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US foreign policy

Biden withdraws Trump ‘snapback’ claim on UN sanctions against Iran

Acting US envoy to the UN Richard Mills sent a letter to the 15-member Security Council, according to Reuters.

Published: Updated:

The United States has rescinded its claim that United Nations sanctions on Iran were reimposed based on the so-called snapback mechanism, sources familiar with the matter said Thursday.

Certain sanctions on Iran were lifted after Tehran signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with the permanent members of the UN Security Council in 2015.

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But after the Trump administration withdrew from the deal in 2018, Iran began to breach the agreement and made progress on nuclear enrichment.

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo then announced the return of all UN sanctions against Iran under the snapback provision of the original deal, claiming that the US had not officially withdrawn.

Despite its unilateral move, Washington was met with stiff opposition from France, Germany and the United Kingdom, who said the move was “incapable of having any legal effect.”

On Thursday, it was first reported by Reuters that President Joe Biden's acting envoy to the UN, Richard Mills, had sent a letter to the UN Security Council notifying it that the new administration did not believe the UN sanctions were reimposed, as did Trump.