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United States’s strategy of Snap-back international sanctions on Iran

Sanctions on Iran.

The United States withdrew from the complex deal in May 2018.  Now, the United States prepared a strategy of Snap-back international sanctions on Iran.

Importance of Sanctions on Iran?

The nuclear deal is the result of months of complex negotiations led by the United States. It’s now  new effort of United States re-imposing international sanctions on Iran

In fact, the agreement seeks to permanently end Iran’s nuclear weapons program. This is with the approval of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The UN Security Council lifted all previous sanctions on Iran. UN imposed a set of new sanctions over Iran. Theses sanctions lifted in three stages if Iran complied with the agreement automatically.

The first set of sanctions imposed on Iran by the SC will expire in the next few weeks. Iran’s sanctions on ballistic missiles will continue until 2023.

Ten years after the end of the agreement, in 2025, the remaining sanctions on Iran will be lifted.

Terms and conditions.

When the United States withdrew from the agreement, it questioned Iran’s efforts to destabilize the region, especially in Lebanon, the Palestinian territories, Syria and Yemen.

The United States has also blamed on  Iran of pursuing a nuclear program that could jeopardize its global nuclear non-proliferation system.

The United States unilaterally imposed a comprehensive set of sanctions on Iran, putting pressure on developing companies to comply with the sanctions and threatening them with dire consequences if they did not do so.

Iran has called the US move a “grave violation” of the nuclear deal. In response, however, Iran continued to adhere to the nuclear deal, claiming that it had found a way to settle the disputed deal.

In 2019, a year after fruitless efforts to resolve the deal, Iran began “reducing compliance” with the agreement in response to US sanctions.

Iran has begun to enrich uranium beyond the limits set by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

During this time, Iran also tested “space vehicles”, which many called Iran’s nuclear ballistic missiles in the guise of a space mission. He blamed of violating a ban on the transfer of conventional weapons, especially in connection with the Yemen conflict.

What was the reaction of the other parties in this matter?
The Iran nuclear deal also included EU support for its implementation with the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China.

The European Union (EU) has sought to reduce the cost of sanctions imposed on Iran by the United States so that Iran can abide by its share of the agreement.

However, in January this year, Iran’s compliance with the agreement was so low that European states withdrew from the mechanism of the agreement.

The response of other countries regarding sanctions on Iran.

China and Russia stand with Iran.  They say that sanctions imposed by the United States’re a fundamental violation of the agreement.

Legal Status of sanctions on Iran?

The agreement was made under a political arrangement and most people agree that such an agreement has no status under international law. The deal was struck in light of Iran’s sovereignty concerns over its permanent denuclearization.

In addition, the Obama administration was unable to reach a written agreement due to difficulties in ratifying the agreement by the US Senate. However, this agreement isn’t without legal implications. Although there are no strict legal provisions or restrictions in this agreement, the principle of good faith requires states not to act on their promises.

In addition, the agreement was ratified under Article 25 of the UN Security Council Charter, which requires states to abide by the decisions of the Council.

The treaty’s provisions on lifting and imposing sanctions were adopted under Chapter Seven of the UN Charter.

What is Snap-back?

International law applies only to written or binding agreements. But they are weak when it comes to enforcing these agreements. In this case, the error has been cleverly reversed. Despite failing to reach a binding agreement, the United States has devised a very strict and enforceable mechanism for its implementation in Iran. Whether they do it themselves or not.

Nor did the United States pass such a controversial “so-called” resolution at the time of the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq, knowing that other countries could veto it if it did so. So the United States solved this unbalanced system of power by re-imposing sanctions.

How will snap-backs or re-imposed restrictions work?
As a “participatory state” to the disputed agreement, they can accuse Iran of non-compliance.

And 30 days after the claim, all UN sanctions imposed prior to the agreement will automatically take effect unless the Council passes a resolution suspending the process.

If no member of the council submits the suspension resolution within ten days, the president of the council must present one. The United States could easily veto the draft. In case of termination of deal, all the sanctions would be imposed on Iran

Progress

In early August, the United States introduced a resolution.  It was  called for an indefinite ban on arms transfers, which expires this fall. The move suggests that the United States may also be reluctant to re-impose sanctions on Iran.

However, the resolution was defeated by a landslide in the council vote, and last week US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo formally launched the snapback process.

The Response of Security Council.

The other participants in the agreement immediately wrote a letter to the president of the council stating that the United States had withdrawn from it and therefore could not use Snapback.

This idea has been supported by all members of the Council except the Dominican Republic, but the Dominican Republic has supported the US position in all proceedings.

The council’s president then said he did not feel the need to act further on the US request, given the majority members’ expressions.

What is the position of the United States and Iran?

Both the United States and Iran have submitted comprehensive and detailed legal responses to their position. The United States is not violate the agreement.

In addition, paragraph 10 of Security Council Resolution 2231 names the United States as a “Partner State.” According to Washington, this definition is independent of the actual participation in the basic agreement.

Therefore, even after the United States withdraws from the agreement, it remains a regular partner in the agreement. Accordingly, Washington may insist on a snapback system specific to the “participating states” because the obligations contained in the agreement and the re-imposition clauses in the Security Council resolution are completely separate.

On the other hand, all the other states involved in the agreement claim that the United States cannot rely on Snapback because it has withdrawn from the agreement and is no longer a “partner state”. As the Russian ambassador to the United Nations said, you cannot board two boats at a time.

Who is right

United States will  end its “participation in the agreement say by President Trump. This unpleasant phrase repeated by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo .

At the time of withdrawing from the agreement, US National Security Adviser John Bolton himself had insisted that the idea was “legally incorrect” and so had all other participating states and the European Union. Undoubtedly, the conclusion of the President of the Security Council, based on legal advice, points in this direction.

The other side did not like the cunning of the United States in its definition of a participatory state.

Clearly, in Security Council Resolution 2231, this agreement and the snap-back system are compatible and exist for each other.

The connection between the two is attribute to the fact that under the agreement, which defines Resolution 2231.  The re-imposition system is only available to states that are in practice in the treaty.

Therefore, the United States has pulled itself out of the snap-back system.  This is the result in the light of the relevant provisions of the resolution. The snap-back system is design to ensure  the agreement did not compromise or destroy.

Could the United States have avoided that?

Unfortunately, if the United States had complied with this agreement under the rules set by the Obama administration, it could have achieved its goals.

Instead of a partner state withdrawing from the agreement in 2018, if it had joined, it would have made serious allegations against Iran for non-compliance and non-compliance with the terms of the agreement.

About Muhammad Naveed

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