EghtesadOnline: Russia’s foreign minister said Moscow roundly rejects an ongoing effort by Washington to permanently extend a UN arms embargo on Tehran, which is to expire next month.
“We discussed in detail the situation surrounding the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [2015 Iran nuclear deal],” Sergey Lavrov said in a joint press conference following his meeting with visiting Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Moscow on Thursday, Sputnik reported.
“We stressed that Moscow and Tehran, like the entire international community, categorically reject US ambitions to impose some kind of indefinite arms embargo," the top Russian diplomat stressed.
The ban on sales of conventional weapons to Iran is set to expire on Oct. 18 under JCPOA, the nuclear agreement that was signed between Iran and six world powers in Vienna, Austria, in 2015.
The US pulled out of the deal in 2018, thus losing its right to invoke its provisions, including a snapback mechanism that enables the reimposition of international sanctions on Iran.
Last Saturday, though, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo alleged that “virtually all UN sanctions have returned on Iran,” including “a permanent extension of the arms embargo”.
“We will not hesitate to enforce our sanctions and we expect all UN member states to fully comply with their obligations under these reimposed restrictions,” he said.
This is while 13 of the UN Security Council’s 15-strong members, including Russia and China, have notified the US that they would not fall in line with the US snapback bid, reminding that Washington’s departure from JCPOA has caused it to lose its contractual rights.
Lavrov noted that despite the will of the entire international community, the US is proceeding on the premise that the United Nations Security Council’s sanctions against Iran would be restored at Washington’s whim, “but these attempts using illegal means have no prospect of succeeding”.
“We agreed to continue the implementation of major joint investment projects, first and foremost in the sphere of energy, including nuclear power, as well as transportation and industrial cooperation,” he added.
The Russian foreign minister announced that the Russian-Iranian Economic Commission would convene before the end of the year in line with the two countries’ common will to expand mutual relations.
Zarif, who was in Moscow to discuss with Russian officials issues of common interest and important regional and international issues, expressed gratitude to Moscow and Beijing for “playing an important role in confronting the US illegal efforts at the Security Council”.
Russia would take over the council’s chairmanship on Oct. 10, he said, hoping that Moscow’s “effective role” in standing up to Washington’s campaign would sustain during the period.
Zarif also hailed his talks with Lavrov as “good and constructive” and emphasized that the countries were “taking diligent efforts to boost relations”.
“We enjoy cooperation in various areas and hope to expand these instances of collaboration,” the Iranian foreign minister said.