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Friday 14 August 2020

US Loses Continuation of Arms Embargo on Iran

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NEW YORK, MOSCOW (Reuters) — The United States lost a bid on Friday to extend a U.N. arms embargo on Iran as Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed a summit of world leaders to avoid “confrontation” over a U.S. threat to trigger a return of all U.N. sanctions on Tehran.

In a U.N. Security Council vote, Russia and China opposed extending the weapons ban, which is due to expire in October under a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers. Eleven members abstained, including France, Germany and Britain, while Washington and the Dominican Republic were the only yes votes.

“The Security Council’s failure to act decisively in defence of international peace and security is inexcusable”, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement.

China’s U.N. Ambassador Zhang Jun said in a statement after the vote that the result “once again shows that unilateralism receives no support and bullying will fail.”

The United States could now follow through on a threat to trigger a return of all U.N. sanctions on Iran using a provision in the nuclear deal, known as snapback, even though President Donald Trump abandoned the accord in 2018.

Putin on Friday proposed a video summit with the United States and the remaining parties to the nuclear deal — Britain, France, China, Germany and Iran — to try to avoid further “confrontation and escalation” at the United Nations over Iran. “The issue is urgent”, Putin said in a statement, adding that the alternative was “only further escalation of tensions, increasing risk of conflict — such a scenario must be avoided.”

Asked if he would take part, Trump told reporters, “I hear there’s something, but I haven’t been told of it yet.” French President Emmanuel Macron is open to taking part in a video summit, the Elysée said.

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