Iran warns against Us-led efforts to extend arms embargo
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.”