RUSSIA, CHINA RISK UN ISOLATION IF THEY BLOCK IRAN ARMS BAN EXTENSION
Russia and China will be isolated at the United Nations (UN) if they continue down the “road to dystopia” by blocking a US bid to extend a weapons ban on Iran, US Iran envoy Brian Hook told Michelle Nichols and Humeyra Pamuk of Reuters ahead of his formal pitch of the embargo to the UN Security Council on Wednesday (Thursday, June 25, 2020 in Manila.)
The 13-year-old arms restrictions on Iran are due to expire in October under the terms of Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. Russia and China have signaled they oppose extending the embargo.
While Washington has long argued that the embargo should not be lifted, the international community has been waiting for it to formally push the measure. Hook and US Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft made the case for why the 15-member council should support a draft resolution extending the embargo behind closed doors on Wednesday.
“We see a widening gap between Russia and China and the international community,” Hook said in an interview with Reuters on Tuesday evening. “Russia and China were isolated at the (International Atomic Energy Agency) last week and they will be isolated in the Security Council if they continue down this road to dystopia,” Hook said. The IAEA’s 35-nation board of governors on Friday called on Iran to allow the UN nuclear watchdog access to two sites suspected of nuclear weapons activities, and to cooperate fully. Iranian allies Russia and China opposed that move but could not block it, whereas at the Security Council they have veto powers. A council resolution needs nine votes in favor and no vetoes by the United States, China, Russia, Britain or France to pass.