By staff and agency

Lavrov calls U.S. attempts to impose arms embargo on Iran ‘ridiculous’

June 9, 2020 - 17:16

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has called the United States’ attempts to impose a permanent arms embargo against Iran “ridiculous” and “irresponsible”.

In a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the Security Council circulated Monday, Lavrov accused the Trump administration of unleashing a politically motivated campaign against Iran and called for “universal condemnation” of the U.S. attempts, AP reported.

He said 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.

He said statements by U.S. 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.”

Lavrov’s letter went further in explaining Moscow’s strong opposition to an indefinite arms embargo and U.S. use of the “snap back” 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.”

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.

“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,” Lavrov says in a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. “There are no valid grounds for raising in the Security Council the issue of an arms embargo against Iran.”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 “snap back” provisions, the Russian chief diplomat pointed out.

Lavrov called on the U.S. 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.

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft announced on Friday that Washington had shared the draft resolution on the extension of Iran’s arms embargo with Russia, Britain, France, Germany and Estonia which are all members of the Security Council.

Two years after the United States withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal, the Trump administration is looking to extend a UN ban on conventional arms sales to and from Iran, a strategy designed to kill the deal for good.

In a May 9 statement marking the second anniversary of the Trump administration’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pledged to “exercise all diplomatic options” to extend the UN ban on conventional arms sales to and from Iran beyond its current expiry date on October 18.

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

Majid Takht-Ravanchi, Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations, has said that the United States has no right to initiate anything under the 2231 resolution. 

“@USAmbUNbelieves US retains right to initiate snapback of sanctions under UNSCR 2231. 

WRONG: US cannot be a JCPOA “Participant”, since 
@realDonaldTrump ceased U.S. participation. 
The US—which is in violation of the resolution—has no right to initiate anything under 2231,” he tweeted on Friday.

NA/PA
 

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