“The US is no more a participant to the nuclear deal, and using this tool and (trigger) mechanism is special to the countries which are a side and a participant to the nuclear deal,” Joneidi told FNA on Monday.
She added that Iran had even one year after the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal remained fully committed to the agreement and then gradually rowed back its undertakings based on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and therefore, Washington cannot claim that Tehran has violated the deal.
Iranian Vice-President for Legal Affairs Laya Joneidi
Joneidi underscored that a country can refer to the nuclear deal which has not withdrawn or violated the agreement, while the US has extensively violated the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and is no more a participant to it and, therefore, is not entitled to refer to the deal and use the trigger mechanism against Iran.
“Violation of undertakings under a given document always prevents reference to it,” she explained.
In relevant remarks on Sunday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani also underlined Washington’s failure against Iran in the political and legal fronts, adding the US has not yet been able to collect enough support for activating trigger mechanism against his country.
“The enemy has failed in its strategic, political and legal goals. Although the enemy has been able to create some obstacles for us in the economic field, it has failed in the political and legal issues. It has faced at least 3 historical failures in the past few months,” President Rouhani said, addressing a ceremony to start the new academic year for universities in Iran.
“No UN Security Council member has accompanied the US in activating the trigger mechanism and the US has not been able to start the trigger mechanism by now at all,” he added.
President Rouhani said that despite all pressures and harshest-ever sanctions imposed by the US, Iran is witnessing inauguration of several large infrastructural projects.
US President Donald Trump, a stern critic of the historic deal, unilaterally pulled Washington out of the JCPOA in May 2018, and unleashed the “toughest ever” sanctions against the Islamic Republic in defiance of global criticism in an attempt to strangle the Iranian oil trade, but to no avail since its "so-called maximum pressure policy" has failed to push Tehran to the negotiating table.
In response to the US’ unilateral move, Tehran has so far rowed back on its nuclear commitments four times in compliance with Articles 26 and 36 of the JCPOA, but stressed that its retaliatory measures will be reversible as soon as Europe finds practical ways to shield the mutual trade from the US sanctions.
Tehran has particularly been disappointed with failure of the three European signatories to the JCPOA -- Britain, France and Germany -- to protect its business interests under the deal after the United States' withdrawal.
On January 5, Iran took a final step in reducing its commitments, and said it would no longer observe any operational limitations on its nuclear industry, whether concerning the capacity and level of uranium enrichment, the volume of stockpiled uranium or research and development.
Now the US has stepped up attempts aimed at extending the UN arms ban on Iran that is set to expire as part of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which has been endorsed by Security Council Resolution 2231.
The US first sought to extend the Iran's arms embargo in a fresh UNSC resolution in contradiction to the contents of the Resolution 2231 in two attempts within a month, but failed.
The United Nations Security Council resoundingly rejected last month the second US bid to extend an arms embargo on Iran, which is due to expire in October.
The resolution needed support from nine of 15 votes to pass. Eleven members abstained, including France, Germany and Britain, while the US and the Dominican Republic were the only “yes” votes.
The United States has become isolated over Iran at the Security Council following President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the multilateral Iran nuclear deal 2018.
Iran had said that the US resolution would fail to gain the required support at the Security Council, pointing out that Washington has no legal right to invoke a snapback mechanism to reinstate sanctions against Tehran under the 2015 nuclear deal that the US unilaterally left in May 2018.
In relevant remarks in August, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said it is by no means justifiable for the US to use Dispute Resolution Mechanism with regard to UNSC Resolution 2231.
"US recourse to Dispute Resolution Mechanism in 2231 has NO LEG TO STAND ON," Zarif wrote on his Twitter page late Sunday.
"AmbJohnBolton has repeated today what he said on May 8, 2018, while National Security Advisor in the Trump administration," he noted, adding, "At least he is consistent—a trait notably absent in this US administration."
Zarif' tweet came in reaction to former US National Security Advisor John Bolton's article in Wall Street Journal where he criticized US' decision to trigger ‘snapback mechanism’ against Iran, saying, "The agreement [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action]’s backers argue that Washington, having withdrawn from the deal, has no standing to invoke its provisions. They’re right. It’s too cute by half to say we’re in the nuclear deal for purposes we want but not for those we don’t."