Chairwoman of the Iranian parliament’s Nuclear Committee Sara Fallahi warned that the US attempts to activate trigger mechanism and return the removed UN Security Council sanctions against Tehran will force the country to withdraw from the nuclear deal.
Fallahi made the remarks on Wednesday after a meeting with Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi and Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araqchi at the parliament, also attended by other members of the Nuclear Committee.
“The Iranian MPs and officials present in the meeting said unanimously that the US cannot use the trigger mechanism enshrined in the nuclear deal given its withdrawal from the agreement,” she told FNA.
“If the US wants to use the trigger mechanism illegally and illegitimately and other countries, specially the Europeans, accompany it, Iran will leave the nuclear deal and will return to the situation before the nuclear deal in addition to ending all its nuclear deal undertakings,” Fallahi said.
She warned that the US and its allies should then account for the consequences of Iran’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal.
Iran had warned on Monday that any violation of the UN Security Council resolution 2231 by members of the nuclear deal (France, Britain, China and Russia plus Germany) will force Tehran to leave the agreement.
“If any side wants to violate the resolution 2231 or its undertakings based on the nuclear deal one way or another, Iran’s response will be appropriate,” Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said.
“Iran has clearly stated that violation of the resolution 2231 by the nuclear deal members means end of Iran’s presence in the nuclear deal and they are aware of it and certainly will not play with the last chances for keeping the nuclear deal alive,” he added.
US President Donald Trump, a stern critic of the historic deal, unilaterally pulled Washington out of the JCPOA in May 2018, and unleashed the “toughest ever” sanctions against the Islamic Republic in defiance of global criticism in an attempt to strangle the Iranian oil trade, but to no avail since its “so-called maximum pressure policy” has failed to push Tehran to the negotiating table.
In response to the US’ unilateral move, Tehran has so far rowed back on its nuclear commitments four times in compliance with Articles 26 and 36 of the JCPOA, but stressed that its retaliatory measures will be reversible as soon as Europe finds practical ways to shield the mutual trade from the US sanctions.
Tehran has particularly been disappointed with failure of the three European signatories to the JCPOA — Britain, France and Germany — to protect its business interests under the deal after the United States’ withdrawal.
On January 5, Iran took a final step in reducing its commitments, and said it would no longer observe any operational limitations on its nuclear industry, whether concerning the capacity and level of uranium enrichment, the volume of stockpiled uranium or research and development.
Now the US has stepped up attempts aimed at extending the UN arms ban on Iran that is set to expire as part of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which has been endorsed by Security Council Resolution 2231.
The US first sought to extend the Iran’s arms embargo in a fresh UNSC resolution in contradiction to the contents of the Resolution 2231 in two attempts within a month, but failed.
The United Nations Security Council resoundingly rejected last month the second US bid to extend an arms embargo on Iran, which is due to expire in October.
The resolution needed support from nine of 15 votes to pass. Eleven members abstained, including France, Germany and Britain, while the US and the Dominican Republic were the only “yes” votes.
The United States has become isolated over Iran at the Security Council following President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the multilateral Iran nuclear deal 2018.
Iran had said that the US resolution would fail to gain the required support at the Security Council, pointing out that Washington has no legal right to invoke a snapback mechanism to reinstate sanctions against Tehran under the 2015 nuclear deal that the US unilaterally left in May 2018.
In relevant remarks in August, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said it is by no means justifiable for the US to use Dispute Resolution Mechanism with regard to UNSC Resolution 2231.
“US recourse to Dispute Resolution Mechanism in 2231 has NO LEG TO STAND ON,” Zarif wrote on his Twitter page late Sunday.
“AmbJohnBolton has repeated today what he said on May 8, 2018, while National Security Advisor in the Trump administration,” he noted, adding, “At least he is consistent—a trait notably absent in this US administration.”
Zarif’ tweet came in reaction to former US National Security Advisor John Bolton’s article in Wall Street Journal where he criticized US’ decision to trigger ‘snapback mechanism’ against Iran, saying, “The agreement [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action]’s backers argue that Washington, having withdrawn from the deal, has no standing to invoke its provisions. They’re right. It’s too cute by half to say we’re in the nuclear deal for purposes we want but not for those we don’t.”