Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi made the remarks on Thursday, a day after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told a news conference about alleged capture of the vessel by the so-called allied forces on June 28.
“Lying, throwing accusations, and hatemongering are among the major elements of the US’ foreign policy, especially under the current [American] regime,” Mousavi said, adding, “The remarks by the ‘hatemonger’ US secretary of state boil down to the selfsame approach,” he added.
He roundly rejected the claim about the arms shipment to Yemen, saying the US has come up with the allegation at a time, when it feels it is failing to have the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) extend the arms ban against Tehran.
Pompeo was the first US official to announce Washington’s intention to have the embargo extended. The ban that prevents sales of conventional weapons to the Islamic Republic will expire in October under a historic 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.
Officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the landmark agreement was reached between Iran and the P5+1 group — the US, Britain, France, Russia, and China plus Germany — in 2015 in Vienna.
In May 2018, US President Donald Trump unilaterally pulled his country out of the JCPOA and later re-imposed the sanctions that had been lifted against Tehran on the back of the deal. The US’ intransigence flew in the face of the fact that the deal has been ratified by the Security Council in the form of its Resolution 2231.
Although it is no longer a party to the deal, Washington is trying to rationalize its bid to prolong the arms ban by claiming that it is still “named” as a JCPOA partner in the Resolution. Tehran and other JCPOA partners say Washington, due to its unilateral withdrawal, has forfeited all rights to have any say in the agreement.
The US recently served the UNSC with a draft resolution on extension of the arms embargo, with American Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft saying Washington will push the Council to vote on the draft as soon as mid-July.
Russia and China have, however, strongly signaled their respective intention to veto the resolution.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Mousavi suggested that Pompeo’s recent allegation is aimed at having the UNSC reinstate the arms embargo, create an excuse for retention of Trump’s trademark policy of “maximum pressure” against the Islamic Republic, and help Washington further its “evil goals” concerning Tehran.
The US and its regional ally Saudi Arabia are trying to shirk responsibility for the 2015-present war and siege on Yemen, by instead conjuring up false and unfounded accusations against others, the spokesman noted.
“Instead of being held accountable for their crimes in Yemen, these two regimes are trying to absolve themselves of responsibility and accountability for their inhumane and criminal behavior by leveling baseless accusations against others,” Mousavi said.
Last month, Reuters reported that UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres had released a report, in which he had claimed that cruise missiles used in several attacks on oil facilities and an international airport in Saudi Arabia in November 2019 and February 2020 had been of “Iranian origin.”
Iran says the report has been adopted by the UN Secretariat under pressure from the United States and others.
‘What a coincidence!’
Also on Thursday, Mousavi took to Twitter, similarly taking on the coincidence between the US’ allegation about Iran’s shipment of arms to Yemen and Washington’s efforts to enable extension of the arms embargo against Tehran.
“Just amid the hopeless & unlawful push by the American regime to extend #Iran’s arms restrictions, US – with that long record of piracy – seizes a “boat carrying weapons.” What a coincidence! An expectable, but outworn and futile plot,” the official wrote.