Russia, China set to protect Iran from US sanctions

Russia and China have started making the case at the United Nations against Washington’s claim that it can trigger a return of all sanctions on Iran at the Security Council, with Moscow invoking a 50-year-old international legal opinion to argue against the move. Participants are seen during a United Nations Security Council meeting on Myanmar's oppression on the Rohingya people' at the UN Headquarters in New York, US on 18 July 2017 [Volkan Furuncu/Anadolu Agency] Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and the Chinese government’s top diplomat, Wang Yi, both wrote to the 15-member council and UN chief Antonio Guterres as the United States threatens to spark a so-called sanctions snapback under the Iran nuclear deal, even though Washington quit the accord in 2018. Washington threatened last month to trigger a return of all UN sanctions on Iran if the Security Council does not extend an arms embargo due to expire in October under Tehran’s deal with world powers to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons. U.S. Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft said last week that a draft resolution on the embargo would be circulated soon. Council veto-powers Russia and China have already signaled they are against reimposing an arms embargo on Iran. If they block the U.S.-drafted resolution, then Washington will have to follow through on its sanctions snapback threat.

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