Iran warns against Us-led ef­forts to ex­tend arms em­bargo

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Iran’s per­ma­nent rep­re­sen­ta­tive to Vi­ennabased in­ter­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions said a re­cent test of a French mis­sile, which is ca­pa­ble of car­ry­ing mul­ti­ple nu­clear war­heads, as well as nu­clear test ex­plo­sions pro­posed by the US, are in grave vi­o­la­tion of in­ter­na­tional nu­clear non­pro­lif­er­a­tion treaties.

Ad­dress­ing the 54th Ses­sion of the Prepara­tory Com­mis­sion for the Com­pre­hen­sive Nu­clear-test-ban Treaty Or­ga­ni­za­tion (CTBTO) in the Aus­trian cap­i­tal on Thurs­day, Kazem Gharib­abadi first re­it­er­ated Iran’s “long-stand­ing and prin­ci­pled po­si­tion on the need for the to­tal elim­i­na­tion of all nu­clear weapons,” reaf­firm­ing Iran’s “strong sup­port for the ob­jec­tives of the CTBT (Com­pre­hen­sive Nu­clear Test Ban Treaty).”

The en­voy sin­gled out France’s launch­ing of a new gen­er­a­tion of in­ter­con­ti­nen­tal bal­lis­tic mis­siles that can be fit­ted with sev­eral nu­clear nosecones, from a submarine on June 12, say­ing, “Un­for­tu­nately the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity re­cently wit­nessed a de­struc­tive ap­proach to­ward nu­clear dis­ar­ma­ment and non­pro­lif­er­a­tion Treaties by some of nu­clear states”, Press TV wrote.

He also pointed to re­ports that senior US of­fi­cials have dis­cussed the pos­si­bil­ity of con­duct­ing nu­clear-test ex­plo­sions, and the fact that the US Se­nate had ap­proved $10 mil­lion in bud­get to­ward prepa­ra­tion for the tests.

Gharib­abadi noted that mod­ern­iza­tion and test­ing of nu­clear weapons “un­der­mine” the most im­por­tant of the treaties, namely the nu­clear Non-pro­lif­er­a­tion Treaty, and “threaten the in­ter­na­tional peace and se­cu­rity.”

The of­fi­cial also re­ferred to the United States’ “il­le­gal and uni­lat­eral” with­drawal from many agree­ments that are sup­posed to bol­ster in­ter­na­tional peace and se­cu­rity as other in­stances of Wash­ing­ton’s in­tran­si­gence.

“Uni­lat­eral and il­le­gal with­drawal from many in­ter­na­tional agree­ments ... has be­come a pol­icy prac­tice for the United States that is con­trary to mul­ti­lat­er­al­ism and un­der­mines the in­ter­na­tional peace and se­cu­rity,” Iran’s en­voy said.

Oil Min­is­ter Bi­jan Zan­ganeh said Fri­day that the Ira­nian ga­so­line de­liv­ered to fu­el­starved Venezuela last month was sold to Cara­cas at mar­ket price.

Zan­ganeh made the com­ments on Fri­day in re­ac­tion to ru­mors that Iran has pro­vided Venezuela with ga­so­line free of charge.

“This is not true. Iran’s ga­so­line was sold to Venezuela at mar­ket price,” he said, Press TV wrote.

He said Tehran had re­ceived suf­fi­cient guar­an­tees for the re­turn of its rev­enues, and part of the money has al­ready been re­ceived.

Re­gard­ing the con­tin­u­a­tion of en­ergy trade with Venezuela, the pe­tro­leum min­is­ter said, “We should wait and see how ne­go­ti­a­tions be­tween the two coun­tries will pro­ceed.”

Last month, five Ira­nian oil tankers set off for the Caribbean and de­liv­ered about 1.5

The United Na­tions sec­re­tary-gen­eral urged ex­haus­tion of all pos­si­ble means to pre­vent “de­struc­tion” of the 2015 nu­clear agree­ment be­tween Iran and world coun­tries amid the US drive tar­get­ing the his­toric ac­cord.

“Our po­si­tion in re­la­tion to the JCPOA has al­ways been the same. We con­sider [that] the JCPOA was a very im­por­tant step for­ward in re­la­tion to the ques­tion of nu­clear pro­lif­er­a­tion,” An­to­nio Guter­res told an on­line press con­fer­ence on Thurs­day in re­sponse to a ques­tion posed by IRNA.

“And we still be­lieve that ev­ery­thing must be done in or­der to make sure that the mil­lion bar­rels of ga­so­line to Venezuela which is un­der US sanc­tions and vir­tual eco­nomic siege.

In case of an agree­ment be­tween Tehran and Cara­cas, Iran is to fol­low its trail­blaz­ing ship­ment of fuel to Venezuela with reg­u­lar ga­so­line sales de­spite US threats to pun­ish any fa­cil­i­ta­tion of the car­goes.

Bloomberg said this month the US govern­ment has de­cided

JCPOA is not de­stroyed,” he added, Press TV re­ported.

Of­fi­cially known as the Joint Com­pre­hen­sive Plan of Ac­tion (JCPOA), the land­mark deal was reached be­tween Iran and the United States, Bri­tain, France, Rus­sia, and China plus Ger­many in 2015. How­ever, in May 2018, US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump uni­lat­er­ally pulled his coun­try out of the JCPOA and later reim­posed the sanc­tions that had been lifted against Tehran on the back of the deal.

Al­though it is no longer a party to the deal, Wash­ing­ton has re­cently launched a cam­paign to re­new an em­bargo to avoid a mil­i­tary con­fronta­tion and in­stead pre­pared sanc­tions on as many as 50 oil and fuel tankers as part of an ef­fort to cut off trade be­tween Iran and Venezuela.

“The sanc­tions would be im­posed through the Trea­sury De­part­ment and are in­tended to avoid a US mil­i­tary con­fronta­tion with the coun­tries,” the lead­ing fi­nan­cial news provider said, cit­ing a per­son fa­mil­iar with the mat­ter. on the sales of con­ven­tional weapons to the Is­lamic Re­pub­lic that will ex­pire un­der the ac­cord in Oc­to­ber.

To try and ra­tio­nal­ize its ef­forts, the US says it is still “named” as a JCPOA part­ner in UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil Res­o­lu­tion 2231 that en­dorses the nu­clear deal.

Tehran says Wash­ing­ton, due to its uni­lat­eral with­drawal, has for­feited all rights to have a say in the agree­ment.

Guter­res was speak­ing a day af­ter the US briefed the Se­cu­rity Coun­cil on a res­o­lu­tion it has drafted to ex­tend the em­bargo, in re­sponse to IRNA’S ques­tion whether Wash­ing­ton was try­ing to ei­ther weaken or an­ni­hi­late the JCPOA us­ing a re­cent re­port on Res­o­lu­tion 2231 by the UN chief.

Iran’s UN am­bas­sador said Thurs­day that he be­lieves a US res­o­lu­tion to ex­tend an arms em­bargo against his coun­try will be de­feated and warned it would be “a very, very big mis­take” if the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion then tries to reim­pose UN sanc­tions.

Am­bas­sador Ma­jid Takhtra­vanchi said restor­ing UN sanc­tions will end the 2015 nu­clear deal be­tween Iran and ma­jor pow­ers and re­lease Tehran from all its com­mit­ments, AP re­ported.

“If that hap­pens, Iran will not be un­der con­straint as to what course of ac­tion it should take,” he said re­porters. “All op­tions for Iran will be open.”

Lift­ing the arms em­bargo on Tehran is part of the UN 2015 Se­cu­rity Coun­cil res­o­lu­tion en­dors­ing the nu­clear agree­ment.

Takht-ra­vanchi spoke a day af­ter US Sec­re­tary of State Mike Pom­peo threat­ened to seek to reim­pose UN sanc­tions on Iran if the Se­cu­rity Coun­cil does not ap­prove a res­o­lu­tion that would in­def­i­nitely ex­tend the arms em­bargo, which is set to ex­pire in Oc­to­ber.

Ten­sions be­tween Iran and the US have es­ca­lated since 2018, when US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump with­drew from the nu­clear deal be­tween Tehran and six ma­jor pow­ers and reim­posed tough sanc­tions.

The five other pow­ers that signed the nu­clear deal — Rus­sia, China, the United King­dom, France, and Ger­many — re­main com­mit­ted to it, say­ing the agree­ment is key to con­tin­u­ing in­spec­tions by the In­ter­na­tional Atomic En­ergy Agency.

Takht-ra­vanchi said end­ing the arms em­bargo in Oc­to­ber “is an es­sen­tial part of the agree­ment be­tween Iran and its part­ners.”

“We be­lieve there is no stom­ach for mem­bers of the Se­cu­rity Coun­cil to digest the draft res­o­lu­tion like the one the US pre­sented,” he said. “So, it is our view that the draft res­o­lu­tion will be de­feated.”

Takht-ra­vanchi stressed that Iran will not ac­cept “any­thing less than full im­ple­men­ta­tion” of the pro­vi­sion lift­ing the arms em­bargo.

And he added, “It would be a wise idea for the United States to re­con­sider the pre­sen­ta­tion of the draft be­cause it’s not go­ing to be ap­proved.”

The Ira­nian am­bas­sador pointed to let­ters from the for­eign min­is­ters of Rus­sia and China, both veto-wield­ing mem­bers of the Se­cu­rity Coun­cil, to its mem­bers opposing any ex­ten­sion of the arms em­bargo.

The 2015 nu­clear deal, known as the JCPOA, also in­cludes a “snap­back” pro­vi­sion that would re­store all UN sanc­tions against Iran that had been lifted or eased if the nu­clear deal is vi­o­lated.

Re­spond­ing to Pom­peo’s threat to use that pro­vi­sion if the US arms em­bargo res­o­lu­tion isn’t ap­proved, Takhtra­vanchi said, “This is a very, very big mis­take on the part of the United States to try to snap back the res­o­lu­tion, be­cause they know that is the end of JCPOA, and they should think twice be­fore re­sort­ing to that op­tion.”

He said Iran and many other Se­cu­rity Coun­cil mem­bers be­lieve the US has no le­gal au­thor­ity to in­voke snap­back be­cause it is not part of the JCPOA.

Rus­sia’s UN Am­bas­sador Vass­ily Neben­zia has dis­missed as “ridicu­lous” the pos­si­bil­ity of the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion try­ing to use the snap­back pro­vi­sion, stress­ing that since the US pulled out of the JCPOA “they have no right” to use any of its pro­vi­sions.

But Pom­peo in­sist the res­o­lu­tion makes clear the US re­tains the right to use the pro­vi­sion.

Takht-ra­vanchi said the US should ask it­self how it will im­ple­ment snap­back in the face of strong op­po­si­tion to it.

And he said the US should also bear in mind the con­se­quences of hav­ing no JCPOA, and the con­se­quences of snap­back ac­tion, in­clud­ing its im­pact on other Se­cu­rity Coun­cil mem­bers and the coun­cil’s cred­i­bil­ity.

The am­bas­sador was asked whether end­ing IAEA in­spec­tions, stop­ping unan­nounced in­spec­tions un­der the nu­clear agency’s Ad­di­tional Pro­to­col, or with­draw­ing from the nu­clear Non-pro­lif­er­a­tion Treaty, con­sid­ered the cor­ner­stone of global ef­forts to pre­vent the spread of nu­clear weapons, are likely steps Iran would take if the US suc­ceeds in reim­pos­ing UN sanc­tions.

“I am not go­ing to tell you ex­actly what ac­tion we are go­ing to take,” Takht-ra­vanchi replied. ”There are a num­ber of op­tions avail­able.”

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