07/02/2020, 09.52
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Zarif to UN: Nuclear deal tied to end of arms embargo

The Iranian Foreign Minister intervenes in the "virtual" Security Council meeting.  A response to the US attacks and pressure for "indefinite" duration of sale ban. Tehran's head of diplomacy lists "numerous acts of US aggression". And hopes for a strong Middle East, capable of ensuring "territorial stability".

Tehran (AsiaNews) - The nuclear agreement, with the world powers still tied to it, depends on the end - according to the program - of the UN embargo on the sale of arms to Iran, which the United States intends to continue.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif delivered the ultimatum on June 30 during a "virtual" meeting of the United Nations Security Council, focused on the application of Resolution 2231. Tehran’s head of diplomacy condemned the "evil" unilateral US policy, which ends up undermining global peace and security.

Zarif maintained the timetable defining the lifting of arms restrictions on Iran, contained in the resolution, is an inseparable part of the compromise reached with great difficulty in the context of the negotiations that led to the nuclear deal. He underlines that it "explicitly urges full application" according to the defined timeline. "Any attempt" to "amend or change" this calendar means "to undermine Resolution 2231 in its entirety".

US President Donald Trump ordered the withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA),​​wanted by his predecessor Barack Obama. The JCPOA deal was signed in 2015, but the United States pulled out in May 2018 despite the opposition of the international community. US President Donald Trump followed the withdrawal by imposing the toughest sanctions in history against Iran. The decision has negatively impacted the Iranian economy as noted by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). In response, Tehran has threatened to resume uranium enrichment for civilian purposes.

The words of the head of diplomacy in Tehran are a response to the request made by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is pressing for an extension of the embargo on the sale of weapons to Iran by the UN Security Council. In the draft circulated among the 15 member countries, the ban would have an "indefinite" duration against what is considered "the greatest threat" to the Middle East. Immediate replies from China and Russia that have already spoken out against such a decision.

In his speech, Zarif recalled that "for the first time in the history of the United Nations a permanent member" of the Security Council "punishes countries and private citizens for" not violating "its own resolution. He traces the 13 years of negotiations that have brought to the signature of the JCPOA, noting that it is "inseparable" from Resolution 2231. Despite the "unilateral" withdrawal of the United States, "for a whole year we continued the full application" of the pact, as evidenced by "the 15 consecutive reports" of the inspectors of the international atomic energy agency (AIEA).

The nuclear program, Zarif continues, "remains subject to the 'most robust' inspection regime in history" so much so that from 2016 to 2019 "over 92% of the total global inspections have been carried out in Iran". Nonetheless, the United States has continued to conduct a hostile policy towards Iran and its neighbors, with military actions, arms supplies and material support as is the case in Yemen, the scene of "crimes against humanity".

Zarif rejects the US "regime" charges of "interference in the region" because it is "obvious that we want to collaborate with our neighbors to create a strong region" that is capable of ensuring "territorial stability". Finally, the head of diplomacy in Tehran hopes that the international community and the Security Council itself will soon hold "the United States government accountable for the consequences of its wrongful acts," which include acts of economic terrorism" that deprive the Iranian people of food and medicine.

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