Sometimes one can but marvel at how much effort and money Washington spends on wrangling, bribing, overpowering, blackmailing, and threatening. If only its energy could be used for peaceful purposes... Now the United States seems to be willing to make the entire United Nations, not just a single country, subservient to its wants.
The sky's the limit for Washington even after its mid-August failure in the Security Council, when only two out of 15 countries – the United States and the Dominican Republic – voted to support the American resolution on extending the arms embargo on Iran. On Thursday, it sent a letter to the UN Security Council, expressing its intention to launch a mechanism for a snapback of UN sanctions against Iran canceled after the Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action (JCPOA) came into force. However, let's recall that only JCPOA members have a to seek re-imposition of canceled sanctions. The United States has not been such a member since May 2018, when Donald Trump announced the country's withdrawal from the nuclear deal in flagrant violation of UN security Council Resolution 2231. And since then, Washington has lost the right and ability to use mechanisms provided for by the JCPOA and Resolution 2231, particularly to initiate the return of sanctions and extend the arms trade embargo with Iran, which expires on October 18.
However, on August 20, the United States announced it would unilaterally resume all the international anti-Iranian sanctions lifted by the UN Security Council, in 30 days. Washington believes that the sanctions resolution was not formally abandoned, which implies the applicability of the stipulated mechanism for returning to sanctions.
And US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo simply threatened to punish countries that will refuse to follow Washington's lead. Thus, the United States decided to substitute itself for the UN in an entirely shameless way, demanding that other countries simply submit to its will.
There seems to be a burgeoning scandal in the Security Council. Russia and China have dubbed US administration's actions unlawfulness. Even Washington's allies are forced to admit the incongruity of its performance. While the UK, France and Germany abstained on the American embargo resolution during the Security Council vote, they replied with an unequivocal joint statement on Washington's new "initiative", noting that they cannot support US actions to launch the snapback mechanism, because the US is no longer a party to the JCPOA.
The scandal in the Security Council could be extinguished by an online meeting of the heads of its permanent member states, the leaders of Germany and Iran. Back on August 14, Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested holding such a meeting at the earliest possible time to work out steps to avoid confrontation or aggravation in the UN Security Council. It is still unclear whether the parties managed to agree on such a meeting. Judging by Washington's having "got the bit between its teeth", it is not in the mood for a meeting.
In recent years, the United States has often breached international law to accommodate its own interpretation of "rules and arrangements". If Washington intends to continue following the spirit of its twisted logic, the way things will develop further is probably clear. In fact, they already are. As the American Wall Street Journal recently reported, as part of its “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran, the United States seized four tankers with Iranian oil products bound for Venezuela, and transferred them to Houston. Official spokesman for the government of Iran Mahmoud Vaezi said the tankers named Luna, Pandi, Bering and Bella captured by Washington did not belong to Iran, as well as the fuel that was purchased from Iran by a third party.
Washington seems to have decided to "rein in" all the dissenters and impose fines on them or undertake outright pirate assaults under the Stars and Stripes. However, in this case, Washington risks being not only isolated on international platforms, as during the last UN Security Council vote on Iran, but also abandoned even by its allies. After all, life shows that as soon as the dollar began to turn into an American tool of retribution instead of being an international monetary instrument, the world fell to brooding over alternative mechanisms. And the decade-old system of international law has no alternative for the vast majority of countries, unlike the United States. As Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif recently said, "the US is trying desperately to isolate Iran, but only finds itself more isolated as a result."
For his part, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stressed the following when speaking at the Territory of Meanings national youth educational forum: "Now, it [America's withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal] triggers a crisis within the UN Security Council, but we will overcome this crisis. Attempts to illegally use the resolution  that the US violated itself will not succeed."