“Our position in relation to the JCPOA has always been the same. We consider [that] the JCPOA was a very important step forward in relation to the question of nuclear proliferation,” Antonio Guterres told an online press conference on Thursday in response to a question posed by IRNA.
“And we still believe that everything must be done in order to make sure that the JCPOA is not destroyed,” he added, Press TV reported.
Officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the landmark deal was reached between Iran and the United States, Britain, France, Russia, and China plus Germany in 2015. However, in May 2018, US President Donald Trump unilaterally pulled his country out of the JCPOA and later reimposed the sanctions that had been lifted against Tehran on the back of the deal.
Although it is no longer a party to the deal, Washington has recently launched a campaign to renew an embargo on the sales of conventional weapons to the Islamic Republic that will expire under the accord in October.
To try and rationalize its efforts, the US says it is still “named” as a JCPOA partner in UN Security Council Resolution 2231 that endorses the nuclear deal.
Tehran says Washington, due to its unilateral withdrawal, has forfeited all rights to have a say in the agreement.
Guterres was speaking a day after the US briefed the Security Council on a resolution it has drafted to extend the embargo, in response to IRNA’s question whether Washington was trying to either weaken or annihilate the JCPOA using a recent report on Resolution 2231 by the UN chief.
Guterres had told the Security Council in that report, which was seen by Reuters on June 11, that cruise missiles used in several attacks on oil facilities and an international airport in Saudi Arabia in November 2019 and February 2020 had been of "Iranian origin." He had also said the “items may have been transferred in a manner inconsistent” with Resolution 2231.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry has reacted to the report, saying it has been devised under political pressure from the US and the Saudi regimes.
The ministry also regretted that the report had been prepared, while the world body, based on an unusual interpretation of Resolution 2231, has so far refrained from reporting on numerous violations of the resolution by the US and European states, including Washington’s unlawful withdrawal from the nuclear agreement, which is a grave violation of the resolution.