US cannot cross a bridge it burned: Rouhani says of push for ‘snapback’ sanctions

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani says the US will once again fail in its new push to invoke the so-called snapback provision in the 2015 nuclear deal and re-impose all UN sanctions against Tehran.

“America is no longer a member of the JCPOA to use this mechanism, and all the parties [to the deal] have already condemned the US effort,” he told a cabinet in Tehran on Wednesday, referring to the nuclear accord by its formal name, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

President Donald Trump withdrew the US from the JCPOA in May 2018, calling it “the worst deal ever negotiated.” Washington also reinstated its unilateral economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic after leaving the multilateral agreement in defiance of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 2231 that enshrined the nuclear agreement.

Now after more than two years, the Trump administration is seeking to trigger the snapback of anti-Iran sanctions at the UN by claiming that it remains a participant in the JCPOA.

The new push comes after the US suffered a humiliating defeat at the UNSC as its resolution to renew the Iranian arms embargo was overwhelmingly rejected.

Rouhani reminded Washington that the snapback mechanism states that “the parties to the JCPOA or one of them” can use it.

“The world knows what will happen if the United States takes this dead-end path. They themselves have burned the bridge and imagine that there is still a bridge [for them] to cross,” he said.

The Iranian chief executive also expressed the government’s resolve to keep standing, with all power, against the US and the countries attempting to oppress the nation.

“If anyone in Iran thinks that this tyrannical government 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,” he said.

“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.”

“The humiliating defeats of the United States have been brought about thanks to the vigilance of the [Islamic] establishment and the government,” he added.

Rouhani further thanked Russia and China for voting against the US-proposed resolution on the extension of the Iranian arms embargo as well as the remaining 11 council members for abstaining.

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