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Nuclear deal will ‘die forever’ if US extends conventional arms embargo – Iran’s security council chief

Nuclear deal will ‘die forever’ if US extends conventional arms embargo – Iran’s security council chief
A top Iranian official has warned that the US extending the ban on conventional arms sales to Iran would be the last nail in the coffin for the 2015 nuclear deal. He called on the EU to choose between “dignity” and “humiliation.”

Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali Shamkhani sent out a tweet warning that the embattled 2015 deal on Tehran’s nuclear program will “die forever” if the US circumvents UN Security Council Resolution 2231 and continues its “illegal” weapons embargo on Iran.

“Sanctions’ virus is the US tool for survival of its declining hegemony,” Shamkhani wrote.

The Iranian official also asked the EU whether it is willing to stand up to the US and save the nuclear deal or “accept humiliation and help unilateralism.”

Resolution 2231 fully endorsed the nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The agreement placed severe limitations on the Iranian nuclear program in exchange for a partial lifting of international sanctions against the country.

The US envoy to the UN, Brian Hook, revealed earlier this week that the nation intends to convince other Security Council member states to extend the ban on the sale of conventional arms to Iran, which is due to expire in October. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Thursday that Washington will play “every card in our kit” to make sure that Iran does not purchase “tanks and armored vehicles” from Russia or China. He also argued that the arms embargo is not related to the commitments tied to the JCPOA.

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The US unilaterally walked away from the JCPOA in 2018, while accusing Iran of secretly violating it, and citing broader mistrust toward the Islamic Republic. Tehran denied these allegations, and the global nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), confirmed at the time that Iran was complying with the agreement. US President Donald Trump’s decision to leave the JCPOA was criticized by the EU, Russia and China, all of whom are also signatories of the deal.

After the US re-imposed sweeping sanctions on Iran as part of its ‘maximum pressure’ campaign, Tehran started to gradually scale down its commitments under the JCPOA but fell short of officially abandoning the agreement. Iranian officials have repeatedly stated that they will return to full compliance under the deal if the EU provides some sort of relief from the US sanctions.

The EU has made attempts to set up a mechanism aimed at circumventing the US sanctions on trade with Iran, but Iranian officials have criticized the European response as slow and insufficient.

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