Russia has denounced the United States for its “attacks” on international law and for breaching the United Nations resolutions, taking aim at the US withdrawal from the landmark 2015 unclear deal between Iran and world powers, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov made the remarks during a scathing speech to the annual UN General Assembly on Friday, warning that attacks on international law have reached “alarming levels.”
“The US withdrawal from the JCPOA, endorsed by UN Security Council Resolution 2231, is widely discussed. Washington not only repudiated its obligations enshrined in this resolution but started demanding for others to play by American rules and to sabotage its implementation,” the Russian top diplomat said.
Ever since quitting the JCPOA in May 2018, US President Donald Trump has been running what he refers to as a “maximum pressure” campaign of sanctions against Iran, reinstating sanctions lifted under the deal and also imposing several rounds of new ones.
Washington says it seeks to pressure Iran into negotiating a new deal that addresses its ballistic missile program and regional influence. While condemning the US sanctions, Iran says such “economic terrorism” against the Islamic Republic will only make future negotiations with Tehran impossible.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Lavrov said that the West refuses to accept its diminishing power after decades of dominance.
“In our view the reason for the current state of affairs is first and foremost in the unwillingness of the countries that declared themselves as the victors of the Cold War to reckon with the legitimate interests of the other states, to accept the realities of the objective course of history. It is hard for the West to accept seeing its decades-long dominance in world affairs diminishing,” he said.
Lavrov also pointed to the US' failed bid of regime change in Venezuela, saying Russia and the growing and overwhelming majority of UN members reject such attempts, which are made by Washington through military blackmail, unlawful coercion and blockades.
He also said such attempts by the US are now directed toward Cuba “in defiance of UN resolutions.”
The Russian top diplomat also pointed the US withdrawal from the landmark Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) and the possibility of pulling out of START treaty, saying the withdrawal “caused massive damage to the global system of strategic stability which had been established over decades.”
The INF was signed in 1987 by the US and the Soviet Union. It banned all land-based missiles with ranges of between 500 and 5,500 kilometers and included missiles carrying both nuclear and conventional warheads.
The treaty, seen as a milestone in ending the Cold War arms race between the two superpowers, led to the elimination of 2,692 missiles from both sides, ridding Europe of land-based nuclear missiles.
The INF deal has been regarded as one of two significant arms deals between Moscow and Washington - the other being the 2010 New START treaty, which keeps the nuclear arsenals of both countries well below their Cold War peak.