Russia Calls for Universal Condemnation of US Policy on Iran

Russia Calls for Universal Condemnation of US Policy on Iran
Russia Calls for Universal Condemnation of US Policy on Iran

Russia’s foreign minister said the Trump administration has unleashed a politically motivated campaign against Iran and called for “universal condemnation” of the US attempt to get the UN Security Council to impose a permanent arms embargo against the Islamic Republic.
Sergey Lavrov said the United States withdrew from the 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and six major powers and now has no legal right to try to use the UN resolution endorsing the deal to indefinitely continue the arms embargo, which is set to expire on Oct. 18, AP reported. 
In a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the UN Security Council circulated on Monday, the Russian minister said statements by US State Department officials that the administration of US President Donald Trump does not plan to resume its commitments under the nuclear deal, hence its plans to invoke rights allegedly deriving from the resolution endorsing it are “ridiculous and irresponsible”.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and US Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft have said extending the arms embargo against Iran is a top priority of the United States.
Craft told a press briefing on Friday that she had shared a draft security council resolution imposing an indefinite arms embargo on Iran with Russia and with western council allies, Britain, France, Germany and Estonia, and hopes to give the draft to the rest of the 15-member council “pretty soon”.
But she said first she wants to talk to ambassadors and “make sure everyone understands that we are committed to making certain that the UN Security Council does not allow this to expire in October”.
“What I say to people is on Oct. 18 ... do we want Russia selling weapons to Iran? Do we want China selling? Do we want anyone providing or selling weapons to Iran?” Craft asked. 
“I’m stressing that Russia and China need to join a global consensus on Iran’s conduct. This is about not only the people of Iran, but the people in the Middle East.”



‘Snapback’ Provision

But Russia’s UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia has already made clear Moscow’s opposition to a UN Security Council resolution extending Iran’s arms embargo, which Russia could veto. 
Nebenzia noted that the US has “no right” following its withdrawal from the nuclear deal to use the “snapback” provision in the 2015 council resolution, which automatically restores all UN sanctions against Iran that had been lifted or eased if the nuclear deal is violated.
Craft disagreed, saying the resolution “makes clear that the US retains the right” to use the “snapback” provision.
Tensions between Tehran and Washington have escalated since Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal in 2018 and reimposed crippling US sanctions. A year ago, the US sent thousands more troops, long-range bombers and an aircraft carrier to the Middle East in response to what it called a growing threat of Iranian attacks on US interests in the region.
The five other powers that signed the nuclear deal—Russia, China, United Kingdom, France and Germany—remain committed to it, saying the agreement is key to continuing inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Lavrov’s letter went further in explaining Moscow’s strong opposition to an indefinite arms embargo and US use of the “snapback” provision.
“We are proceeding on the basis that the United Nations should not become hostage to the political situation in the United States, which has decided to withdraw from the plan,” he said. “There are no valid grounds for raising in the security council the issue of an arms embargo against Iran.”
Lavrov said the nuclear deal and the UNSC resolution “form a single whole” and can’t be considered separately. And under Article 25 of the UN Charter, “the United States side is obliged to carry out the decisions of the security council, rather than undermine them through its unlawful actions”, he said.
Lavrov said international courts have held “that a party which disowns or does not fulfill its own obligations cannot be recognized as retaining the rights which it claims to derive from a relationship”.
The United States, having violated the Security Council resolution and declined to implement the 2015 nuclear agreement, has therefore “forfeited the possibility” of using the “snapback” provisions, he said.
Lavrov called on the US to stop undermining the nuclear agreement and the UN resolution.
He said Russia and “other responsible members of the international community will continue to make every effort” to preserve the nuclear deal.
“The United States must recognize that there are neither legal nor other grounds for its policy of using security council mandates to pursue its own selfish interests,” Lavrov said.

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