China calls Pompeo’s remarks on Iran arms embargo ‘totally unreasonable’

July 18, 2020 - 15:15

TEHRAN — Beijing says U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s remarks about the Iran arms embargo are “totally unreasonable”.

During a press conference on Friday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying was asked to comment on Pompeo’s warning that China will sell weapons systems to Iran as soon as the arms embargo is lifted.

“We noted relevant reports,” she responded, “Pompeo's remarks are totally unreasonable and apparently an excuse to push the UN Security Council to extend arms embargo against Iran.”

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

Under UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which endorsed the 2015 nuclear deal, the arms embargo against Iran expires in October.

“This is another proof of the untrustworthy and unreliable U.S. turning away from its commitments, after defying UNSCR2231 and international consensus and unilaterally withdrawing from the JCPOA,” Hua pointed out.

Hua expressed the hope that the U.S. will return to the right track of upholding the sanctity of the Security Council resolution and complying with the Iranian nuclear deal, instead of going further down the wrong path.

During a press availability on Wednesday, Pompeo said Iran and China have been waiting for midnight on October 18th for the arms embargo to expire.  

“I think Europeans should stare at that and realize that the risk of this is real and that the work between Iran and the Chinese Communist Party may well commence rapidly and robustly on October 19th if we’re not successful at extending the UN arms embargo,” he remarked.

“As for the larger picture, we have a set of sanctions related to any company or country that engages in activity with Iran,” said Pompeo, adding, “The sanctions are clear. We have been unambiguous about enforcing them against our companies from allies, countries from all across the world. We would certainly do that with respect to activity between Iran and China as well.”

Responding to the remarks, the Chinese spokesperson said her country has all along adopted a prudent and responsible attitude toward weapons exports and followed the three principles for arms export.

“The exports should be conducive to the legitimate self-defense capability of the recipient country; they should not undermine peace, security, and stability of the region concerned and the world as a whole; and they should not be used to interfere in the internal affairs of the recipient country,” she explained.

Hua stated that without violating international obligations including Security Council resolutions, China can carry out normal arms trade cooperation with any country and such cooperation is beyond reproach. 

“The U.S. has no rights to criticize China on this issue,” she said. “It unsigned the Arms Trade Treaty last year while China recently just joined it. The two countries’ attitudes towards international rules stand in such sharp contrast that they are self-explanatory.”

MH/PA

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