EghtesadOnline: Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif rejected the European countries’ offers of compromise on the complete removal of the United Nations arms embargo on Iran as required by the 2015 nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
“Russia, China and Iran don’t agree with the concerns and compromise proposals of some European parties to the JCPOA, since any steps in this area would violate Resolution 2231,” he said in an interview with Sputnik.
The UN arms embargo is set to expire in October as per the terms of the nuclear deal and UN Security Council Resolution 2231 that endorsed it.
The United States is pushing for the indefinite extension of restrictions despite having already abandoned the deal in 2018.
It has prepared a draft UN resolution to be put to a vote at the Security Council.
Washington argues that it remains an original participant to the UNSCR 2231 and has threatened to trigger the snapback mechanism that would restore all UN sanctions on Iran if its resolution fails to win enough votes.
Council veto-powers Russia and China have categorically rejected the call, saying the US is no longer entitled to interfere in JCPOA affairs.
Russia has expressed its position regarding the US in a five-page letter, according to Zarif.
“The United States is a country that violated [Resolution 2231] by withdrawing from the nuclear deal … Therefore, the US is not in a position to talk about the JCPOA,” he said, adding that Russia, Iran and China have similar positions in this regard.
France, Britain and Germany have not explicitly supported the move, but have expressed concern about the lifting of restrictions, saying it would have major implications for regional security and stability, and should be discussed among UNSC members and other key stakeholders.
The trio hopes to draft a resolution that satisfies China, Russia and the US, and prevent them from vetoing it.
It reportedly involves limiting the potential volume of arms deals with Iran and extending the ban in a limited timeframe.
"The ideas center around a measure that would allow some arms purchases by Iran while keeping key weapons systems out of Tehran’s hands, and an extension of arms trade restrictions that might initially be limited to 12 months," the Wall Street Journal quoted European diplomats as saying in mid-June.
Zarif said these compromise solutions are not accepted and are deemed a violation of UNSCR 2231 by Iran, Russia and China.
Iran has said that it would react strongly if the embargo is extended. Officials in Tehran have not explicitly mentioned their options, but exiting the JCPOA and the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty are expected to be among possible measures.
The foreign minister said the US has become a “rogue and lawbreaker state”, stressing that “this lawlessness will not work in the international system” and it cannot succeed in the medium to long run by violating the law.
Zarif noted that the global community, for instance, is now considering whether it is necessary to recognize the US power over the global banking system or whether there is a need to change it.
“We are currently seeing some steps in this direction,” he said.