US claim to be participant to nuclear deal lacks legal grounds: Iran envoy

Press TV – Iran’s permanent representative to Vienna-based international organizations says the US attempts to establish itself as a participant to a 2015 nuclear deal signed between Iran and major world powers “have no legal grounds” following its withdrawal from the landmark accord.

In a chain of tweets on Saturday, Kazem Gharibabadi added that Paragraph 10 of UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which endorses the nuclear deal — officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action — is “a reflection of Paragraph 1.2 Annex IV” of the agreement which “enumerates JCPOA participants.”

He added that US President Donald Trump issued a presidential memorandum on May 8, 2018 announcing the end to Washington’s participation in the JCPOA as he said “… and I am today making good on my pledge to end the participation of the United States in the JCPOA.”

The Iranian diplomat emphasized that the United States “has also ended its participation in practice, it has not participated in the meetings within the framework of the JCPOA since its unilateral withdrawal from the deal.”

“It has also violated all its commitments as a JCPOA participant and has spared no efforts to destroy it through re-imposition of sanctions and threatening others to be punished in case of trade with Iran,” Gharibabadi pointed out.

The Iranian envoy’s tweets came after a report by The New York Times on April 26 said US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo plans to invoke a provision in the UN-endorsed international nuclear agreement in an attempt to either extend beyond October the UN arms embargo in place against Iran since 2006/2007 or get the world body to slap even harsher sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

In defiance of global criticism, the US unilaterally withdrew from the JCPOA, which President Trump called “the worst deal ever,” in May 2018 and re-imposed the anti-Iran sanctions.

Pompeo said on Wednesday that Washington was considering “every possibility” to renew the ban on selling conventional arms to Iran.

He added that the US administration is urging the three European signatories to the JCPOA — Britain, France and Germany — “to take action which is within their capacity today.”

However, Russia and China, both parties to the JCPOA, are unlikely to allow that with their veto power.

In a phone conversation on Tuesday, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, dismissed Pompeo’s most recent anti-Iran scheme as “delusional” and “impractical.”

In a post on his official Twitter account on Saturday, the top Iranian diplomat responded to his American counterpart’s attempts to push ahead with the scheme to extend the UN arms embargo on Iran, saying the “United States of Arms” is pouring weapons all over the globe as it is the world’s top war initiator.

Zarif described the US as the world’s “top military spender, arms seller, war initiator & instigator and conflict profiteer.”

US Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook said on Thursday that Washington had drafted a Security Council resolution on the issue and was “hopeful” the 15-member body will extend the arms embargo on Iran before it expires.

To circumvent the veto, the US will argue that it legally remains a “participant state” in the nuclear deal only to invoke a “snapback” that would restore the UN sanctions, which had been in place against Iran prior to the JCPOA inking.