Moscow calls for an extraordinary UN Security Council meeting on Iran, international reactions
Defence Redefined
Published on 21/08/2020 at 08:33

Russia has called for a UN Security Council meeting on Iran as the United States seeks to reinstate all sanctions imposed on Tehran in the past, a move rejected by Moscow.

Earlier, Russia’s ambassador to the UN described US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s request as “non-existent” and said that only one country that remains in the 2015 international agreement (JCPOA) could activate the mechanism of sanction re-imposition (snapback).

“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,” said Vassily Nebenzia.

The US government’s demand that virtually all UN sanctions against Iran be reinstated because Washington accuses Tehran of violating its obligations under the international agreement on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program has been revoked. “It lacks a legal basis and common sense,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.

In addition to the fact that the US claim has “no legal basis” as the snapback clause provided in the text was never activated after the US withdrew in 2018 from the international agreement signed in 2015, Beijing also stressed that it opposes sanctions that Washington re-imposed unilaterally on Tehran after it ceased to be a party.

Meanwhile, on Thursday US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused Paris, London and Berlin of “choosing to align themselves with the ayatollahs” in Iran instead of honoring their alliance with the United States, which seeks to re-impose all UN sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

“Our friends in Germany, France and the United Kingdom have told me in private that they do not want the arms embargo on Iran to be lifted,” said Pompeo, who spoke at the UN headquarters in New York. However, “they chose to align themselves with the ayatollahs,” he added in his statements to the media.

Washington suffered a painful defeat last week at the UN Security Council when no other member state voted in favor of a draft resolution extending the arms embargo on Iran, which expires in October.

Also read: The United States and Russia have agreed on where and when nuclear arms negotiations will begin

The Europeans chose to abstain, effectively accusing the government of Republican President Donald Trump of doing so because it did not seek a real compromise with Russia and China, countries that have a veto power over the US.

Stressing that “there is no other option”, in particular to extend the arms embargo, Pompeo formally announced yesterday that the United States was making the controversial move to activate the 30-day process that would theoretically lead to the re-imposition of all international sanctions against Iran because of Washington’s failure to meet Tehran’s commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal.

Pompeo said it would be a “colossal mistake” not to extend the arms embargo on Iran, adding that the United States would never allow Tehran to trade or buy free conventional weapons, such as tanks.

He added that Washington would do everything in its power to ensure the implementation of UN sanctions in case they are “violated”.

The Trump administration withdrew the US from the international agreement on Iran’s nuclear program in 2018.

The United States has formally launched a controversial process at the United Nations – and with uncertainty – calling for the restoration of all international sanctions against Iran, which it accuses of violating the 2015 agreement on its nuclear program.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo “informed the Security Council” that Iran was not fulfilling its commitments under the agreement, which was aimed at preventing Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

Pompeo personally handed over his letter to Indonesian Ambassador Dian Triassiah Janni, who is chairing the Security Council this month.

The United States says it is activating the snapback clause as a “contracting party” to the 2015 agreement, as stated in the SA resolution that ratified it.

The governments of Britain, France and Germany made it clear on Thursday that they would not support the US demand that all UN sanctions against Iran, reiterated by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, be reinstated.

Also read: Iran directly threatens the United States with the destruction of warships

In a joint statement, the three countries, allies of the United States for decades, recalled that Washington withdrew in 2018 from the international agreement on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program, which was signed in 2015 in Vienna.

The three countries stressed that they remain committed to adhering to the agreement.

“The United States had ceased to be a party to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)” when it “withdrew from the agreement on May 8, 2018,” the joint statement from London, Paris and Berlin said. “We can therefore not support this initiative,” the statement added, adding that the E3 group always wanted to “keep” the agreement in force.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the move by the US government on Thursday to re-impose all UN sanctions on Iran and urged major powers to side with Washington.

“I applaud the US decision to start the process of re-imposing sanctions on Iran. This is the right decision,” Netanyahu said in a press release issued by his services.

Netanyahu has from the very beginning been against the JCPOA, which he considered to have many problems. “Responsible countries must support the United States in its efforts to find a real solution that will prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons,” he said.

With information from: CNA / ANA MPA-Reuters-dpa – AFP (In Greek)





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