09:03 GMT25 October 2020
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    On Tuesday, following the rejection of Washington’s bid at the Security Council to extend the international conventional arms embargo against Iran past its October deadline, US special envoy for Iran Brian Hook warned that “the military option is always on the table” to ensure that Tehran never acquires a nuclear weapon.

    The US is in "no legal or moral position to define the examples of terrorism, and no global authority has entitled the US government to do so either,” Iranian government spokesman Alli Rabiee has announced.

    Commenting on Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s statement about Tehran being “the world’s most heinous terrorist regime” during Tuesday’s Security Council meeting on the Iran arms embargo, Rabiee stressed that the Islamic Republic has played a key role in the war on terrorism in the Middle East, and has paid a “heavy price in this battle.” He added that the US’s own behaviour, including the January assassination of Quds force commander Qasem Soleimani, points to Washington’s “terrorist” nature.

    “We believe, and the world is also noticing, that not only has this [US] administration supported the terrorist groups and terrorist regimes and sponsors of terrorism, it is also a terrorist itself,” the spokesman said.

    “We believe that if the US had not sponsored terrorism, it would have not been necessary for hundreds of thousands of people in our region to be displaced and killed. Part of the spread of terrorism has been caused by the US’ dual policies,” Rabiee added.

    Iran and Syria have repeatedly accused Washington of engaging in strange dealings with jihadist groups in Syria, citing intelligence reports about US forces’ efforts to evacuate Daesh (ISIS)* commanders, and the training of ex-terrorist militants to join a ‘New Syrian Army’ to continue the fight against the Damascus government.

    Two years before his death, Soleimani reportedly asked Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javid Zarif to “slap” the West and the United Nations in the face with Iranian intelligence proving US support for terrorists in Syria.

    US Bid to Extend Arms Embargo Stalled

    Secretary Pompeo’s attempt to convince the Security Council to approve an indefinite extension to the UN arms embargo against Iran on Tuesday failed to receive support not just from veto-wielding members Russia and China, but also from the US’s European allies, including Germany, France and the UK.

    Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia accused Washington of pursuing a policy of “maximum suffocation” against Iran, adding that the US objective seemed to be to “achieve regime change or create a situation where Iran literally wouldn’t be able to breathe.”

    Chinese Ambassador Zhang Jun said out that “having quit the [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear deal], the US is no longer a participant and has no right to trigger a snapback at the UN.”

    Christoph Heusgen, Germany’s ambassador, criticized Iran’s alleged malign behaviour, but similarly said that the US has no right to request snapback sanctions having left the Iran nuclear agreement in 2018. “It is very unfortunate that the United States left the JCPOA, and by doing this actually violated international law,” Heusgen said.


    *A terrorist group outlawed in Russia and many other countries.

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