JCPOA parties must now formally announce lifting of UN arms embargo: senior MP

October 13, 2020 - 17:31

TEHRAN – Remaining parties to a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers must now formally declare that UN restrictions on arms trade with Iran have come to an end, a senior Iranian lawmaker said.

The lawmaker, Mojtaba Zolnouri, said the UN arms embargo on Iran will expire on October 18 in accordance with the provisions of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which is officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

“Now, countries which are parties to the JCPOA must formally announce the lifting of arms restrictions in accordance with the JCPOA and let the world know that the Islamic Republic of Iran is allowed to buy and sell arms,” Zolnouri, who is the head of the Parliament’s National Security Committee, was quoted by the Islamic Consultative Assembly News Agency (ICANA) as saying.

He added, “If this happens, a small portion of what was foreseen in the JCPOA, and Iran is entitled to have, will be implemented. Of course, this alone cannot be considered as a victory because it’s a gratuitous restriction and oppression that will be lifted. ”

Under the JCPOA, the UN arms embargo on Iran will expire on October 18, a move that the U.S. has used everything in its power to prevent. It has submitted a draft resolution to the UN Security Council calling for the extension of the arms embargo but the resolution was firmly rejected by thirteen of the 15-member UN Security Council. Then the U.S. resorted to triggering a highly controversial mechanism that is mentioned in UN Security Council Resolution 2231. The mechanism, known as the snapback process, stipulates that a “JCPOA participant state” can trigger the return of all UN sanctions on Iran if it failed to uphold its obligations under the JCPOA.

In August, the U.S. triggered the 30-day process despite firm opposition from all JCPOA parties and almost all UN Security Council members who said with one voice that the U.S. has lost the legal authority to trigger the snapback process after it withdrew from the nuclear deal on May 8, 2018.

On September 19, the U.S. announced the return of all UN sanctions on Iran in a bid to extend the UN arms embargo but the global community once again stood against the U.S. However, the U.S. has threatened anyone violating the UN sanctions with unilateral punitive measures.

Zolnouri said the U.S. has used everything in its power to prevent the lifting of the UN arms embargo but failed.

“This can be considered as a failure for the U.S. and a victory for Iran because the U.S. failed to bring on board the P4+1,” the lawmaker asserted.

P4+1 refers to the four permanent members of the UN Security Council (Russia, France, China, and Britain) plus Germany.

He also pointed to Iran’s requested $5 billion emergency loan from the International Monetary Fund, which was blocked by the U.S., saying international institutions are under the U.S. influence and have treated Iran discriminatorily.

“In a discriminatorily move, the International Monetary Fund has refrained from giving Iran a loan that was given to other countries,” pointed out Zolnouri , adding that it was possible for the IMF to give Iran the $5 billion emergency loan through the INSTEX mechanism.

He noted, “However, this mechanism was a delusion and deception right from the start and Europe does not intend to use it. The nuclear deal was supposed to remove all sanctions and normalize relations in all dimensions that serve the interests of the Islamic Republic of Iran, but the other side did not fulfill its obligations, and eventually, the INSTEX was established but it did not work.”

According to Zolnouri, the INSTEX was merely a deception that the Europeans used it to bring the Iranian nation and government step by step to a dead end.


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