Resolution Mechanism. In order to preserve the agreement, we urge Iran to reverse all measures inconsistent with its nuclear commitments and return to full compliance without delay.”

The statement was released as US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met in New York with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and the UN ambassador from Indonesia and presented them with the written "snapback" request, which initiates a 30-day period at the end of which the UN sanctions on Iran can be reimposed.

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.