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Russia, China slam US plan to extend UN arms embargo on Iran

China and Russia have rejected US plans to extend a UN arms embargo on Iran along with a probable push to trigger a return of all sanctions on Tehran at the UN Security Council.

“It has no right to extend an arms embargo on Iran, let alone to trigger snapback,” China’s UN mission wrote in a tweet on Thursday.

“Maintaining [the] Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is the only right way moving forward,” it added.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov also vehemently rejected the plan as a “cynical” measure plunging the UNSC into “crisis”.

“The conclusion is that the next crisis in the UN Security Council and the UN as a whole is imminent, taking into account this US stubbornness,” he said.

“Washington will not have an easy road here in any case,” he added.

Over the last month, Washington has stepped up calls for the extension of a UN arms embargo on Iran that will expire in October under UNSC resolution 2231, which endorsed the landmark Iran nuclear deal in 2015.

The Trump administration has threatened that it may seek to trigger a snapback of all sanctions on Iran if its attempts to extend the arms embargo fail.

Tehran, however, has firmly rejected Washington’s plans as the US is no longer a party to the nuclear deal ever since it withdrew from the multilateral agreement in 2018.

China and Russia, which are both signatories to the JCPOA, echoed Tehran’s position in their statements on Thursday.

“US failed to meet its obligations under Resolution 2231 by withdrawing from Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action,” China’s UN mission said.

Also noting that Washington is in gross violation of UNSC resolution 2231, Ryabko also stressed that “no one is allowed to implement UNSC Security Council resolutions selectively and extremely fragmentarily”.

Ever since withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal, Washington has sought to pressure Tehran with a growing list of widespread sanctions targeting the Islamic Republic.

Tehran has responded to the sanctions and the failure of JCPOA signatories – specifically Britain, France and Germany – to protect the deal by gradually suspending its own commitments to the nuclear accord.

Iran has, however, repeatedly announced its readiness to resume fulfilling its commitments if sanctions are removed.

Washington has, however, pressed ahead with new bans even as Iran grapples with the coronavirus pandemic.

‘US needs to revise haphazard policy towards Iran’

In an opinion piece published by the US-based Bloomberg magazine on Thursday, US Senator Dianne Feinstein called on the US to revise its provocative policies towards Iran at a time when the US is preoccupied with upcoming elections and the COVID-19 pandemic.

She also lambasted Washington’s “haphazard” behavior towards Iran as lacking “any clear policy or overarching strategy” which could inadvertently lead to a war.

“The administration is at times threatening and at times conciliatory, giving Iran little sense of what actions the president will take,” she said.

Feinstein highlighted that Washington has sought to defend the efficiency of its sanctions by saying that Iran’s economy is on the verge of collapse and has denied sanctions relief amid the pandemic by claiming Iran is “flush with cash”.

Pointing to another Trump administration contradiction, Feinstein added that the US “appears to be reinserting itself into the Iran nuclear deal in an attempt to extend the arms embargo on Iran, despite withdrawing from the deal”.

The senator added that Washington’s contradictory measures have led to the weakening of “America’s most important alliances, an increase in Iranian nuclear activity, and the consolidation of Iranian anti-American sentiment”.

“So how does the US increase stability?” she added.

Zionist lobby pushes for ‘regime collapse’ strategy

Speaking during a Tuesday event held by the Jewish Institute for National Security of America (JINSA), JINSA chief executive Michael Makovsky called on Trump to “do more” to overthrow the Iranian government, the National Interest reported.

Makovsky, who is a former official in the once US-led provisional government in Iraq, said he endorsed a “military component” against Iran, yet emphasized that he did not want to see a repeat of the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq.

He said he would rather want Washington to indirectly exploit “forces already at play in Iran”.

“There’s no question that a regime collapse strategy has risks,” Makovsky said.

“Iran today poses a much greater risk to American interests than Libya…so I’m willing to take the risk,” he said.

He added that such a risk was necessary to protect Israel from a potential war with Iran or its regional allies.

According to the National Interest, JINSA has served as an “incubator” for Republican foreign policy officials.

The hawkish former Vice President Dick Cheney, which lobbied for the US invasion of Iraq under the Bush administration, and recently-departed National Security Advisor John Bolton were both JINSA members before being appointed to senior positions.

Bolton, the architect of the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign towards Iran and an adamant supporter of “regime-change”, was fired by President Trump last year due to alleged policy disagreements.

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