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Zarif Says Bolton's Opposition To Use Of 'Snapback' Is Sign Of His Consistency

Collage of US National Security Adviser John Bolton and Iran FM Mohammad Javad Zarif. FILE

Iran’s foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has praised former National Security Advisor John Bolton for being consistent in questioning the use of the “snapback” option by Washington to trigger UN sanctions against Iran.

In an article in the Wall Street Journal published August 16, Bolton has said the Trump administrations determination to force the snapback option “Is not wroth the risk”. His concern is for the United States to overuse its veto power at the Security Council, which Bolton says will “impair” this important foreign policy tool.

In a tweet August 16, Zarif said Bolton “has repeated today what he said on May 8, 2018, while National Security Advisor in the Trump administration. At least he is consistent—a trait notably absent in this US administration.” Zarif says that Bolton had expressed the same view in 2018 when the U.S. withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA.

President Donald Trump announced August 16 the United States will start the process of triggering the return of international sanctions against Iran, after Washington failed to push through a resolution to extend the UN arms embargo on Tehran.

Russia, China and three European powers who are the original signatories of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran argue that Washington cannot trigger the snapback aspect imbedded in resolution 2231, passed in 2015 and linked with the nuclear agreement. They say that after withdrawing from the accords the U.S. is no longer a “participant” and has forfeited its right to ask for punishing Iran.

Proponents of resorting to snapback argue that the U.S. still has a right to trigger the mechanism as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, regardless of its withdrawal from the JCPOA.