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Zarif: US breaches JCPOA, UNSC resolution, has no right to vilify Iran

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)
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (Photo by Tasnim News Agency)

Iranian foreign minister says the United States has no right to “abuse” the UN and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to vilify Iran, because Washington has already breached the nuclear deal that Tehran clinched with world powers, including the US, and the United Nations Security Council resolution that endorsed the deal.

In a tweet on Thursday, Mohammad Javad Zarif noted that despite Iran’s effort to abide by its obligations as per the nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Washington has been doing its best to heighten tensions with Tehran and has also been bullying other countries to follow suit.

After its conclusion in Vienna in 2015, the nuclear accord between Iran and the P5+1 group of states -- the US, the UK, France, Russia, and China plus Germany -- was endorsed by the Security Council in the form of Resolution 2231.

The accord removed nuclear-related sanctions against the Islamic Republic that voluntarily changed some aspects of its nuclear program in return. The accord was hailed as a pillar of world security due to its swift contribution to lowering regional and international tensions.

The US, however, left the JCPOA in May 2018 in breach of its multilateral nature and the UNSC’s enshrinement of the accord.

The country then returned the sanctions, started scaring others to stop their legal trade with Iran, and refused to relieve the bans although Tehran won an International Court of Justice case against Washington that mandated it to lift the coercive measures targeting transfer of food and medicine to the Islamic Republic.

The US has been trying to mount pressure on Iran through numerous other channels too, including the Security Council itself and the IAEA, the UN’s nuclear agency.

The US has vowed to have the Security Council extend an arms embargo that will end under the JCPOA in October, and threatened to try to restore all international sanctions against Tehran if the embargo was not prolonged.

Washington alleges that it is allowed to try taking both the measures against Iran as it is still “named” in the UNSC resolution as a JCPOA partner.

Zarif’s tweet, though, refuted Washington’s claim by invoking a 50-year-old international legal opinion.

Under the 1971 International Court of Justice opinion adduced in the tweet, “a party which disowns or does not fulfill its own obligations cannot be recognized as retaining the rights, which it claims to derive from the relationship,” the top diplomat reminded. The opinion has described the code as a fundamental principle governing international relationships.

Russia recently attacked the US efforts to come in the way of Iran’s cooperation with the IAEA, although, the nuclear agency has not yet found any evidence of “diversion” of the Islamic Republic’s nuclear work.

Earlier this week, Russia's Permanent Representative to International Organizations in Vienna Mikhail Ulyanov said the nuclear deal’s “opponents” -- in clear reference to the United States and some of its allies -- were seeking to "undermine the confidence and cooperation” between Tehran and the IAEA.

He reminded that the nuclear accord was, among other things, clenched to "restore confidence in exclusively peaceful nature" of Iran's nuclear program, noting that the nuclear agency has not found any “military dimension” to Iran’s nuclear activities.

Washington, Israel, and some regional countries have, however, long been trying to allege otherwise, with the occupying regime using every international occasion to flaunt, what it calls, evidence of misapplication of the Iranian nuclear work without providing any concrete proof.

Zarif, meanwhile, gave a list of the United States other actions, which stand in sharp contrast to the international law, saying the US has clearly admitted to involvement in such acts of terrorism as assassination of the regional resistance movement’s top figures in Iraq, as well as facilitating Saudi and Israeli regime’s war crimes in Yemen and Palestine.

He concluded his tweet by emphasizing that as a result of its bleak track records with regard to ignoring the norms of human rights and international law, the United States has no right to “abuse UN & IAEA to vilify Iran.”

‘Pro-Israeli lobby dictates US, Western countries' policy in Middle East’

In another tweet, also on Thursday, Iran’s foreign minister took to task American and Western countries’ lawmakers for their subservience to pro-Israeli lobby, noting that it is this lobby, especially the powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which dictates their policies in the Middle East.

As evidence, Zarif juxtaposed to his tweet a screenshot of the Jewish Telegraphic News Agency, dated June 10, 2020, in which the agency reported that the AIPAC has, for the first time, given US lawmakers a green light to criticize Israel over its recent plan to annex more parts of the occupied West Bank.

Tel Aviv has announced a plan to annex some 30 percent of the occupied Palestinian territory of the West Bank. Observers say any criticism that could potentially be leveled by the congressmen against the plan would only serve to mislead the public opinion about Washington’s outright support for Tel Aviv as US President Donald Trump himself backed the annexation in late January, when he was detailing a controversial pro-Israeli American plan.

“If there were ever any question of WHO dictates US—& Western—policy in the Mid East, this headline screams it loud & clear,” Zarif said, adding, “#AIPAC has poisoned US politics for years, overtly giving instructions to Congress.”

Iran’s top diplomat then concluded the latter tweet by advising the international community that it is “time to end #APARTHEID Israel's tyranny over Western halls of power.”

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