Ban’s Anti-Iran Report Part of Western Pressure Campaign
A lawmaker said the "Iranophobic" statements of the former UN chief, Ban Ki-moon, in a report on the implementation of UN Resolution 2231 is part of a western campaign to invent excuses for US president-elect, Donald Trump, to put pressure on Tehran.
"Since Trump [has announced that he will] seek to exert more pressure on the Islamic Republic and dismantle the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [the 2015 nuclear deal], westerners are searching for new excuses, particularly those related to Iran's military activities or its alleged support for terrorism," Hossein Naqavi Hosseini added.
Hosseini, who is the spokesman of Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, made the statement in an interview with ICANA in Tehran on Wednesday.
"I believe Ban was following this direction and his act was a piece of the puzzle in line with his [anti-Iran] performance during his  years in office," he said. Reuters reported on Sunday that according to a confidential report seen by the news agency, Ban has said Tehran might have violated a UN Security Council arms embargo by supplying weapons and missiles to Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah.
Ban's report comes days before Trump, who has vowed to take a tougher line on Iran than outgoing President Barack Obama, takes office on January 20.
Trump had threatened at times on the campaign trail to scrap the agreement, although he said at other times he would seek a better deal.
Claims Concern Hezbollah
"In a televised speech broadcast by Al Manar TV on 24 June 2016, Hassan Nasrallah, the secretary-general of Hezbollah, stated that the budget of Hezbollah, its salaries, expenses, weapons and missiles all came from the Islamic Republic of Iran," Ban wrote in the report.
"I am very concerned by this statement, which suggests that transfers of arms and related material from the Islamic Republic of Iran to Hezbollah may have been undertaken contrary [to Resolution 2231]."
The resolution was adopted in July 2016 to endorse the nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers, which was signed earlier that month to limit Iran's nuclear program in exchange for the removal of UN, US and EU sanctions on Tehran.
The resolution stopped nuclear-related UN sanctions on Iran. However, Tehran is still subject to an arms embargo and other restrictions, which are not technically part of the nuclear agreement.
The report was submitted to the Security Council on Dec. 30 by Ban before he was succeeded by Antonio Guterres on Jan. 1, and will be discussed by the 15-member council on January 18.
Resolution 2231 requires the UN secretary-general to report every six months to the council on any violations of sanctions still in place and it was the second biannual report. Ban said in his first report in July that missile launches carried out by Iran last March were "not consistent with the constructive spirit" of the nuclear deal, a claim that drew harsh criticism from Tehran.