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Russia: US push to invoke Iran deal snapback ‘common sense mockery’

Russia has criticized the “poorly calculated” US push to trigger the so-called snapback provision in the 2015 nuclear deal aimed at re-imposing all UN sanctions against Iran, saying the new adventurism will draw negative international reaction since it makes a “mockery” of common sense.

Russia’s Permanent Representative to International Organizations in Vienna Mikhail Ulyanov made the remarks in a series of tweets on Wednesday and Thursday after US President Donald Trump directed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to notify the UN Security Council (UNSC) of Washington’s intention to activate the mechanism.

“US is about to make a big mistake which can have extremely negative implications not only for #US but for #UN as a whole. In particular it can become a turning point for such a tool available for UNSC as #sanctions under Chapter Vii of the UN Charter. Very risky adventure,” Ulyanov said.

He also predicted that the US move “will cost a lot” for the UN and the 15-member Security Council, adding, “I think reaction will be negative because this is common sense mockery.”

“Poorly calculated US attempt to trigger #snapback procedure has prompted a lot of recommendations on possible reaction. It is encouraging. People naturally hate common sense mockery and offer concrete ways to overcome it. Civilised int. relations have a good chance to survive,” he added.

The Russian official also challenged the US claim that it remains a participant in the 2015 nuclear deal, citing Trump’s statement in May 2018 on his country’s withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

““#US claims that it remains a “#JCPOA participant”. Rather illogical, including in the light of the Memorandum of the President of the US dated May 8, 2018 which is entitled “Ceasing US participation in the JCPOA,”” he said.

Ulyanov further underlined the need for the remaining signatories to the JCPOA to exercise prudence in the face of the US efforts to invoke the sanctions “snapback” process.

“In view of US adventurism with snapback the #JCPOA participants should demonstrate wisdom and prudent approach. This relates not only to Russia, China or E-3. A lot depends on the ability of Tehran to provide a responsible and adequate response to the challenge caused be US,” he said.

Pompeo is expected to meet with Indonesia’s UN Ambassador Dian Triansyah Djani — UNSC president for August — to submit a complaint about what it calls Iran’s non-compliance with the JCPOA.

This is while the US lacks legal standing to trigger the snapback provision as it is no longer a member of the nuclear accord and already violated UNSC Resolution 2231 that enshrined the JCPOA.

Earlier this month, the US failed in its bid to extend the UN arms embargo on the Islamic Republic, which is set to expire on October 18 under Resolution 2231.

In the UNSC vote, the US received support only from the Dominican Republic for its anti-Iran resolution, leaving it far short of the minimum nine “yes” votes required for adoption.

Russia and China voted against the resolution and the remaining 11 council members, including France, Germany and the UK, abstained.

Speaking to Fox News on Wednesday, Pompeo said it was unfortunate that the European members of the council abstained on the US attempt to renew the arms ban on Iran, adding, “They just are wedded to this crazy nuclear deal, they’re trying to hang on to it.”

Pompeo threatens Russia, China with sanctions 

He was also asked if the United States would target Russia and China with sanctions if they refuse to reinstate the UN sanctions on Iran.

“Absolutely,” he replied. “We have already done that, where we have seen any country violate … the current American sanctions, we’ve held every nation accountable for that. We’ll do the same thing with respect to the broader UN Security Council sanctions as well.”

Washington reinstated its unilateral economic sanctions against Iran after leaving the JCPOA.

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