Russia, China block move by UN Security Council against Iran
Russia and China have reportedly opposed a decision and thus prevented a move by a UN Security Council committee to expand the sanctions on Iran over the allegation that the Islamic Republic’s ballistic missile tests have violated UN resolutions.
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Australia’s envoy to the US and the chairman of the so-called Iran sanctions committee, Gary Quinlan, said at a Council meeting that a “number of committee members expressed the view… that the [missile] launches constituted a clear violation of [UN sanctions] and that therefore all member states should redouble their efforts to implement ballistic missile-related sanctions on Iran.”
He added, however, that “some committee members cannot share this view.”
In its May report to the Iran sanctions committee, which includes all 15 members of the UN Security Council, the Iran Panel of Experts claimed testing “[Iranian] Shahab 1 and 3, Zelzal, Fateh-110 and Tondar missiles, as well as an anti-ship ballistic missile, the Khalij Fars” violated UN resolutions.
Citing diplomats, who spoke on condition of anonymity, Reuters reported on Monday that Russia and China had refused to rule that the missile tests were a violation of the UN resolutions.
Reuters quoted a Russian delegate as saying that, “hasty conclusions not based on facts must be avoided.”
“We are not in favor of increased new pressure or new sanctions against Iran,” a Chinese delegate stated.
US Ambassador to the UN Rosemary DiCarlo expressed disappointment that the committee had not been able to expand the sanctions on Iran over the report.
The US, Israel, and some of their allies have repeatedly charged that Iran may intend to acquire nuclear-weapons capability in the future. Washington and some of its allies used the false allegation as a pretext to push the UN Security Council to impose four rounds of sanctions on the Islamic Republic between 2006 and 2010.
Tehran has categorically rejected the accusation, arguing that as a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it is entitled to develop nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
In addition, the IAEA has conducted numerous inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities but has never found any evidence showing that Tehran’s nuclear energy program has been diverted toward non-civilian objectives.