In another international defeat, the the U.N. Security Council has denied a U.S. request to restore sanctions on Iran that were lifted by a multilateral nuclear deal struck in 2015, with nearly all the member states on the council determining the U.S. has no standing to make the demand because President Trump left the agreement in 2018.
On August 19, Trump announced he would seek a “snapback” of sanctions on Iran, which under the terms of the deal to curb Iran’s nuclear weapons development, called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, allows for any of the six countries that were party to it to restore the economic penalties with no ability for the others to veto it.
The U.N. Security Council said Tuesday that all 15 member countries except the Dominican Republic considered the action illegal due to Trump’s withdrawal from the agreement.
Kelly Craft, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., again insisted in a statement Tuesday that the U.s. had the right to trigger the “snapback” and claimed, “Other UNSC members who do not support our efforts now stand in the company of terrorists.”
It’s another international defeat for the U.S., as on August 14, the U.N. Security Council rejected the Trump administration’s call to extend an Iran arms embargo, receiving only one “yes” vote.
The ambassador from Niger will take over the council presidency in September, but Niger is also against Trump’s demands.
Even if Trump were to win the reimposition of U.N. sanctions against Iran, it wouldn’t necessarily be a death knell for the landmark agreement. Three senior Iranian officials told Reuters in August that the country would remain in the deal and hope Trump is replaced by former Vice President Joe Biden in November.
Trump drew criticism in late 2019 when he pushed forward with arms sales to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan without approval by Congress. An inspector general report in August found that the $8.1 billion sale did not fully account for the humanitarian and legal risks associated with the sales. American weapons have been used in a Yemen war that has resulted in thousands of civilian deaths.