► Does the United States have the right to unilaterally proclaim the return of UN sanctions against Iran?
The decision is final. On the night of Saturday 19 to Sunday 20 September, the United States announced, through their Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, “ the return of almost all UN sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran previously lifted », And this against the advice of the United Nations Security Council. Washington took advantage of the « snapback » provided for in the agreement on the Iranian nuclear program signed in 2015 to force its decision through. In the event of non-compliance with the agreement by Iran, it allows one of the signatory countries to impose the automatic reinstatement of sanctions.
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Although withdrawn from the agreement since May 2018, the United States today invokes its status as a country « participant » to confirm their decision. A maneuver disowned by the other signatories of the agreement and qualified as“Illegitimate” by Moscow. Paris, London and Berlin also warned on Friday, in a joint letter to the Security Council, that “Any decision or action which would be taken on the basis of this procedure or its outcome has no legal effect”.
► What are the risks of countries that violate this decision?
In fact, Washington is quite alone. But Mike Pompeo warned that “If UN member states fail to meet their obligations to apply these sanctions, the US is prepared to use its own tools to punish these failures”. Once again, the United States is wielding the economic threat to bend the recalcitrant.
“The financial sanctions that already weigh on Russia, China and the European Union can be further increased”, notes Annick Cizel, specialist in American foreign policy at Sorbonne nouvelle Paris 3. Washington has already promised that ” measures “ would be revealed “In the coming days” against “Those that violate UN sanctions ”.
► Why reinstate sanctions against Iran?
The American resolution ends the standoff with the rest of the international community over the extension, wanted by Washington, of the embargo on conventional arms against Tehran. But behind this internal duel is in fact a major issue. “The reasons why they persist in asking for these sanctions again today can be read in the context of the ongoing restructuring in the Middle East, with the gradual normalization of relations between Israel and the Arab countries (United Arab Emirates and Bahrain ) under the diplomatic aegis of Washington ”, supports Annick Cizel.
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These “peace” agreements have earned the American president a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize. A feat that relies on “Common will” of the United States and the signatory countries of“Isolate Iran and promote regime change from within”, explains the researcher.
But a few weeks before the US presidential election, it is above all for Donald Trump to make up for a tainted balance sheet, due to the health crisis. “It is the instrumentalization of the foreign policy of the United States to present himself as the president who will have succeeded in bringing Iran to his knees while becoming the one who will have succeeded in a peace plan in the Middle East that has escaped all his predecessors since 1948 », concludes Annick Cizel.
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