Chinese diplomat says extending arms embargo on Iran lacks legal basis

Tehran Times – A Chinese diplomat at the United Nations, speaking on condition of anonymity, has told Reuters that the United States’ attempt to extend arms embargo on Iran lacks legal basis and will undermine efforts to preserve the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA.

The diplomat added that there is “no chance” the U.S. text will be adopted.

A European diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, also said, “This U.S. administration’s goal is to terminate the Iran nuclear deal.”

Richard Gowan, UN director for conflict prevention advocacy body the International Crisis Group, said there was “zero chance” the U.S. attempt to extend the arms embargo would be adopted and that it was “a ploy to get to snapback.”

“Everyone at the UN understands that this resolution is just the curtain-raiser for a much bigger fight over the Iranian nuclear deal,” said Gowan.

“It’s highly likely … a number of countries will be saying they have no intention of implementing further sanctions until the UN Security Council decides whether or not snapback has been carried out legally,” said a senior council diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“I don’t see how the council can decide that given the divisions that will be within it,” the diplomat said. “I don’t see any rush to re-establish sanctions regimes therefore around the world.”

The UN Security Council is preparing to vote this week on a U.S. proposal to extend an arms embargo on Iran, a move that some diplomats say is bound to fail and put the fate of a nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers further at risk.

Russia and China, allies of Iran, have long-signaled opposition to the U.S. measure.

The embargo is due to expire in October under a 2015 deal among Iran, Russia, China, Germany, Britain, France, and the United States.

Even though U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration quit the accord in 2018, Washington has threatened to use a provision in the agreement to trigger a return of all UN sanctions on Iran if the Security Council does not extend the arms embargo indefinitely.