U.S. President Donald Trump said Saturday he will try a controversial “snapback” to force a return of U.N. sanctions against Iran, after the Security Council rejected Washington’s bid to extend the arms embargo against the Islamic republic.
“We’ll be doing a snapback,” the president said, referring to the contested argument that the U.S. remains a participant in the 2015 Iran nuclear deal — despite Trump’s withdrawal from it — and therefore can force a return to sanctions if it sees Iran as being in violation of its terms.
The president said the U.S. will make its move next week.
Trump also said at the press conference at his private golf course at Bedminster, New Jersey, he would “probably not” participate in the 5 + 1 summit with Iran proposed by his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.
Putin called Friday for an online summit of the leaders of the five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany and Iran over a possible extension of the international embargo on arms sales in Tehran.
It was in this so-called 5 + 1 configuration that the Iran nuclear agreement was negotiated and concluded with Iran, which Trump then denounced.
“Probably not, I think we will wait until after the election,” Trump said when asked about his possible participation in this summit.
The Trump administration’s defeat Friday at the Security Council highlighted its isolation on Iran since Trump withdrew from the accord in 2018.
Only two of the Council’s 15 members voted in favor of the U.S. resolution.
Washington’s European allies all abstained, Russia and China voted against it, and Iran mocked the Trump administration for winning the support of just one other country, the Dominican Republic.
Trump argued Saturday that Iran was a “different ballgame” now and that the country no longer has the funds to sponsor terror.
“Iran wants me to lose so badly” in November’s presidential election, he added.
If Trump follows through, the snapback could plunge the Council into one of its worst diplomatic crises, experts warn.
European allies have been skeptical on whether Washington can force sanctions and say the attempt may delegitimize the Security Council.
The embargo on conventional arms is to expire on Oct. 18.