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Russia rejects U.S. plan to restore U.N. sanctions on Iran

FILE PHOTO: Vassily Nebenzia, Russian Ambassador to the United Nations, addresses the United Nations Security Council at U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S, April 10, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Russia rejected U.S. plans to restore U.N. sanctions on Iran as “nonexistent,” saying only a country that remains in the 2015 Iran nuclear deal can trigger the return of the sanctions in a process known informally as “snapback.”

“We will not take it as snapback,” Russian U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia told reporters, rejecting U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s expected announcement.

“He’s not triggering a snapback. Snapback can be triggered by a country that is a participant of the JCPOA, which the U.S. is not,” he said, referring to the Iran nuclear deal by its formal name, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Reporting By Michelle Nichols; Writing by Arshad Mohammed; Editing by Chris Reese