AJC Transatlantic Institute Welcomes the European Parliament Call to Reimpose UN Sanctions Against Iran

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AJC Transatlantic Institute Welcomes the European Parliament Call to Reimpose UN Sanctions Against Iran

Brussels – 25 April 2024 – The AJC Transatlantic Institute welcomes today’s historic European Parliament Resolution calling for the snapback of all UN sanctions against Iran. Lawmakers urged Germany, France, and the UK--the three European parties to the Iran nuclear deal--to set a deadline for Tehran to comply with its nuclear obligations or invoke the snap-back sanctions mechanism. 

Lawmakers also called for adding the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Hezbollah in its entirety to the EU’s terror list. The text was supported by five of the European Parliament’s seven parliamentary groups demonstrating broad cross-party unity on the issue. 

“This is a momentous decision. On the heels of the IAEA’s warning that Iran is only weeks away from obtaining enough weapons grade material to produce a nuclear bomb, the European Parliament showed real leadership by calling for an end to the years of fruitless and toothless diplomacy that has only emboldened the regime in Iran,” said Daniel Schwammenthal, Director of the American Jewish Committee’s (AJC) Brussels-based EU Office, the AJC Transatlantic Institute. “The broad support from across the political spectrum for this resolution underscores how out of step many EU governments are not just with a growing number of lawmakers but with the harsh reality that their policy of engagement has utterly failed. They now have an opportunity to show moral and strategic clarity and act on the EP’s call to set an ultimatum for Iran’s nuclear compliance and designate the IRGC and all of Hezbollah as the terrorists they are,” Schwammenthal continued. 

A clause in the Iran nuclear agreement allows in case of serious Iranian violations of the nuclear agreement for the snapback of all UN Security Council sanctions that were lifted following the conclusion of the deal. This clause was designed for violations much below the near weapons-grade enrichment Iran has been carrying out for some time. The snapback of UN sanctions would have therefore been long justified. The mechanism is structured in a way that no permanent member of the Security Council could veto the return of UN sanctions.

The European Parliament first called for adding the IRGC to the EU terror list in January 2023 following the murder of Mahsa Amini and the subsequent crackdown on protests. EU High Representative Josep Borrell has repeatedly responded to that call by claiming that there is supposedly no legal basis to do so and that it allegedly requires a judgment by a Court of an EU member state. However, there is plenty of evidence of IRGC terror activities across Europe. Furthermore, while an EU court decision is not necessary for a listing, such judgments do already exist as European Courts have repeatedly convicted individuals for spying on Jewish communities as potential terror targets on behalf of the IRGC.