A rules-based or US-based international order for Iran? europeanleadershipnetwork.org

Hans Blix

There is at present a risk for a full-scale US military onslaught on Iran. It makes the media and the public forget that another US onslaught has already been carried out – on the authority of the Security Council and the United Nations Charter. Both media and governments routinely state that the US has “withdrawn” from the “agreement” on the Iranian nuclear energy programme, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). This is misleading. The US “withdrew” from the Paris agreement on climate change, in accordance with a clause that expressly allowed for its withdrawal. This was regretted by the whole world, but it was nonetheless legal. However, China, France, Germany, Russia, the UK, US and Iran did not sign an “agreement” containing a withdrawal clause. They did not sign any document at all. Rather, after some ten years of negotiations, they came up with a joint detailed plan of action envisaging an important scaling-down and strong International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspection of Iran’s nuclear programme and the lifting of economic sanctions against Iran. […]

The mandatory provisions on the lifting of UN sanctions are like a law. They contain no lines that allow anybody to “withdraw”, but commends elaborate procedures for the handling of complaints. The US government made no use of these procedures but re-imposed extensive sanctions unilaterally. In other words, they did not “withdraw” from an agreement; they violated a Security Council decision that was legally binding. Not only that, they urged all other UN members to join them in violating the decision they were obliged to respect (under rule 25 of the UN Charter), and made it clear they were ready to use their own financial system to punish enterprises which did business with Iran, relying on the Security Council’s decision and the JCPOA to lift sanctions. What we have witnessed is, in effect, Washington purporting to replace the United Nations Security Council. And what is the world’s reaction?     Läs artikel