US faces opposition from UN Security Council in its bid to sanction Iran

Ahmed Farooq, International Law Officer

22 Aug 2020

On August 21, thirteen of the fifteen members on the UN Security Council pushed back against the United States’ call for the re-imposition of international sanctions on Iran.

The Council Members issued their letters of opposition within a day of US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo’s, visit to the UN headquarters in New York, where he proceeded to declare Iran’s non-compliance with a 2015 nuclear agreement.

Under the nuclear deal, sanctions on Iran could be re-imposed 30 days after a formal declaration by the US. However, as noted by most of the Security Council members in their letters, the US had opted to leave the deal back in 2018, and thus had no standing to call for sanctions on Iran.

If the Trump administration were to succeed in triggering the process that they have claimed to, UN sanctions will be levied against Iran on September 19, a day before President Trump is slated to address world leaders at the UN General Assembly.

Read more about the US-Iran conflict here: