In the nuclear conflict, the US is relying on a rare manoeuvre: In the UN Security Council, they want to trigger the snapback mechanism – and could thus split the body.
In the struggle for the nuclear deal with Iran, the US wants to force the reinstatement of all UN sanctions from times before the deal. US President Donald Trump announced this by himself. He had instructed US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to trigger the so-called snapback mechanism in the UN Security Council, he said and warned the regime in Tehran: “My government will not allow this nuclear situation in Iran to continue. You will never be an atomic bomb to have.”
The so-called snapback mechanism offers the states of the 2015 nuclear agreement the opportunity to denounce Iranian rule violations before the UN Security Council. This means that all international sanctions from the time before the agreement can be reinstated within 30 days – without other members being able to prevent this with a veto.
The Americans are of the opinion that for the snapback, it is sufficient to mention the USA in the UN resolution, which translates the nuclear agreement into international law. Most of the countries in the Security Council and also the EU see it differently. They doubt whether the US is even entitled to initiate the sanctions since the Trump administration withdrew from the nuclear deal in 2018. Reinstating all UN sanctions against Iran would mean the de facto end of this set of rules, which the other members of the agreement – including Germany, France and Great Britain – want to prevent.
The Europeans were attached to “this crazy nuclear deal,” Pompeo told Fox TV. He will travel to New York on Thursday to formally trigger the snapback mechanism. Western diplomats announced that most members would then, in fact, ignore this. This, in turn, could lead to transatlantic upheavals and a crisis in the Council. A vote last Friday already showed how divided the highest UN body is already – and how isolated the USA is. A US proposal for an extension of the arms embargo for Iran was rejected.