Netanyahu: Israel, Middle East countries support US on Iran UN sanctions

Ultimately, the tyrants of Tehran must understand this: If Iran wants to be treated like a normal country, it must start acting like a normal country. That has not yet happened."

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits Home Front Command, August 4, 2020 (photo credit: YOSSI ALONI/FLASH90)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits Home Front Command, August 4, 2020
(photo credit: YOSSI ALONI/FLASH90)
Israel lauded the United States’s decision Thursday to trigger the process of snapping back United Nations sanctions against Tehran, a move that if implemented could herald the final demise of the 2015 deal to curb Iran’s nuclear power.
“Israel stands proudly and firmly with the United States, as do governments across the Middle East who opposed the Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action [Iran deal] quietly and now support the restoration of sanctions publicly," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.
"Ultimately, the tyrants of Tehran must understand this: If Iran wants to be treated like a normal country, it must start acting like a normal country. That has not yet happened."
Netanyahu issued a video statement in English from Jerusalem, within less than an hour after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters at UN headquarters in New York that he had formally submitted a request to snapback the sanctions.
Pompeo did so after the 15-member UN Security Council rejected a US authored resolution to extend the UNSC arms embargo against Iran beyond its October 2020 date.
 “The Security Council’s failure to act was a dereliction of its duty to protect international peace and security,” Netanyahu said as he referenced the US unsuccessful attempt to pass the arms embargo.
“Unchallenged, this failure effectively makes the Security Council complicit in arming Iran’s murderous regime. Fortunately, President Trump and Secretary Pompeo have refused to accept this,” Netanyahu said.
The US has now taken the correct step to counter the UNSC’s failure to extend the arms embargo, Netanyahu said, as he referenced Pompeo’s actions Thursday to trigger a UN mechanism to restore the US sanctions that had been rescinded when the Iran deal was signed.
“Responsible countries should support the United States in seeking a real solution, one that will prevent Iran from building nuclear weapons,” Netanyahu said.
“I commend the United States for its decision to trigger snapback sanctions against Iran.
"This is the right decision,” Netanyahu said.
He recalled how already two years ago the US has withdrawn from 2015 Iran deal it had signed with Tehran and the other five world powers, claiming that the JCPOA was ineffective in curbing Iran’s nuclear program.
“In 2018, the United States made the right decision when it withdrew from the dangerous nuclear deal with Iran. That deal should never have been made. It didn't block Iran's path to the bomb, it paved its path to the bomb,” Netanyahu said.
He described how "two years ago, the agents of Israel obtained the secret Iranian nuclear archive, and we found there indisputable proof that the Iranian nuclear program always was, and still remains, a military nuclear program,” he said.
“And just as I warned the deal would only make Iran richer and more aggressive, it fueled its war machine in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Gaza and beyond, and enabled Iran to further develop its international terror network,” Netanyahu said.
 Netanyahu had opposed the Iran deal from its inception, warning it emboldened Iran’s aggression, failed to effectively curb its nuclear program and ignored its ballistic missile program.
Under the terms of the deal Iran agreed to curb its nuclear program in exchange for an end to UN Security Council sanctions as set out under the terms of the 2015 Resolution 2231, which endorsed the JCPOA. An option exists within that resolution to snapback the sanctions, including an arms embargo, if Iran was non-complaint with the deal.
The UNSC can vote to override the snapback request with a resolution that would extend the sanctions relief. The US, however, can veto that request. Pompeo has already stated that the US intends to use its veto power on this issue.
Many of the UNSC members are opposed to the US actions, which will take 30 days to go into effect. They have argued that the US gave up its legal ability to call for a snapback when it withdrew from the deal.
Pompeo has countered that the US has a right, as a UNSC member to trigger that snapback. The restoration of sanctions would effectively bring an end to the Iran deal, which the five other JCPOA signatories have worked to salvage.
Iranian Ambassador Majid Takht Ravanchi told reporters in New York that the US had no legal standing to trigger the snapback mechanism and thus its actions in that regard were “null and void and has no legal standing.”
Even if the US had remained in the JCPOA, the snapback process is a last ditch effort, made only after “good-faith” measures had been taken to resolve the situation, something which did not occur in this case.
“The US wants to create a self-aggregated right, which does not exist. The US has no such right because it has officially ceased its participation in the JCPOA. In practice since May 2018 it has not participated in any JCPOA events or activities,” Ravanchi said.


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