(July 1, 2020 / JNS) Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said during a U.N. Security Council session on Tuesday that U.S. attempts to extend the U.N. arms embargo on Iran are endangering the 2015 nuclear accord.
The embargo was established by UNSC Resolution 2231 and is set to expire on Oct. 18.
“The international community in general—and the U.N. Security Council in particular—are facing an important decision: Do we maintain respect for the rule of law, or do we return to the law of the jungle by surrendering to the whims of an outlaw bully?” said Zarif.
“Any attempt to change or amend the agreed timetable is thus tantamount to undermining Resolution 2231 in its entirety,” he added.
The U.S. administration has threatened that if the embargo is not extended, it will seek to apply so-called snapback sanctions on Iran for its noncompliance with the JCPOA and for its belligerence in the region. Since 2018, when U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the agreement, Iran has violated the deal’s limits on uranium enrichment.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on Tuesday for the arms embargo on Iran to be extended indefinitely.
“If you fail to act, Iran will be free to purchase Russian-made fighter jets that can strike up to a 3,000 kilometer radius, putting cities like Riyadh, New Delhi, Rome and Warsaw in Iranian crosshairs,” Pompeo warned the U.N. Security Council.
“Don’t just take it from me or from the United States; listen to countries in the region. From Israel to the Gulf, countries in the Middle East—who are most exposed to Iran’s predations—are speaking with a single voice: Extend the arms embargo,” he said. “This council has a responsibility to listen to them.”
Brian Hook, the U.S. special representative for Iran, said in an interview with Channel 13 News reporter Barak Ravid during a visit to Jerusalem this week that “we’ve made very clear, the president has, that Iran will never acquire a nuclear weapon,” and that “the military option is always on the table.”
“The Israeli people and the American people and the international community should know that President Trump will never allow [Iran] to have a nuclear weapon,” said Hook.
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