China Rejects US Talk of Sanctioning Iran at UN

Chinese mission: US has no right to trigger snapback

US plans to to try to extend an arms embargo on Iran at the UN, and potentially to try to force a snapback of sanctions are being rejected by other UN Security Council permanent members, with China now joining Russia in rejecting the idea.

China’s UN mission issued a statement saying that the US had failed to meet its obligations under the Iran nuclear deal in the first place, and “has no right to extend an arms embargo on Iran, let alone to trigger a snapback.”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has argued that the US is still technically part of the nuclear deal despite never meeting its sanctions relief obligations and then withdrawing from the deal years ago. The goal is to claim the US can still reimpose sanctions under the deal despite not being truly part of the deal.

Russia is planning to sell Iran defensive arms once the embargo lifts later in 2020, and would certainly prevent its extension. China too now seems set to veto any attempt at snapback sanctions, and while Pompeo has said the US will do this however they can, it doesn’t seem like they have an obvious legal avenue for any of this.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of