UN Security Council to hold session on JCPOA in December

December 2, 2020 - 22:36

TEHRAN – The United Nations Security Council will hold a briefing session on the latest development in the West Asia region, including the situation around the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

“Before the Christmas break, the Council will hear briefings on the Middle East [West Asia] peace process, including the question of Palestine, and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on Iran’s nuclear program,” the UN said in a statement on Tuesday.

Council President Jerry Matthews Matjila said the Council will not discuss the recent assassination of prominent Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh because the 15-member UN body has not received any request concerning the assassination.

“As for the recent killing of an Iranian nuclear scientist, he said the Council has not received any request to act on that matter, but the meeting on Iran’s nuclear program later this month will be held in ‘a new global environment,’” the UN statement said.

Fakhrizadeh was assassinated in an attack that was widely attributed to Israel. The attack took place on Friday at 14:30 in the small city of Absard in Damavand County, about 40 kilometers northeast of the capital Tehran. Iranian officials were quick to point the finger at Israel, which has carried out many assassination operations against Iranian nuclear scientists over the past decade. They vowed to take revenge against it in due time. While Israeli officials kept silent about the assassination, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Tel Aviv was behind the assassination of Fakhrizadeh.

“All think tanks and all enemies of Iran should know well that the Iranian nation and the country’s authorities are more courageous and Zealous than to let this criminal act go unanswered. The relevant authorities will respond to this crime at the proper time,” Rouhani said on Saturday, a day after the assassination.

American news organizations confirmed that Israel was behind the assassination of Fakhrizadeh. The New York Times and CNN both reported that Israel was responsible for the assassination. Citing a U.S. official, CNN Arabic said on Wednesday that Israel was behind the assassination of Fakhrizadeh.

The official said that Israel usually informs the U.S. administration of information about its targets and the operations it intends to carry out prior to carrying out, but he refused to confirm whether the Israeli government had done so this time.

“Fakhrizadeh has long been one of Israel’s targets,” the U.S. official remarked.

The official also pointed to the assassination of General Qassem Soleimani, saying that the U.S. intelligence is monitoring the situation, because, according to CNN Arabic, the Americans believe that Iran has not taken revenge for the assassination of General Soleimani yet.

The American news network also said that the U.S. administration expects that Iran will retaliate for the assassination of Soleimani as the anniversary of his death in Iraq approaches. The general was assassinated in an American drone strike on January 3 near Baghdad’s international airport.

The official stressed that Iran's retaliatory step against the Americans will make Biden's job difficult regarding lifting sanctions on Tehran and launching the diplomatic process.

According to the American official, additional sanctions will be imposed on Tehran within the next week and the following, as Trump has given Pompeo a “Carte Blanche” to continue imposing a policy of maximum pressure on Tehran over the next two months.

But slapping new sanctions on Iran could ratchet up tensions in the region especially after the assassination of the Iranian nuclear scientist significantly raised the tension in the region.

The UN has called for restraint hours after the assassination of Fakhrizadeh.

“We have noted the reports that an Iranian nuclear scientist has been assassinated near Tehran today. We urge restraint and the need to avoid any actions that could lead to an escalation of tensions in the region,” Farhan Haq, the deputy spokesman for the UN secretary-general, said on late Friday.

Also on Friday, Iranian Ambassador to the United Nations Majid Takht Ravanchi sent a letter to the UN secretary-general and Security Council, warning against any “adventuristic” steps by the U.S. and Israel against Iran in the waning days of the Trump administration.

Warning against any adventuristic measures by the United States and Israel against my country, particularly during the remaining period of the current administration of the United States in office, the Islamic Republic of Iran reserves its rights to take all necessary measures to defend its people and secure its interests," Ravanchi said in the letter.

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