Iran’s foreign minister addressed the United Nations Security Council earlier today to respond to a report, which claims the country failed to uphold its end of the nuclear deal. This comes as both the US and Israel are calling for the current arms embargo to be extended indefinitely.
This hearing responded to a recent report from the UN Secretary General, which claimed that Iran violated the terms of its 2015 nuclear deal. If you remember, back in September 2019, there was an attack on Saudi Arabia’s state oil facilities. While both the US and Saudi Arabia were quick to claim Iran was behind it, Iran denied any involvement. But now the UN is claiming there is evidence to show the cruise missiles that were used were of “Iranian origin.”
During the hearing, representatives also acknowledged the fact that while they are expecting Iran to continue to uphold the JCPOA, it has become increasingly difficult, now that the US has pulled out of the deal and is continuing to increase sanctions against Iran.
Iran denied the claims made in the UN’s report, calling it flawed and inaccurate. Ahead of today’s hearing, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif took to Twitter to say, “The US isn’t merely violating JCPOA and bullying others to do so, too. It also has dishonor of being first in UN history to punish law-abiding countries for NOT violating a Security Council resolution.”
Then during today’s hearing, Zarif said, “The United States, along with its accomplices in the war crimes in Yemen have gone further in their now infamous campaign of intimidation against international institutions. Most recently, they coerced the secretary to rely on self-serving allegations and forged documents to produce an utterly unprofessional report.”
He argued that while the focus has been on whether Iran has or will violate the nuclear deal, the UN has done nothing to combat Washington’s violations of the agreement, or their participation in the War in Yemen, which has resulted in the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
The current United Nations arms embargo against Iran, which is meant to keep the country from purchasing weapons such as fighter jets, tanks and warships expires in October. During today’s hearing, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on the UN to keep that embargo in place.
“Iran will be free to purchase Russian-made fighter jets that can strike up to a 3,000-kilometer radius, putting cities like Riyadh, New Delhi, Rome and Warsaw in Iranian cross-hairs. Iran will be free to upgrade and expand its fleet of submarines to further threaten international shipping and freedom of navigation in the Strait of Hormuz, the Persian Gulf, and the Iranian Sea,” Pompeo said.
We also saw a meeting today in Jerusalem between the US envoy to Iran and Israeli officials. During a press conference, Israel’s prime minister said he is encouraging the US to pursue “snapback sanctions” against Iran, which would essentially mean that Washington would be punishing the country now for actions it thinks they might carry out in the future.
In the past, the US has pulled back on sanctions, in order keep the arms embargo or other deals with Iran intact. But the Trump Administration appears to be using the opposite approach, while still expecting Iran to comply.