Russia Slams US Moves to Extend Arms Embargo, Trigger Sanctions on Iran
Russia’s UN Ambassador Vasily Nebenzya said Tuesday that his government will oppose any attempt by the United States to extend the arms embargo on Iran and reimpose UN sanctions against the Islamic Republic. In late April, the US drafted a UN Security Council resolution that would strike the expiration of the arms embargo from an earlier resolution that endorsed the 2015 nuclear deal between the P5+1 countries — Britain, China, France, Russia, the US, and Germany — and Iran. This would indefinitely extend the UN arms embargo, which expires in October. Nebenzya’s comments make clear that the US could not pass its resolution in the Security Council, where Russia has a veto. Nebenzya said the arms embargo is “a byproduct” of the nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, and was temporary. “It expires in October,” he said. “I do not see any reason why an arms embargo should be imposed on Iran.” Nebenzya also said the US could not now use the “snapback” provision in the 2015 Security Council resolution endorsing the nuclear deal, which would restore all UN sanctions against Iran that had been lifted or eased under the terms of the agreement: “To trigger a snapback you have to be a participant of the JCPOA, and the US proudly announced on May 8, 2018 that they withdrew from the JCPOA and closed the door behind.” He called the possibility the US invoking snapback “ridiculous,” saying, “For me it’s unequivocal. They are not members, they have no right” to impose provisions of an agreement from which the Trump Administration withdrew.