Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov PHOTO: By Ruptly

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov condemned Washington attempts to “modernize” JCPOA and to extend the arms embargo against Iran which ends in October after an unsuccessful UN Security Council vote on an American resolution.

Iran PressEurope: In an interview with the Channel One Russia on Saturday, Lavrov said that none of the participants in the JCPOA “see any legal, political, or even moral grounds” to vote for the US resolution.

Russia's top diplomat described the resolution as a “crude mockery of the decisions of the UN Security Council, or ‘indeed of itself’”.

Lavrov praised the statement made by 24 European countries to the US government against the use of sanctions by Trump administration.

Lavrov on his turn denounced the American sanctions against Iran.

He described how US sanctions were being imposed against several countries saying "When the US decides that China is a threat because it sells too much to the US and buys too little, the USA imposes restrictions on imports from China. When the United States decides that Iran is still misbehaving (everyone else does not think so), Then sanctions are imposed against Iran although they are fulfilling everything that was agreed on under the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action). When the United States believes that Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro deserves to be punished, they declare sanctions against him."

"We are working with our US partners and other Security Council members in New York and in capitals. We understand that the vast majority of nations realize the incorrectness and counter-productivity of this attempt. It will produce no result anyway, but it might eventually lead to a very serious scandal and a rift within the UN Security Council, and, in the final analysis, undermine its authority," Lavrov said.

Russia’s top diplomat recalled that Washington withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Iran’s nuclear program by describing it as a "bad deal."

"The thing is that one of the states behind the consensus resolution on Iran’s nuclear program announced that it would not comply with the obligations it had undertaken, but at the same time demanded that others follow its recommendations," Lavrov said.

"[They] announced that no one can stop the United States when it would decide to punish Iran for allegedly violating the agreement from which the US had withdrawn. Sounds paradoxical and quite clumsy, but this is how it is," Lavrov said. "The US declared that it would not comply with its obligations - not to impose new sanctions on Iran, to lift the existing restrictions and let the Islamic Republic of Iran participate fully in international trade and economic exchanges. The United States said they were not going to do this and, what is more, will prohibit everyone else from doing this in relation to Iran."

Arms embargo failure

Lavrov also recalled the US attempt to "modernize" the JCPOA, including by extending the arms embargo on Iran, which expires in October 2020. According to the Russian foreign minister, neither Russia nor other JCPOA participants see any legal, political, or moral grounds for "deriding UN Security Council’s decisions and the Council itself in such a brutal fashion."

"We explained it all clearly to our American partners. Nevertheless, they made the decision to submit a relevant resolution. Only one country - the Dominican Republic - voted to support it along with the United States. Russia and China voted against it. The remaining 11 members of the UN Security Council, including European countries, abstained from voting on this resolution. Therefore, there even was no need to use the veto, because it is necessary only when a resolution receives no less than nine votes. This time, there were only two," he said.

"Generally speaking, I think they knew what the result will be, but, evidently, they wanted to send a message about their determination to settle this matter, and would attempt to ensure the adoption of a new resolution," the Russian top diplomat added.

Attempt to impose ‘rule-based order’

The Russian foreign minister went on to say that the US attempt to restore sanctions against Iran is a clear example of how Western nations try to replace the notion of "international law" with "rule-based order."

"There have been many examples of this, and they are becoming more and more frequent. This is a very dangerous tendency," Lavrov added.

He went on to say that the United States will not be able to violate the UN Security Council resolution and distort the internationally sealed agreement, but "they can still deal damage to the UN Security Council."

"We will try our best to dissuade our US partners from such reckless moves," the minister said.

The UN Security Council has rejected a US resolution to extend the arms embargo against Iran.