News ID: 269987
Published: 0334 GMT June 09, 2020

EU, Russia reject US drive for permanent Iran arms embargo

EU, Russia reject US drive for permanent Iran arms embargo

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov accused the US administration of unleashing a politically motivated campaign against Iran and is calling for “universal condemnation” of the US attempt to get the UN Security Council to impose a permanent arms embargo against the Islamic Republic.

Lavrov said on Monday the United States withdrew from the 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and six major powers and now has no legal right to try to use the UN resolution endorsing the deal to indefinitely continue the arms embargo, which is set to expire on Oct. 18, according to AP.

In a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the Security Council circulated Monday, the Russian minister said statements by US State Department officials that the Trump administration doesn’t plan to resume its commitments under the nuclear deal but plans to invoke rights allegedly deriving from the resolution endorsing it are “ridiculous and irresponsible.”

The European Union's top diplomat also said on Tuesday that since the US has already withdrawn from the international agreement, it can't now use its former membership of the pact to try to impose a permanent arms embargo on Iran.

"The United States has withdrawn from the JCPOA, and now they cannot claim that they are still part of the JCPOA in order to deal with this issue from the JCPOA agreement. They withdraw. It's clear. They withdraw," EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told reporters on Tuesday after talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. 

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and US Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft have said extending the arms embargo against Iran is a top priority for the United States.

Craft told a press briefing Friday that she had shared a draft Security Council resolution imposing an indefinite arms embargo on Iran with Russia and with Western council allies Britain, France, Germany and Estonia, and hopes to give the draft to the rest of the 15-member council “pretty soon.”

But she said first she wants to talk to ambassadors and “make sure everyone understands that we are committed to making certain that the UN Security Council does not allow this to expire in October.”

 

US has ‘no right’

 

Russia’s UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia has already made clear Moscow’s opposition to a Security Council resolution extending Iran’s arms embargo, which Russia could veto. He also said the US has “no right” following its withdrawal from the nuclear deal to use the “snapback” provision in the 2015 council resolution, which automatically restores all UN sanctions against Iran that had been lifted or eased if the nuclear deal is violated.

Tensions between Iran and the US have escalated since Washington unilaterally withdrew from the nuclear deal in 2018 and reimposed illegal sanctions on Iran.

The five other powers that signed the nuclear deal – Russia, China, United Kingdom, France and Germany – has remain committed to the deal.

Lavrov’s letter went further in explaining Moscow’s strong opposition to an indefinite arms embargo and US use of the “snapback” provision.

“We are proceeding on the basis that the United Nations should not become hostage to the political situation in the United States, which has decided to withdraw from the plan,” he said. “There are no valid grounds for raising in the Security Council the issue of an arms embargo against Iran.”

 

US unlawful actions

 

Lavrov said the nuclear deal and the Security Council resolution “form a single whole” and can’t be considered separately. And under Article 25 of the UN Charter, “the United States side is obliged to carry out the decisions of the Security Council, rather than undermine them through its unlawful actions,” he said.

Lavrov said international courts have held “that a party which disowns or does not fulfill its own obligations cannot be recognized as retaining the rights which it claims to derive from a relationship.”

The United States, having violated the Security Council resolution and declined to implement the 2015 nuclear agreement has therefore “forfeited the possibility” of using the “snapback” provisions, he said.

Lavrov called on the US to stop undermining the nuclear agreement and the UN resolution.

He said Russia and “other responsible members of the international community will continue to make every effort” to preserve the nuclear deal.

“The United States must recognize that there are neither legal nor other grounds for its policy of using Security Council mandates to pursue its own selfish interests,” Lavrov said.

 

   
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