Iran and Russia have sharply criticized the UN Secretariat for failing to address the US’s brazen violations of international law and bringing up, instead, irrelevant issues in its latest assessment of the situation surrounding the 2015 nuclear deal following Washington’s withdrawal.
The 2015 agreement between the Islamic Republic and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (UNSC) plus Germany was endorsed in the form of UNSC Resolution 2231. The US withdrew from the deal in May and said it would re-impose nuclear-related sanctions against Tehran, therefore, violating both the deal and the resolution.
In a report to the Council on Wednesday, however, UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Rosemary A. DiCarlo, sufficed to say that UN chief Antonio Guterres “deeply regrets this setback” to the nuclear deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Guterres’ deputy, meanwhile, said the UN chief “calls on Iran to consider carefully the concerns expressed by Member States about Iranian activities,” including its conventional missile program as well as what is claimed to be Tehran’s arms transfer to Yemeni forces.
The Council was convening for the first time since the US’s withdrawal to discuss the JCPOA’s implementation and its future.
Iran’s UN Ambassador Gholam-Ali Khoshroo said the report on the resolution’s implementation “is not comprehensive,” adding, “This is something that a number of Security Council members mentioned, too.”
Khoshroo said the UN chief should not pay any attention to “baseless and unfounded” claims by third parties. “Basically, the UN Secretariat is in no place to examine or comment on such reports,” he added.
“Iran’s mission has comprehensively conveyed its views to the Secretariat and Security Council members, and criticized the provisions of the UN chief’s report on Resolution 2231’s implementation,” the diplomat asserted.
Russia’s UN envoy also expressed surprise at the UN report which has overlooked the US’s violation of the resolution.
Vasily Nebenzya said, “It is absolutely incomprehensible how a report on the implementation of Resolution 2231 can be drawn without even mentioning the fact that Washington’s re-imposing unilateral sanctions is a flagrant violation of not only its liabilities under the JCPOA but also Resolution 2231.”
The “unbalanced” report, Nebenzia said, clearly indicated that Iran is committed to its obligations under the nuclear deal, and contained “no evidence to the contrary.”
It is “openly imbalanced in nature and resembles more an unfounded series of accusations against Iran rather than an attempt to paint an objective picture of the situation,” Nebenzia said.
He added that none of the examples of alleged violations by Tehran was confirmed due to insufficient information.
The diplomat echoed Khoshroo’s remarks that the Secretariat should not overstep its mandate.
“Once again, we have to stress that the UN Secretariat cannot conduct any investigations without a clear Security Council mandate for that,” he noted.
US isolated at UNSC meeting
Meanwhile, all Council members except the United States expressed support for the continuation of the nuclear deal with its remaining members — Iran, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany, and blasted Washington’s pullout.
Major European powers as well as the EU urge Washington not to impose “secondary sanctions” against European firms doing business in Iran.
Francois Delattre, France’s UN ambassador, said his country will continue to honor its commitments in the Iran nuclear deal as long as Iran does so.
“We took note, therefore, with regret and concern of the decision made by the United States to withdraw from the JCPOA,” he said. “But the agreement remains, and this decision should not have an impact on the implementation by the parties to the agreement of their commitments.”
Germany’s Ambassador Christoph Heusgen told the Council, “We also believe that leaving the JCPOA undermines effective multilateralism. It undermines the rules-based international order — of which the nuclear non-proliferation regime is a very important pillar.”
EU Ambassador Joao Vale de Almeida also told the meeting that “the preservation of the JCPOA is a key security interest for the European Union, but also for the international community as a whole.”
“Undoubtedly, it [JCPOA] remains a standard of a multilateral nuclear nonproliferation agreement which other initiatives still have to live up to,” he added.