Owens Co-Signs a Letter Urging European Allies to Initiate Snapback Sanctions on Iran

Jun 09, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Burgess Owens (UT-04) co-signed a bipartisan letter to the leaders of the United Kingdom, France, and Germany (E3), encouraging the countries to initiate snapback sanctions on Iran under United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 2231. This action by the United States E3 partners would reimpose sanctions on the Iranian regime that were removed under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The letter is among the first and most high-profile bipartisan efforts calling for snapback sanctions on Iran.

In 2015, the UNSC adopted Resolution 2231, which provides a framework for lifting UN sanctions on Iran, subject to compliance with the JCPOA. This resolution also includes a provision for the reimposition of all pre-JCPOA sanctions on Iran, known as “snapback sanctions,” if significant noncompliance with the JCPOA is identified by any party state.

By any plain text reading of the JCPOA, Iran is failing to comply with the JCPOA, which necessitates the reinstatement of sanctions. Reimposing snapback sanctions would impose further restrictions on funding that Iran utilizes for its nuclear program, support of terrorism, and the oppression of its people. Further, if snapback sanctions are not activated by October 18, 2023, the UN’s prohibition on Iranian transfers of long-range drones and ballistic missile systems will expire, along with asset freezes and visa bans on numerous Iranian entities and individuals involved in the country’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

In the letter, the members write: ”We write to urge you to complete the Dispute Resolution Mechanism (DRM) process and snapback procedure pursuant to United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2231 due to the Islamic Republic of Iran’s significant noncompliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Our four countries have a history of working together to fight evil across the globe through our NATO alliance. In the spirit of this strong and continued partnership, we ask that you stand together with us once again to counter Iran’s rapid progress toward nuclear weaponization.”

The members conclude: Republican and Democratic members of Congress ask that you once again honor our alliance by taking the reasonable and appropriate step of implementing the snapback of UN sanctions against Iran. Recognizing that there is disagreement over the ability of the United States to unilaterally initiate snapback, we therefore respectfully ask that the E3 consider taking this important step. There is an abundance of evidence of Iranian non-compliance available to you that provides the necessary basis for such a decision. We hope you will give due consideration to this important and timely request. This will send a clear message to Iran – and countries around the world – that nonproliferation norms and commitments matter and will be enforced.

The full text of the letter is available here.


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