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US has no right to call for extension of Iran arms embargo: Envoy

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
File photo of Majid Takht-e Ravanchi, the Iranian Ambassador to the United Nations

Iran’s UN ambassador says the US' call for an extension of the UN Security Council's arms embargo on Tehran lacks legal standing in international law.

In a tweet on Saturday, Majid Takht-e Ravanchi said the US ambassador to the UN "wrongly" believes the US retains the right to initiate snapback of sanctions under the UN Security Council Resolution 2231.

"WRONG: US cannot be a JCPOA 'Participant', since Donald Trump ceased US participation," the Iranian ambassador noted, referring to Trump's 2018 decision to withdraw his country from the Iran nuclear deal in violation of the Resolution 2231.

"The US—which is in violation of the resolution—has no right to initiate anything under 2231," he added.

Under the Resolution 2231, the arms embargo on Iran will be lifted in October 2020; however, the US says it will use a range of options to prevent this and use a Security Council provision to block the expiration of ban.

While the US is no longer a party to the JCPOA, it recently launched a campaign to renew the Iran arms ban — in place since 2006/2007 -- through a resolution at the Security Council, but Russia and China are most likely to veto it.  

On Friday, US Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft announced that Washington had shared the draft resolution on the extension of Iran's arms embargo with Russia, Britain, France, Germany and Estonia which are all members of the Security Council.

"Pretty soon we'll be sharing (with) the full 15. But, you know, we are trying to really work very carefully, very thoroughly," she told reporters.

Craft urged Moscow and Beijing to join what she claimed "a global consensus on Iran's conduct."

"This is an absolute imperative that we exercise all of our options to make certain that this UN arms embargo is extended," she added.

Russia and China - both veto-wielding permanent Security Council members - have already declared their opposition to the US plan. 

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