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UNSC dismisses United States call for Iran sanctions

UNSC dismisses United States call for Iran sanctions

The president of the UN Security Council on Tuesday rejected the Trump administration's demand to restore all UN sanctions on Iran, a move that drew an angry rebuke from the United States ambassador who accused opponents of supporting "terrorists". But the overwhelming majority of UN Security Council members hold that the USA move does not constitute a "notification" as envisaged in Security Council Resolution 2231, which endorsed the Iran nuclear deal.

Indonesia's UN Ambassador, Dian Triansyah Djani, whose country is presiding over the Security Council this month, said the council was "not in the position to take further action" in response to a question from Russian Federation and China during a meeting on the Middle East.

The United States maintains that it has full authority under the U.N. resolution that codified the nuclear deal to invoke the snapback mechanism.

Indonesia's permanent representative, who holds the rotating presidency, said numerous 15 member states contested the move because the USA withdrew from the accord two years ago.

Washington has announced plans to trigger the snapback mechanism to reimpose all the UN sanctions against Iran - previously lifted under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) - after failing to get the UN Security Council to pass a resolution aiming to indefinitely extend the arms UN embargo on Iran.

The president of the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday rejected the Trump administration's demand to restore all U.N. sanctions on Iran, a move that drew an angry rebuke from the US ambassador who accused opponents of supporting "terrorists".

Under Resolution 2231, any participant state to the Iran nuclear deal can notify the UN Security Council about an issue that it considers a significant violation of the agreement.

"In my view there is no consensus in the council", Djani said.

On Twitter, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Pompeo's "lawless bullying leaves US isolated again". So it is likely to ignore the USA demand as well.

"We took note of the converging views expressed clearly by 13 of the 15 members of the Security Council on that matter", Ambassador Anne Gueguen said. Only the Dominican Republic joined Washington in voting yes.

Under the nuclear deal, the P5+1 group of world powers - China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, the USA and Germany - gave Iran sanctions relief in return for limits on its sensitive activities to show it was not developing nuclear weapons.

US Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft has indicated that her country will continue to push for fresh sanctions.

"Efforts to change the Iranian regime by taking the people to the streets also failed".

He stressed that under security council resolution 2231, which endorsed the accord, the United States had a legal right to do so because it was still named as a participant.

USA representative Kelly Craft reminded the council that its request came only after "the majority of this body surrendered to unthinkable inaction" and declined to extend the arms embargo on Iran.

"I only regret that other members of this council have lost their way and now find themselves standing in the company of terrorists", she added.

Gueguen said the three European parties are willing to work with council members including the other JCPOA participants, Russian Federation and China, "to seek a realistic path forward that could secure the support of the council".

The Dominican Republic and Niger, president of the council for September, are likely to face USA pressure to disregard Indonesia's assessment and proceed with the sanctions snapback process, diplomats said.