Zarif: Renewal of arms embargo will end nuclear deal

Iranian Foreign Minister says the preservation of the 2015 nuclear deal depends on the scheduled end of a UN arms embargo on his country.

Elad Benari ,

Mohammad Javad Zarif
Mohammad Javad Zarif

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Tuesday that the preservation of the 2015 nuclear deal depended on the scheduled end in October of a UN arms embargo on his country.

"The timetable for the removal of arms restrictions embodied in Resolution 2231 is an inseparable part of the hard-won compromise," Zarif told a Security Council session, referring to the 2015 resolution that blessed the deal, according to AFP.

"Any attempt to change or amend the agreed timetable is thus tantamount to undermining Resolution 2231 in its entirety," he added.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently vowed to use all means available to extend the UN arms embargo on Iran. The United States has put forward a resolution to extend the embargo but faces opposition from veto-wielding Russia and China, which stand to win contracts with Tehran.

Iran’s UN ambassador warned last week that he believes the US resolution to extend the arms embargo will be defeated and warned it would be “a very, very big mistake” if the Trump administration then tries to re-impose UN sanctions.

Britain, France and Germany made clear recently they would not back US efforts to unilaterally trigger the reimposition of United Nations sanctions on Iran.

The European Union’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, has argued that since the United States has already withdrawn from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, it can’t now use its former membership of the pact to try to impose a permanent arms embargo on the Islamic Republic.

On Sunday, the US special representative to Iran, Brian Hook, stressed that the weapons embargo on Iran must remain in place to prevent it from “becoming the arms dealer of choice for rogue regimes and terrorist organizations around the world”.