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UNSC Opposition Forced US Retreat on Iran Resolution

The foreign minister also warned that it would be “a generational setback” for the cause of multilateralism, should the UN Security Council be bullied into torpedoing its own resolution on the removal of Iran’s arms embargo
UNSC Opposition Forced US Retreat on Iran Resolution UNSC Opposition Forced US Retreat on Iran Resolution

An Iranian senior diplomat said the United States was forced to retreat from its draft resolution on extending Iran’s arms embargo due to the opposition by members of the United Nations Security Council.  
The US-drafted resolution appeared to have little chance of securing adequate votes, so Washington on Tuesday circulated a revised text, seeking to gain more support in the 15-member Security Council where veto-wielding Russia and China have voiced strong opposition.
“Rebuffed by UNSC members, US was forced to retreat from its draft resolution on Iran arms embargo, and proposed another version—also violating 2231—today,” Majid Takht-Ravanchi said in a tweet. 
UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which endorsed Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with the world powers, includes a provision lifting the arms embargo on Tehran on Oct. 18, but the US is campaigning to extend it indefinitely. The move comes after its unilateral exit from the nuclear deal in 2018 and reimposition of tough sanctions on Iran.  
The initial draft of its resolution, set up for a vote on Tuesday, included several provisions that some diplomats objected to as going beyond the extension of the arms embargo and were eliminated.
The revised version, obtained by AP, is just four paragraphs and replaces the original seven-page, 35-paragraph draft. It could be put in a final form on Thursday and put to a vote on Friday, according to council diplomats. 
US Ambassador Kelly Craft said the new draft “takes council views into account and simply does what everyone knows should be done—extend the arms embargo to prevent Iran from freely buying and selling conventional weapons”.
Takht-Ravanchi said the new version also violates the previous UN resolution and is unlikely to win votes. 
“The new draft is similar—in its NATURE and GOAL—to the previous. Confident that the Council will—again—reject this move,” he wrote on Twitter. 
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif described the new text as “absolutely illegal” and in violation of UNSCR 2231. 
He said Washington is trying to fool the UN Security Council by shortening the text while its purpose remains the same. 
“Americans finally concluded that their resolution would not secure more than five votes … This resolution will not be adopted either and will gain very few votes,” he told reporters on Wednesday. 

 

 

Generational Setback

If the resolution is defeated, the US has threatened to invoke the so-called snapback mechanism in the nuclear deal that would restore all UN sanctions on Iran. 
Russia and China, along with the European parties to the nuclear deal, have stated that the US has no right to use the mechanism since it has already abandoned the accord. 
“In legal terms, the US is in no position to use the snapback,” Zarif said. 
In a recent article, Zarif also warned that it would be a generational setback for the cause of multilateralism, should the Security Council be bullied into torpedoing its own resolution.
“If the US is allowed to continue on this path, the world will slide backwards toward a ‘might makes right’ standard,” he said in the article published by the Global Times. 
He said the international community, particularly the UN Security Council, faces an important decision to either maintain respect for the rule of law, or return to the law of the jungle. 
“I am confident that—in the next few critical weeks and months—members of the Security Council will refute the campaign struggle of a beleaguered US administration to turn what was the diplomatic achievement of the 21st Century into an exercise in futility, and in the process annihilate what is left of multilateralism and international law,” he concluded.  

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