There would be no limitation on arms deals with Iran by mid-October: Lavrov

September 22, 2020 - 16:11

TEHRAN – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said there were no limitations on arms deals with Iran right from the start and after mid-October, there would be no limitations whatsoever on arms supplies to and from Iran.

“There is no such thing as an arms embargo against Iran. The Security Council, when it was adopting the comprehensive Resolution 2231, which endorsed [the] Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which settled the nuclear issue for Iran, and this was adopted by consensus under the chapter 7 of the United Nations’ charter,” the chief Russian diplomat said in an interview with Alarabiya’s correspondent in New York.
 
Lavrov added, “The Security Council in that resolution said that the supply of arms to Iran and from Iran would be subject to consideration by the Security Council and that on the 18th of October, 2020 this regime of sales to Iran would stop. There is no embargo and there would be no limitations whatsoever after the expiration of this timeframe established by the Security Council.”

On 19 September, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the return of all UN restrictions on Iran in a bid to extend the UN arms embargo on Iran. All JCPOA participants strongly opposed the U.S. measure, calling it illegal and void. The U.S. announcement was based on the privileges envisioned in UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which stipulates that “a JCPOA participant State” can trigger the return of all previously terminated UN Security Council resolutions. However, all remaining parties to the JCPOA said with one voice that the U.S. had no legal authority to restore UN sanctions on Iran because it withdrew from the deal.
 
Following the U.S. measure, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that UN Security Council Resolution 2231 was “unchanged,” which means that Russia still believes that no UN sanctions have been restored even though the U.S. announced their restoration.

Lavrov reiterated this position in the interview, underlining that the U.S. had no legal rights to reinstate the UN sanctions on Iran because it has already terminated its participation in the JCPOA.

Responding to a question on the U.S. legal argument that it still has the right to trigger the return of all UN sanctions based on UNSCR 2231, the chief Russian diplomat said, “They want to violate and to challenge the famous English proverb “they want to have their pie and eat it.” They formally left the JCPOA. And the Security Council Resolution 2231 provides for any action to be done in order to restore the sanctions regime to be initiated by a JCPOA member. And they are not a member.”

“And if they continue threatening with sanctions all those who would cooperate with Iran on the firm basis of the strict implementation of the conditions of 2231, then I would not be surprised because they do the sanctions all over the world for any reason at all, sometimes even without any reason. I always knew that an elephant is a symbol of the Republican Party but please don’t consider the world as china store,” Lavrov said.

The Russian foreign minister also questioned what came to be known as the “snapback” mechanism, saying it does not exist.
 
He asserted, “The snapback does not exist as far as everybody is concerned except the United States. This was subject to discussion in the Security Council and 13 members, 13 out of the 15 members of the Security Council clearly stated that there are no legal political or moral reasons for anything close to snapback and all the statements to the contrary are null and void, this is the assessment of all members of the Security Council except the U.S. and somebody else.”

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