News ID: 272717
Published: 0250 GMT August 10, 2020

Iran: UNSC faces ‘great test’ over US arms embargo bid

Iran: UNSC faces ‘great test’ over US arms embargo bid

Iran Envoy urges top body to reject US bullying, unilateralism

Political Desk

Iran said on Monday the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) faces a “great test” as the top body is set to discuss a US bid to extend the arms embargo on the Islamic Republic.

“Members of the Security Council are facing a great test to show the independence of their vote,” Seyyed Mahmoud Vaezi, the chief of staff of Iran’s president, tweeted.

Vaezi urged the council to “react negatively to US pressure to impose its will on Iran”.

He said Washington’s push to keep the UN arms embargo on Tehran in place violates a UN Security Council resolution that endorses a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The Iranian official warned that the extension of the embargo could result in the collapse of the nuclear deal. 

The arms embargo is currently set to end on Oct. 18 under UNSC Resolution 2231 as part of the JCPOA, which the United States quit in 2018.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said that the UN Security Council will vote this week on the US bid, despite warnings by some diplomats that the measure lacks support.

If the United States is unsuccessful in extending the embargo, it has threatened to trigger a return of all UN sanctions on Iran under a process agreed in the JCPOA.

In May, President Hassan Rouhani warned that Tehran will give a “crushing response” if the embargo on Iranian trade of conventional arms was extended.


Rejecting US ‘bullying’

Iran's Ambassador to the UN Majid Takht-Ravanchi also took to Twitter on Monday to criticize the US for “actively resorting to Iran-phobia & coercion” at the UN Security Council “to gain support for its unlawful anti-2231 resolution” bid.

Takht-Ravanchi said the US is “illegally seeking” to extend the arms embargo and urged the Security Council to “reject bullying & unilateralism” again “as it did when [the] US first introduced its draft”.

Iran's Foreign Ministry on Monday said the US bid represents a threat against the Security Council and its workings more than constituting a threat against the Islamic Republic.

“The Americans are seeking to use the Security Council to weaken and destroy it and are after subjugating the body,” ministry spokesman Seyyed Abbas Mousavi told a press conference in Tehran.

He, however, said the Islamic Republic believes Washington's bid has little chance of success and hoped that the effort will be defeated as a result of “independent countries’ alertness and wisdom.”


‘Irresponsible’ call

Mousavi on Sunday strongly criticized the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council for its “irresponsible” call on the UN Security Council to extend the arms embargo.

He said the six-member council has issued a “unilateral and dictated” statement while some of its members are among the biggest purchasers of Western arms in spite of grappling with economic problems.

Regretting “the unproductive approach taken by some of the members” of the Arab council, Mousavi added, “Unfortunately, it appears the so-called Persian Gulf Cooperation Council has become the representative of certain narrow-minded members inside the council or outside the region and its secretariat influenced by wrong and destructive policies and behaviors of some of its members has turned into the mouthpiece of anti-Iran hawks.”

The Arab council “has reached its inefficiency climax,” the spokesman said, adding the council has become useless due to its “internal divisions and unrealistic policies and its recent move indicated that it has ignored regional realities and turned a blind eye to the regional realities and priorities under current sensitive circumstances.”

Reuters and Press TV contributed to this story.



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