0747 GMT October 31, 2020
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the US policy of sanctions on Iran is a “dead end”.
“The entire current logic of the US policy is set on making Iran the focus of all containment and punishment efforts… That is a dead end,” Lavrov said in an interview with Sputnik on Friday.
He said the US sanctions on Iran “did not work before and will not work now”.
Lavrov advised US officials to abandon their “futile” efforts to “demonize Iran” and label the country as “the main problem of the region”.
He rather called for dialogue between the US and Iran to resolve issues. “We will help start such dialogue.”
The top diplomat said the remaining parties to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal – France, Germany, Britain, Russia and China – “stand for” the accord and blasted the US for trying to destroy it.
US not party to JCPOA
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Thursday the United States cannot reimpose UN sanctions on the Islamic Republic on September 20 – which is one month after the US demanded activation of a snapback mechanism inside the Iran nuclear deal – because the US is not a party to the agreement anymore.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday that the US would return to the UN to have the sanctions reinstated on Iran on Sunday. The US would also do all it needed to make sure those sanctions are enforced, Pompeo said.
In his Thursday tweet, Zarif took issue with the US efforts to restore the UN sanctions, despite its having lost the right to do so after ditching the 2015 nuclear agreement, Press TV reported.
“Wrong again, @SecPompeo. Nothing new happens on 9/20,” Zarif said
“Just READ Res.2231,” Zarif added, referring to the Security Council resolution that has endorsed the JCPOA.
He reminded Pompeo that even the former US national security adviser John Bolton, the most aggressive Iran hawk who himself convinced Trump to quit the nuclear deal, was better versed in the implications of Washington’s withdrawal and its potential bid to return the UN sanctions.
“Bolton – who convinced the boss to order you to “CEASE US participation” – did [read the resolution],” Zarif’s tweet read.
The tweet also affixed excerpts of an August article by Bolton, in which he clearly noted that the attempt at snapback was “legally incorrect,” well guarded against inside the resolution, and could even “backfire on the US.”
“In his words: Process is not ‘simple,’ automatic or snappy. But intentionally ‘complex & lengthy,’” Zarif cited Bolton as saying in the article, and repeated, “US is NOT a participant [in the JCPOA].”
On August 20, Pompeo notified the United Nations of the US demand for all the UN Security Council sanctions on Iran to be restored, citing what he claimed to be Iranian violations of the nuclear deal. Tehran clinched the deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), with six world powers, including the US, in 2015, but Washington left the agreement under President Donald Trump three years later.
In reaction to the notification that was being handed to the UN Secretariat by Pompeo himself, the remaining signatories to the deal maintained that Washington could not initiate the mechanism because it had left the accord.
On August 14, the Security Council had also rejected a US-drafted resolution to extend an arms embargo on Iran that is due to expire in October under the JCPOA.