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Iran Press TV

At UN, US pushing for extension of Iran arms ban, warns Russia, China

Iran Press TV

Thursday, 25 June 2020 5:56 AM

Amid a much-criticized American push to rally support at the Security Council behind an extension of a UN arms embargo on Iran, Washington's point man on Iran claims Russia and China will face "isolation" at the world body should they stand in the way of a US-drafted resolution designed to prevent the expiry of the ban.

US Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook issued the warning ahead of a UN Security Council meeting on Wednesday, which featured the first round of talks on the US proposal to indefinitely extend the arms ban on Iran.

The embargo will expire on October 18 under UNSC Resolution 2231, which enshrined the 2015 nuclear deal – officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Hook claimed that efforts to prevent the renewal of the Iran arms embargo would be following "the road to dystopia."

"We see a widening gap between Russia and China and the international community," he said. "Russia and China were isolated at the (International Atomic Energy Agency) last week and they will be isolated in the Security Council if they continue down this road to dystopia."

Hook was referring to an anti-Iran resolution, which was passed by the IAEA's Board of Governors on June 19 with 25 votes in favor.

Russia and China voted against it, while seven countries – Azerbaijan, Pakistan, India, Mongolia, South Africa, Thailand, and Niger – abstained.

The resolution called on the Islamic Republic to "fully cooperate" with the IAEA and "satisfy the Agency's requests without any further delay," including by providing "prompt" access to two nuclear sites.

Iranian officials said the agency's request to visit the two sites is based on fabricated information supplied by Israel and pressure from the administration of US President Donald Trump.

As the termination of Iran arms embargo nears, the US, which unilaterally withdrew from the JCPOA in May 2018, has circulated the draft resolution at the UNSC to keep the ban in place.

The motion would ban the sale, supply or transfer of arms or related materiel by Iran and prohibits countries from selling, supplying or transferring weapons unless approved by a Security Council committee.

It also requires countries to inspect cargo in their territory if they have reasonable grounds to believe the cargo contains banned items and calls on countries to inspect vessels on the high seas – with the consent of the flag state – for the same reason.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday that he was "hopeful that the whole world will accept the proposition that this arms embargo needs to be extended."

However, Security Council veto-powers Russia and China have already signaled their opposition to the US proposal.

A UNSC resolution needs nine votes in favor and no vetoes by the US, China, Russia, Britain or France to pass.

"There is no possibility for its adoption," said a Chinese diplomat, who was speaking on condition of anonymity. "The US draft resolution is in essence a continuation of the US maximum pressure policy [on Iran] and it has no value or basis for discussion."

Additionally, Russia's Permanent Representative to International Organizations in Vienna Mikhail Ulyanov said the US claims that Iran violated the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) are driven by hatred.

"Some US experts seriously claim that Iran "is in full breach of its NPT obligations. Why the rest of the world, including IAEA and its Board of Governors, are not aware of this terrible "fact"? Indeed, hatred is a bad adviser for "experts" and propaganda has no limits," he tweeted.

The resolution is also expected to trigger hot discussions and a power clash between the US and its own allies at the UNSC, who argue that the US cannot resort to Resolution 2231 to seek an extension as it has already left the deal in violation of the same resolution.

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