Russian diplomat rejects U.S. hawks’ assessment on Moscow support for JCPOA

May 14, 2020 - 12:10

TEHRAN — Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia's permanent representative to the Vienna-based international organizations, has ruled out assessment of U.S. hawks about Russia’s support for the Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

“Do you know why Russia supports #JCPOA? Because from October, RF (Russian Federation) will be able to earn some money from supplies of weapons to #Iran,” Ulyanov wrote in a tweet on Wednesday.

He added, “It’s not a joke. This is an assessment of hawks. We can only sympathize with Washington whose experts deliver such judgments to US administration.”

Under the 2015 nuclear deal, which the U.S. abandoned in May 2018, the UN ban on weapons sales to Tehran will end in October 2020.

Washington has called on the United Nations Security Council to extend its arms embargo on Iran.

Citing the Islamic Republic’s recent satellite launch, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement on April 25 that Tehran should not be allowed to buy and sell conventional weapons.

Pompeo claimed the satellite launch showed that Iran’s space program was in fact “neither peaceful nor entirely civilian”.

Tehran subsequently branded Pompeo as “Secretary of Hate”, saying he has achieved nothing since he assumed the post two years ago.
Even before the satellite launch, Pompeo had said Washington will try to extend arms embargo against Iran in violation of the UN Security Council Resolution 2231 that endorsed the JCPOA.

Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), has said continuation of the illegal arms embargo on Iran will kill the nuclear agreement Tehran signed with six world powers in July 2015.

“#JCPOA will die forever by circumventing 2231 Resolution & continuing #Iran's illegal weapons sanctions,” Shamkhani wrote in a Twitter post earlier this month.

Although the administration pulled out from the deal two years ago, the U.S. claims that it retains the right to invoke a sanctions snapback that the deal envisaged in the event of “significant non-performance” by Iran.

That position rests on a novel State Department legal argument that was first presented in December and asserts that although the U.S. is no longer in the nuclear deal, it remains an original “participant” under the terms of the Security Council resolution that enshrined it.

Brian Hook, the administration’s special envoy for Iran, has argued the United States is still a party to the UN resolution because its name is explicitly mentioned in the text.

But according to Kourosh Ahmadi, an international law expert, the United States’ legal argument that it remains an original “participant” under the terms of the Security Council resolution “lacks any legal logic”.

MH/PA

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