Europe can preserve the Iran nuclear deal until November

After a humiliating defeat at the UN Security Council, Washington will seek snapback sanctions to sabotage what is left of the nuclear deal. Britain, France, and Germany can still keep it alive until after the US election.

The United States just lost the showdown at the United Nations Security Council over extending the terms of the arms embargo against Iran. The US government was left embarrassingly isolated, winning just one other vote for its proposed resolution (from the Dominican Republic), while Russia and China voted against and 11 other nations abstained.

But the Trump administration is not deterred: in response to the vote, President Donald Trump threatened that “we’ll be doing a snapback” – a reference to reimposing sanctions suspended under the 2015 nuclear deal from which the US withdrew in 2018.

The dance around the arms embargo has always been a prelude to the bigger goal: burning down the remaining bridges that could lead back to the 2015 deal. The Trump administration now seeks to snap back international sanctions using a measure built into the very nuclear agreement the Trump White House withdrew from two years ago. This latest gambit by the Trump administration is unsurprisingly contested by other world powers. […]

This article was first published in Foreign Policy. To read the full article please click here.

The European Council on Foreign Relations does not take collective positions. ECFR publications only represent the views of its individual authors.


Deputy Director, Middle East and North Africa programme
Senior Policy Fellow

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