Sunday, 20 September, 2020

Iran urges UNSC to stand up against ‘illegal’ US arms ban

Iran’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York has called on the Security Council to withstand an “illegal” and “ill-intentioned” move by the United States to extend an arms embargo on the Islamic Republic.

In a press release on Thursday, the Iranian mission said the US draft resolution is aimed at addressing US domestic policy.

It described the proposed US draft resolution to extend Iran’s arms ban as part of the US domestic policy and urged the Security Council to stand firm against the American bid.

“The US draft resolution, presented in gross violation of Security Council Resolution 2231, is aimed at addressing US domestic policy and has nothing to do with maintaining international peace and security,” the mission said.

“The draft resolution undermines the integrity, authority, and credibility of the Security Council; and by extension, the United Nations, multilateralism, the rule of law and diplomacy,” it added.

The embargo is slated to expire in October under UNSC Resolution 2231, which enshrines the 2015 nuclear deal — officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) — between Iran and six world states — Russia, China, Germany, Britain, France and the US.

Washington is, however, seeking to keep the arms ban in place through the UNSC resolution, threatening that it would use a provision in the agreement to trigger a return of all UN sanctions on Iran if the UN body fails to extend the embargo.

This is while Washington unilaterally abandoned the deal in 2018.

“To satisfy its deep addiction to sanctions and to justify its irresponsible behavior in the Council, the United States baselessly accuses Iran of instability in the region,” the Iranian mission’s press release said.

“While its interventions, destructive behavior, divisive policies, and insatiable appetite for exporting its deadly weapons to countries in the region as well as the presence of a large number of its forces in the Middle East, their involvement and spreading lies and destructive acts are the main sources of instability, insecurity and human suffering in this region,” it underlined.

The Iranian mission said members of the Security Council are “expected to resist US illegal and ill-intentioned action, to refrain from abusing or manipulating the work of the Security Council, and to demonstrate that the 15-member body is capable of supporting the UN Security Council.

The remaining signatories to the deal, even Washington’s own allies, have repeatedly reminded the US that it is no longer a party to the deal and thus cannot use the provision to bring about a renewal of anti-Iran restrictions.

They have also cautioned that a return of UN sanctions on Iran would likely kill the nuclear deal because Iran would lose yet another major interest under the deal.

The US has already reinstated its unilateral economic sanctions against Iran after leaving the deal in defiance of UNSC Resolution 2231, prompting Iran to suspend parts of its commitments to the landmark accord in response.

On Tuesday, the US proposed a simplified draft resolution as brief as four paragraphs to extend the arms embargo on Iran in an apparent bid to garner support in the council.

Diplomatic sources and political experts said that while the watered-down draft text might win the United States some more votes, it was unclear if Washington could get the minimum nine votes needed as it was unlikely to convince veto-wielding Russia and China to abstain.     

Russia and China have already signaled that they would veto the resolution even if it gets enough ‘Yes’ votes.   

The vote was expected to take place on Tuesday, but diplomats at the UN later said it could take place as soon as Friday.

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