Trump Regime Unilaterally and Illegally Imposing Snapback Sanctions on Iran

Unanimously adopted Security Council Resolution 2231 that affirmed the JCPOA nuclear deal eliminated UN sanctions on Iran.

Its provisions and the P5+1 approved nuclear agreement are binding international and US constitutional law under the Supremacy Clause — Article VI, Clause 2.

DJT unlawfully withdrew from the JCPOA in May 2018, giving his regime no legal say over its implementation or whatever relates to it.

Days earlier, he vowed to unilaterally impose snapback sanctions on Iran.

The JCPOA provision lets any of its signatories reimpose veto-proof sanctions on Iran that became null and void when the agreement took effect in January 2016.

Only JCPOA signatories Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany may legally invoke snapback now — not the US after illegally abandoning the binding agreement.

Remaining signatories unanimously oppose snapback because it would undo years of diplomatic efforts that went into establishing the JCPOA they want preserved.

Time and again, the US does what it pleases, operating extrajudicially and forcing its will on other nations by pressure, bribes, bullying, threats, and brute force when other actions fail.

On Wednesday, Trump said he “direct(ed) Pompeo to notify the United Nations Security Council that (his regime) intends to restore virtually all of the United Nations sanctions on Iran” — extrajudicially he failed to add.

At his unilateral discretion in defiance of the rule of law, the Security Council ruling, and unanimous will of remaining JCPOA signatories, Trump unlawfully claimed the right to “prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon” it doesn’t seek, never did, and urges their elimination regionally and worldwide.

On Wednesday, Pompeo said the following:

On Thursday, he’ll “meet with the (SC) president and…secretary general (to) provide notification of the snapback, and then 30 days from now all the sanctions that were in place will resume (sic).”

He threatened Russia, China, and other nations, saying the Trump regime will hold them accountable if reject its will on Iran.

He falsely claimed that “European people” are not safe because the Security Council overwhelmingly rejected the Trump regime’s resolution to extend the expiring arms embargo on Iran indefinitely.

On Monday, Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif tweeted the following in response to Trump’s vow to invoke snapback:

“US recourse to Dispute Resolution Mechanism in (SC Res.) 2231 has NO LEG TO STAND ON.”

On Wednesday, Iranian President Rouhani slammed Trump regime threats, saying:

“America is no longer a member of the JCPOA to use (snapback), and all (its other signatories) condemned the US effort,” adding:

“The world knows what will happen if the (Trump regime) takes this dead-end path.”

“They…burned the bridge and imagine that (it’s still there for them) to cross.”

“If anyone in Iran thinks that this tyrannical (regime) in the White House and the oppressive sanctions are permanent, they are wrong because neither the White House tyrants nor the sanctions are there to stay forever.”

“Sanctions will break and disappear. Through resistance, we made them understand that they have made a mistake and the White House has fully understood that they have made a mistake, but they are helpless on the path they have taken and it has become difficult for them to find a way out.”

Will remaining JCPOA signatories Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany break with the Trump regime’s unlawful invoking of snapback by fully supporting the agreement (and SC Res. 2231) affirming it to prevent the deal from unraveling altogether?

Last Friday, the Trump regime’s attempt to extend an arms embargo on Iran indefinitely was overwhelmingly rejected by SC members, the Dominican Republic alone supporting what defied the JCPOA’s letter and spirit.

Will SC members support the rule of law by refusing to go along with unilaterally and illegally imposed snapback on Iran by the US?

The fate of the JCPOA hangs in the balance.


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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

Visit his blog site at

Featured image is by Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor


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