Zarif mocks Pompeo’s claim on UN arms embargo

June 24, 2020 - 14:39

TEHRAN — Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has ridiculed a claim by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about Iran’s plan to purchase fighter aircraft.

“@SecPompeo is so desperate to mislead the world that he claims come October, Iran will purchase fighter aircraft,” Zarif tweeted on Tuesday.

He added, “And then send them off to the limits of their ONE-WAY ranges. Perhaps he could also say how they would fly back to Iran having exhausted their fuel.”

Zarif attached a photo of an earlier tweet by Pompeo, which claimed that Europe and Asia could be in Iran’s crosshairs if it purchases new fighter aircraft.

“If the @UN Arms Embargo on Iran expires in October, Iran will be able to buy new fighter aircraft like Russia’s SU-30 and China’s J-10,” Pompeo wrote.

“With these highly lethal aircraft, Europe and Asia could be in Iran’s crosshairs. The U.S. will never let this happen,” he added.

The United States has stepped up calls for the extension of a UN arms embargo on Iran since April.

Under the UN Security Council’s 2231 resolution, which endorsed the 2015 nuclear deal, the arms embargo on Iran expires in October.

The Trump administration has threatened that it may seek to trigger a snapback of all sanctions on Iran if its attempts to extend the arms embargo fail.

France, Germany, and the United Kingdom said in a joint statement published on Friday that the European Union’s embargoes on conventional arms exports and missile technology to Iran will remain in force until 2023.

“The E3 remain committed to fully implementing Resolution 2231 by which the JCPOA has been endorsed in 2015. However, we believe that the planned lifting of the UN conventional arms embargo established by Resolution 2231 next October would have major implications for regional security and stability. We recall that the EU embargoes on conventional arms exports and missile technology will remain in force until 2023,” said the statement published by the UK Foreign Ministry website.

Also on Friday, representatives of the 35-nation Board of Governors at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) passed a controversial resolution to push for intrusive inspections of two old places in Iran which are claimed nuclear activities may have been done there.

The resolution had been proposed by Britain, France, and Germany, known as E3.

In response to the move, Zarif said: “E3 must stop public face-saving and muster the courage to state publicly what they admit privately, their failure to fulfill even own JCPOA duties due to total impotence in resisting the US bullying behind the facade, E3 are accessories to Trump and Netanyahu—and in no position to counsel Iran.”

Russia and China have strongly opposed the resolution.

MH/PA

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