Iran won’t relinquish defense rights, Foreign Ministry spokesman says

Content of 25-year Iran-China co-op plan will be published when finalized: Tehran

June 29, 2020 - 14:31

TEHRAN - Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said on Monday that Iran-China 25-year comprehensive cooperation plan has not been finalized yet.

However, he said, the content of this “agreement will be published once it is finalized.”

Mousavi dismissed claims of any new negotiation about the cooperation plan.

Government spokesman Ali Rabiei said on June 23 that Iran and China have drafted a 25-year plan for comprehensive cooperation which proves failure of the plots to isolate the Islamic Republic.

“This plan proves failure of the United States’ policies to isolate Iran, sever Iran’s relations with the international community and also to harm Iran’s will to expand relations with other countries,” Rabiei said during a press conference.

He said that the 25-year plan is based on a win-win approach which “heralds long term cooperation”.

“Recognizing cultural commonalities, encouraging multilateralism, supporting equal rights of the nations and insisting on domestic development are parts of this plan,” the government spokesman explained.

In a meeting on June 21, the cabinet of ministers approved the final draft of the 25-year comprehensive cooperation plan between Iran and China.

Rouhani said the strategic partnership between the two countries is based on a win-win approach.

“This cooperation is a ground for Iran and China’s participation in basic projects and development of  infrastructure, including the large ‘Belt and Road’ initiative, and an opportunity to attract investment in various economic fields, including industry, tourism, information technology and communication,” the presidential website quoted Rouhani as saying.

The Foreign Ministry spokesman said, “This document is in line with the interests of the two countries and it is an honorable.”

‘Return to obligations only way to save nuclear deal’

In his regular news briefing, Mousavi also said the only way to save the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the JCPOA, is that all sides abide by their commitments.

“We advise the European countries to know that all sides’ return to the JCPOA is the only way to save it. Sending signals to others is not right and constructive. They know the United States better than us,” Mousavi said during a press conference. 

He said, “The United States has been using them [the Europeans] as tool and has threatened them to make them back down. However, it is best for signatories to the JCPOA to implement what have been achieved.”

The spokesman also slammed the Europeans for taking actions which are against the “spirit” of the JCPOA.

The Foreign Ministry spokesman was apparently referring to a European-drafted resolution against Iran at the IAEA Board of Governors on June 19 which was approved with 25 votes in favor, seven abstentions and two against.
 
‘Westerners’ approach towards Iran’s defense capabilities unacceptable’

Mousavi also said that Iran is very serious about its defense capabilities and the Westerners’ approach towards Iran’s defense power is “not acceptable”. 

“Extension of arms embargo is contrary to terms of the 2231 resolution and will bring consequences for which the United States and Europeans are responsible. Interaction between Europe and the United States is their own business, but we will not relinquish our rights,” he stated.

He noted that Iran plans to take two or three actions if the arms embargo is extended. 

France, Germany and the United Kingdom said in a joint statement published on June 19 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.

The statement added, “We wish to address the issue in close coordination with Russia and China as remaining participants to the JCPOA, as well as with all other Security Council Members, as well as other key stakeholders. We will be guided by these objectives: upholding the authority and integrity of the UN Security Council and working toward regional security and stability.”

It is stated in the statement that they do not support any unilateral attempt to trigger a snapback of United Nations sanctions against Iran.

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

Under the UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which endorsed the 2015 nuclear deal, the arms embargo 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.

The U.S. administration has made such a threat despite the fact that Donald Trump officially quit the nuclear deal in May 2018 and slapped the harshest sanctions in history, including a total oil embargo, against Iran. 

‘U.S. has no right to trigger snapback of sanctions’

Mousavi also said that the U.S. has violated the JCPOA and has no right to trigger snapback of all sanctions.

“The United States is not in the position to ruin the JCPOA and its achievements,” he said.

The U.S. is no longer a party to the nuclear deal, JCPOA, as Donald Trump officially declared U.S. withdrawal from the multilateral agreement. 

According to international law, the U.S. no longer has the right to call for the return of UN sanctions.

On June 9, European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said the United States had clearly withdrawn from Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and could no longer claim to be a party to the agreement.
 
“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,” Borrell said.

‘U.S. violates human rights systematically’

Mousavi also said that the U.S. makes claims about the human rights, however, it violates the human rights systematically.

Iran’s High Council for Human Rights issued a statement on Sunday saying Iran considers itself duty bound to back the oppressed people around the world and supports protests against racism in the U.S.

“Within this framework, Iran’s High Council for Human Rights calls on all the freedom-seeking people in the world not to leave the people of the United States alone in fighting discrimination and racism,” the statement read.

Protests have started across the U.S. and some cities around the world over the brutal killing of an African-American man. 

George Floyd died on May 25 after being pinned down by a white officer despite yelling “I cannot breathe”.

‘Zarif to address UNSC through video conference’

Mousavi also said that Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif plans to address the UN Security Council on Tuesday through a video conference.

NA/PA

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