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UN chief calls for trade with Iran based on Security Council Resolution 2231

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has underlined the need for preserving the 2015 landmark Iran nuclear deal, urging the world countries to engage in trade ties with Tehran based on Security Council Resolution 2231 that endorsed the agreement.

Guterres made the remarks in the 10th report on the implementation of Resolution 2231, which will be read out during a Security Council meeting on Tuesday.

He hailed the nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as a testament to the effectiveness of multilateralism, diplomacy and dialogue, saying the agreement is the best way to ensure a comprehensive, long-term and proper solution to Iran’s nuclear issue and to help promote regional and international peace and security.

Guterres also called for the continued commitment of the JCPOA’s signatories to preserve it and highlighted the importance of the deal’s economic benefits for the Iranian people.

The JCPOA was reached on July 14, 2015 between Iran and a group of countries then known as the P5+1 — which included the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China, and Germany. It was ratified in the form of UNSC Resolution 2231.

In May 2018, US President Donald Trump unilaterally pulled his country out of the JCPOA and re-instated the anti-Iran sanctions that had been lifted under the accord. 

Under US pressure, Europe has so far been unable to deliver on its contractual obligation to undo the negative impact of Washington’s illegal bans on the Islamic Republic.

The US withdrawal and the ensuing European failure to protect its business ties with Tehran prompted Iran to suspend parts of its commitments under the agreement.

The UN chief reiterated the significance of initiatives aimed at supporting trade and economic relations with Iran amid the current economic and health challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

He encouraged the UN member states to cooperate with the JCPOA parties in creating the necessary conditions required for business with the Islamic Republic based on UNSC Resolution 2231.

Guterres further expressed regret at the unilateral US withdrawal from the JCPOA, saying the re-imposition of anti-Iran sanctions is contrary to the goals set by Resolution 2231.

Other measures taken by Washington to restrict activities authorized under the JCPOA may impede the implement of UNSC Resolution 2231, he added.

Elsewhere in his report, Guterres referred to the abortive US attempt to trigger the so-called snapback provision in the nuclear deal.

On August 20, the Trump administration formally notified the Security Council of Washington’s demand for all UN sanctions on Iran to be restored, citing what it claimed to be Iranian violations of the JCPOA. However, the remaining signatories to the nuclear deal maintained that US could not initiate the mechanism because it had already left the agreement.

Guterres said most UNSC members stressed their firm support for the JCPOA and the continued implementation of Resolution 2231, noting that Security Council presidents in August and September showed they were not in a position to act on the August 20 letter written by the US.

Touching on Iran’s position on the JCPOA, the UN chief said Tehran has declared that it wants to remain in the deal and that all its nuclear countermeasures are reversible.

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