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US and Iran clash over Russia using Iran drones in Ukraine



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United Nations – The United States and its allies have come into conflict with Iran and its ally Russia over Western claims that Tehran is supplying Moscow with the drones that attacked Ukraine – and the US accuses the United Nations secretary “gives in to Russian threats” and fails to launch an investigation.

At Monday’s controversial Security Council meeting on a resolution endorsing the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and six major powers, the United States and Iran also accused each other of being responsible for the failed negotiations. stalled on the Biden administration’s re-entry into the deal that former President Donald Trump pulled out. of 2018.

Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations Amir Saeid Iravani asserted that Iran’s negotiating team had exercised “maximum flexibility” in trying to reach an agreement and even come up with a “creative solution to the problems”. left to break the deadlock.” However, he asserted that the US’s “rigid and unrealistic approach” has led to the current negotiations on the 2015 agreement, known as the JCPOA, to stall.

“Let’s be clear: pressure, intimidation and confrontation are not the solution and will not work,” Mr. Iravani said.

Iran is ready to resume negotiations and arrange a ministerial meeting “as soon as possible to announce the restoration of the JCPOA,” Iravani said. “This can be achieved if the United States shows real political will… America now has the ball in its court.”

Speaking before Mr. Iravani, Deputy US Ambassador Robert Wood said “the door to negotiations remains open” for the US and Iran to return to the full implementation of the JCPOA. But he said, “Iran’s own actions and stance are responsible for preventing that outcome.”

In September, a deal that all the other parties had agreed to was “within reach” and “even Iran was prepared to say yes,” Wood said, “until the very last minute, Iran put forward its demands. the new request is unrelated to the JCPOA and that it knows is unreachable.”

He said Iran’s behavior since September – notably its failure to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN’s nuclear watchdog, and the expansion of its nuclear program “does not for legitimate civilian purposes” – reinforced US skepticism “about Iran’s willingness and ability to reach a deal and explained why there have been no active negotiations since there.”

At the end of the council meeting, Wood asked the plenary to dismiss Iravani, saying it was “true” that Iran’s unrelated demands and the rejection of all compromise proposals were the reason at Why is there no return of mutual compliance with the JCPOA.

“So let me put it simply, the ball is not on the US court,” Wood said. “On the contrary, the ball is in Iran’s court.”

British Ambassador to the United Nations Barbara Woodward, whose country is still a party to the JCPOA, told the council that Iran’s nuclear escalation was making “the process of reaching a nuclear deal much more difficult.” .

Today, Iran’s total stock of enriched uranium exceeds the JCPOA limit by at least 18 times and the country continues to produce highly enriched uranium, which is unprecedented for a country, she said. The country does not have a nuclear weapons program.

In addition, Woodward said, “Iran’s nuclear breakthrough time has been reduced to a few weeks, and the time required for Iran to produce fissile material for a variety of nuclear weapons is decreasing.” She said Iran is also testing technology that could enable intermediate and intercontinental ballistic missiles to carry nuclear warheads.

The UN’s political head, Rosemary DiCarlo, told the council that “space for diplomacy seems to be shrinking rapidly”.

She pointed to an IAEA report that Iran intends to install new centrifuges at the Natanz Fuel Enrichment Plant and produce more uranium enriched to 60% at the Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant – levels close to level required for nuclear weapons. Iran also removed all IAEA equipment monitoring JCPOA-related activities.

DiCarlo called on Iran to reverse all steps outside the bounds of the JCPOA and called on the United States to lift sanctions on Iran enshrined in the nuclear deal and to extend waivers for its oil trading. Iran.

Iran’s Iravani stressed that all Iran’s nuclear activities “are peaceful” and said Iran is ready to join the IAEA to resolve outstanding issues on nuclear safeguards.

As for what he called “baseless accusations” that Iran was transferring drones to Russia in violation of the 2015 resolution, Iravani stressed that all restrictions on arms transfers to and travel from Iran was terminated in October 2020. Therefore, he said that the West’s claim that Tehran needs prior approval “has no legal validity.”

Iravani also asserted that the drones were not transferred to Russia for use in Ukraine, saying that “the campaign of disinformation and baseless accusations… serves no purpose other than to deliver divert attention away from Western countries transferring large amounts of advanced, sophisticated weapons to Ukraine in order to prolong the conflict.

Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia called allegations that Iran delivered drones to his country for use in Ukraine “clearly fabricated and untrue.” Russia is well aware that the representatives of Ukraine “failed to provide Tehran bilaterally with any documents to corroborate the use of drones of Iranian origin by Russian servicemen,” he said.

Wood, the US special envoy, told the panel that Ukraine’s report of Iranian-origin drones being used by Russia to attack civilian infrastructure was supported by “evidence evidence.” rich from various public sources”, including the statement by the Iranian Foreign Minister on November 5.

He emphasized that Iran is prohibited from transferring these types of drones without the prior approval of the Security Council under an addendum to the 2015 resolution.

Mr. Wood said the UN had been mandated to investigate reported violations of the resolution for seven years and expressed disappointment that the UN Secretariat, headed by Secretary-General Guterres, had not opened a investigation, “clearly giving in to Russian threats. “

Russia’s Nebenzia reiterated Moscow’s argument that the investigations were a “serious violation” of the UN resolution and the Charter “and that the UN Secretariat should not bow to pressure from Western countries. “

Guterres said at a news conference earlier on Monday, when asked about criticism that the United Nations had not opened an investigation into Iranian-made drones in Ukraine, that “We are looks at all aspects of that question and in the broader picture of everything we’re doing. in the context of war to determine if and when we should” conduct an investigation.

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