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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

US to block sale of Russian Su-30 aircraft to Iran: State Dept.

Iran Press TV

Tue Apr 5, 2016 3:57PM

The United States would use its veto power in the United Nations Security Council to block the sale of Russian Su-30 fighter jets to Iran, the State Department says.

Department of State Under Secretary for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon made the announcement on Tuesday during a congressional hearing on Iran. "We would block the approval of fighter aircraft."

Shannon told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing that any such sale of fighter jets would have to be approved by the UN Security Council.

Su-30 is a multirole advanced fighter aircraft for all-weather, air-to-air and air-to-surface deep interdiction missions.

"The sale of Su-30 fighter aircraft is prohibited under UNSCR 2231 without the approval of the UN Security Council and we would block the approval of any sale of fighter aircraft under the restrictions," Shannon said.

Shannon was referring to the UN Security Council Resolution 2231, adopted by the Security Council on July 20, 2015, which endorsed the nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 group – Russia, China, France, Britain, the US and Germany.

The UN resolution calls upon Iran not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology.

But according to diplomats, resolution 2231 does not prohibit Iran from buying fighter jets, and the language of 2231 is not legally binding and cannot be enforced with punitive measures.

Iran and the P5+1 finalized the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in Vienna, Austria, on July 14, 2015. They started to implement the JCPOA on January 16, 2016.

Under the agreement, limits are put on Iran's nuclear activities in exchange for, among other things, the removal of all nuclear-related economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

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