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Iran warns of ‘dangerous’ US move as Trump mulls arms trade ban

Iran has warned against Washington’s “dangerous” defiance of international law as the US has signaled that it seeks to illegally extend an expiring arms embargo on Iran.

Nabi Azadi, the political adviser to Iran’s Permanent Mission to Geneva, made the comments in response to earlier remarks by Washington’s representative to the Geneva Disarmament Conference Robert Wood on Thursday.

The American envoy accused Iran of backing terrorism and said that Washington seeks to extend a United Nations ban on Tehran despite its expiration in October under UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which endorsed the Iran nuclear deal in 2015.

Azadi rejected the statements, saying that such a move violates Resolution 2231 and amounts to an attempt to destroy multilateral bodies such as the UN after Washington failed to gain international backing to extend the embargo at the Security Council in August.

Azadi said US President Donald Trump’s repeated threats of using force against Iran are provocative and in violation of the UN Charter about prohibition of threat or use of force or serious threat to international peace and security.

The Iranian representative warned against serious consequences of Washington’s irresponsible policies and illegal actions, saying that Tehran will swiftly respond in kind to any act of aggression against the nation, sovereignty, territorial integrity and its national interests.

Azadi also slammed US accusations of terrorism, saying Washington is the one which is supporting terrorists.

The Iranian representative referred to remarks made by Trump and Former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton admitting to the US role in creating terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda and Daesh.

Also replying to remarks made by Saudi Arabia’s representative to the conference, Azadi called for Riyadh’s full transparency and cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) alongside ending its five-year war on Yemen.

Last month, reports emerged indicating that Saudi Arabia had been engaged in “undeclared” nuclear activities.

‘Trump to issue anti-Iran executive order’

Reuters reported on Thursday that Trump plans to issue an executive order allowing him to impose US sanctions on anyone who engages in arms deals with Iran despite the upcoming expiration of the UN arms embargo.

The report cited four sources familiar on the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Earlier this week, US Special Representative for Venezuela and Iran Elliott Abrams and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Washington would be seeking to reimpose UN sanctions, including the arms embargo, despite failed attempts at the UN Security Council.

One of the sources speaking to Reuters said that the order intends to show that Washington will “not be deterred” despite failing to convince the UN council to impose a “snapback” of nuclear sanctions on Iran last month.

Such moves are effectively more symbolic than practical as trade with Iran is already sanctioned by the US, according to sanctions lawyer Doug Jacobson.

Other parties to the Iran nuclear deal and most of the UNSC have also rejected US attempts to reimpose UN sanctions on Iran, claiming that such moves have no legal effect in the eyes of the UN.

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