Back in April, shortly after the framework of the Iran nuclear deal was established, President Obama proclaimed in the Rose Garden, “If Iran violates the deal, sanctions can be snapped back into place.”
After the final deal was agreed to last month, Secretary of State John Kerry said this of the so-called snapback provisions:
I want to underscore: If Iran fails in a material way to live up to these commitments, then the United States, the E.U., and even the U.N. sanctions that initially brought Iran to the table can and will snap right back into place. We have a specific provision in this agreement called ‘snapback’ for the return of those sanctions in the event of noncompliance.
But when Kerry flips, a flop is sure to follow. A couple of days ago while speaking at an event in New York organized by Reuters News Agency, Kerry stated the snapback provisions do not apply to Iranian violations of the arms embargo or of restrictions of its missile program. “The arms embargo is not tied to snapback,” Kerry said. “It is tied to a separate set of obligations. So they are not in material breach of the nuclear agreement for violating the arms piece of it.”
So if violating the arms embargo or restrictions on its missile program aren’t grounds for snapping back sanctions against Iran, then what is? What breach does Iran have to commit to begin the snapback process?
But even if violating the arms embargo or the restrictions on its missile program were grounds to reinstate sanctions, as I argued back in June, the snapback is a sham anyway. To start with, Iran gets to participate in the dispute resolution panel. Gee, I wonder if they are going to re-impose sanctions against themselves. Of course, Russia and China would be on the panel so Iran has protection there as well. The process itself would take a minimum of 65 days to play itself out, which would give plenty of time for Iran to obfuscate.
So I’m not sure which is worse — that violations of the arms embargo and the missile program won’t trigger the snapback process or the snapback process itself.
Actually I do know what is worse. That would be the very existence of the Iran nuclear deal.
Notice to Readers: The American Spectator and Spectator World are marks used by independent publishing companies that are not affiliated in any way. If you are looking for The Spectator World please click on the following link: https://thespectator.com/world.