Iran Takes Complaints About New US Sanctions to the United Nations

Iran has filed a grievance, if you will, with the United Nations Security Council:

Iran believes new sanctions that the United States has imposed on it breach the nuclear deal it agreed in 2015 and has complained to a body that oversees the pact’s implementation, a senior politician said on Tuesday.

Under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), signed by the United States, Russia, China and three European powers, Iran curbed its nuclear work in return for the lifting of most sanctions.

However, the U.S. Treasury imposed sanctions on six Iranian firms in late July for their role in the development of a ballistic missile program, after Tehran launched a rocket capable of putting a satellite into orbit.

The U.S. Senate voted on the same day to impose new sanctions on Iran, Russia and North Korea. The sanctions in that bill also target Iran’s missile programs as well as human rights abuses.

“Iran’s JCPOA supervisory body assessed the new U.S. sanctions and decided that they contradict parts of the nuclear deal,” Ali Larijani, the speaker of Iran’s parliament, was quoted as saying by the Tasnim news agency.


Given the structure of the Iran nuclear deal, they may very well be correct. If you look at Security Council Resolution 2231, which is the implementing document for the Iran nuclear giveaway, on page 14, note 18 it says that UNSCR 1929 will be repealed. UNSCR 1929 was UN sanctions on Iran’s ballistic missile program. Many in the US arms control community claim that ballistic missiles are an integral part of a nuclear weapons program and are, therefore, obviously covered by the JCPOA. That is one point of view, though I’m not sure an honest one. By and large the arms control people are trying to salvage shreds of whatever dignity and self-respect–and that wasn’t much and hasn’t been evident since 1945–they had before they fell in line behind the Obama administration.

I’m not sure what is afoot here. As the United States can veto whatever the UNSC comes up with it is hard to see how this works. If Iran thinks “shaming” the US in front of the UN is going to save the Iran nuclear deal, it is delusional. Or it may have decided that the deal is dead come September and is simply creating facts to be able to say that the US was in violation and either Iran leaves the deal first or it claims American duplicity when the US leaves.

One thing is for sure, Mattis, McMaster, and Tillerson had convinced Trump to re-certify Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA because the necessary work had not been done to prepare our allies for our departure from the agreement. Those allies are sounding just a little more on board:



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