US tries in vain to convince China and Russia to extend sanctions on Iran
The United States today tried in vain to convince Russia and China to extend the deadline for international sanctions on Iran, despite claiming that the lifting of the arms embargo will destabilize the Middle East.
Washington recently presented a draft resolution to its 14 UN Security Council partners that provides for an unlimited extension of the arms embargo to Iran, which expires on October 18, but this position has now been rejected by China and Russia, which threaten to use their veto power.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said today that the suspension of an arms embargo on Iran – a situation that will apply if there is no extension of the sanctions period, as requested by the United States – will place a “sword of Damocles” economic stability in the Middle East.
Countries like Russia and China, “which depend on stable energy prices” could be at risk, explained the head of US diplomacy, in a video conference of the UN Security Council, to try to convince member countries to approve his proposal.
But Beijing has a different understanding and considers that the United States is unable to continue to ask the United Nations to continue with economic sanctions against Iran.
“China opposes pressure from the United States to extend the arms embargo,” said Chinese ambassador to the United Nations, Zhang Jun, recalling the fact that the United States was the one who wanted to abandon the nuclear deal with Iran in 2018.
Moscow, too, is opposed to American pressure, saying that if the United States continues to call for UN sanctions against Iran, it will enter an “uncontrollable escalation”.
“We cannot accept” the attempts by the United States to legitimize “the policy of maximum pressure” with the United Nations, said today the Russian ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia.
The diplomat says that the imposition of new sanctions will create an “uncontrollable escalation” in the region and warned of the risks posed by US demands.
Russia and China, which have already announced their intentions to sell weapons to Iran, said, during the Security Council videoconference, that they will vote against the extension of the embargo, even threatening the use of their veto power, if voting.
The two countries say they cannot agree with the draft resolution submitted by the United States, which states that any arms sales to Iran will be banned, authorizing member states to use military force to enforce the embargo.
In the past, the U.S. had already threatened to launch a process of restoring international sanctions against Iran, foreseen in the nuclear agreement signed in 2015, but later abandoned unilaterally, in May 2018, by the United States.
Since Washington’s withdrawal, the European Union, Russia and China remain members of the nuclear agreement, thus denying the United States the right to activate this process of reimposition of international sanctions.
Today, however, Mike Pompeo did not invoke this pressure, reminding the UN Security Council only that, if international sanctions are lifted, the economic situation in the Middle East will be destabilized.
Pompeo even emphasized the fact that countries like China and Russia are the most affected by instability, as they are dependent on the stability of energy prices in the region.
This article is available in: Português