Iran says U.S. push for renewal of UN arms ban “illegal”

Xinhua News Agency | Aug 12, 2020 at 10:14 PM

TEHRAN, Aug. 12 (Xinhua) -- Senior Iranian officials on Wednesday said that the U.S. bid to renew a UN arms embargo against Iran lacks a "legal" basis.

In a telephone conversation with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said that the United States has "no right" to use mechanisms of the landmark Iranian 2015 nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), for its objectives.

Rouhani was referring to the withdrawal of Washington from the deal in May 2018. Iran has insisted that the United States is no longer a party to the accord and cannot use its mechanisms for any dispute.

However, the U.S. administration has recently urged the UN Security Council for the renewal of the UN arms embargo against Iran, subject to the 2015 landmark Iranian nuclear deal, which is set to expire on Oct. 18, 2020.

Rouhani told Macron that the remaining parties to the deal should oppose the U.S. drive for the extension of UN ban.

The Iranian president also said on Wednesday that the United States has put forward the anti-Iran resolution at the UN Security Council in order to deal a blow to the JCPOA and the Resolution 2231.

"Under Resolution 2231 and the Iran nuclear deal, the arms embargo on Iran will be lifted in October. All resolutions banning weapons trade for Iran will, in practice, be null and void," he said.

Rouhani stressed that after the termination of the UN ban on Iran in October, the Islamic republic will be able to sell and buy weapons.

"The United States will be defeated and face isolation" in its attempt to extend the arms ban, Rouhani said at a cabinet meeting, according to state TV.

Also, any attempt to endorse the U.S.-initiated proposal would be a clear violation of the UN Security Council Resolution 2231 and the Iranian 2015 multilateral nuclear deal, he said, adding that the parties behind the ploy should accept the consequences.

Rouhani also dismissed the claims by the U.S. President Donald Trump that he would be looking for peace with Iran immediately after re-election.

"If you are sincere and seek peace, which you have never been after, why do you take such actions (sanction pressures) against the Iranian nation?" he was quoted as saying by Tasnim news agency.

Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Wednesday that the United States cannot use a "snapback" mechanism to renew a UN arms embargo against Iran.

"Since the United States have left the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal, the three European allies of the United States have made it clear that Washington cannot trigger the dispute resolution mechanism that could lead to the restoration of UN ban on Iran," said Zarif, according to official IRNA news agency.

"Snapback" refers to the reimposition of all UN sanctions against Iran.

"The U.S. draft resolution pertaining to the UN arms embargo is illegal, and the Americans will not receive enough votes for their proposal on Iran in the UN Security Council's upcoming meeting," Zarif was quoted as saying.

This will result in further isolation of the U.S. administration, he added.