0743 GMT October 31, 2020
The US secretary of state tweeted a map on Tuesday, in which he said not only would Iran buy warplanes upon removal of the embargo in October, but it would also be able to deploy the aircraft to places that would require them to max out their fuel, without taking into consideration the logical flaws in his claim, Press TV wrote.
“If the @UN Arms Embargo on Iran expires in October, Iran will be able to buy new fighter aircraft like Russia’s SU-30 and China’s J-10. With these highly lethal aircraft, Europe and Asia could be in Iran’s crosshairs,” Pompeo wrote.
In response, Zarif posted a picture of the same map’s legend on his Twitter page, which explained the given ranges were maximum distances during a “one-way flight only.”
Mocking the flaw, Zarif said “@SecPompeo is so desperate to mislead the world that he claims come October, Iran will purchase fighter aircraft. And then send them off to the limits of their ONE-WAY ranges.”
“Perhaps he could also say how they would fly back to Iran having exhausted their fuel,” added Zarif and tagged the tweet with #shameless.
The US is currently working to extend a UN-imposed arms embargo due to expire in October under the 2015 Iran’s nuclear deal.
Washington has announced that it is preparing a legal argument to remain a participant in the nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – already renounced by US President Donald Trump- as part of an intricate strategy to pressure the UN Security Council to extend the arms embargo.
As signatories of the nuclear deal, the Europeans have said since the US has already withdrawn from the agreement, it can’t now use its former membership of the pact to try to impose a permanent arms embargo on the Islamic Republic.
A report released by Bloomberg on Monday said the US has shared a draft resolution with members of the United Nations Security Council that would extend arms embargo on Iran indefinitely, according to diplomats.
With the ban on arms transactions with Iran set to expire in October under terms of the nuclear deal, the US draft calls on all countries to “prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale, or transfer” of weapons to and from the Islamic Republic unless a Security Council committee approves it at least 30 days in advance on a case-by-case basis, according to a copy of the text obtained by Bloomberg News.
The US proposal Monday came after Russia and China, two veto-wielding members of the council, have already said they won’t support extending the embargo because they blame Trump for exiting the nuclear accord unilaterally. Diplomats expect a clash at the council over the next few months because the US is threatening that it will invoke a “snapback” provision in the 2015 deal if it doesn’t get its way, which would reimpose all UN sanctions against Tehran.