U.S. loses Iran arms embargo bid as Putin pushes summit to avoid nuclear deal showdown

By Michelle Nichols and Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber NEW YORK/MOSCOW (Reuters) - The United States lost a bid to extend a U.N.

Reuters August 15, 2020 05:10:13 IST
U.S. loses Iran arms embargo bid as Putin pushes summit to avoid nuclear deal showdown

US loses Iran arms embargo bid as Putin pushes summit to avoid nuclear deal showdown

By Michelle Nichols and Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber

NEW YORK/MOSCOW (Reuters) - The United States lost a bid to extend a U.N. arms embargo on Iran on Friday as Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed a summit of world leaders to avoid "confrontation" over a U.S. threat to trigger a return of all U.N. sanctions on Tehran.

Russia and China opposed extending the weapons ban, which is due to expire in October under a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers. Eleven members abstained, including France, Germany and Britain, while Washington and the Dominican Republic were the only yes votes.

"The Security Council's failure to act decisively in defense of international peace and security is inexcusable," U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement. "The Security Council rejected direct appeals to extend the arms embargo from numerous countries in the Middle East endangered by Iran's violence."

The United States could now follow through on a threat to trigger a return of all U.N. sanctions on Iran using a provision in the nuclear deal, known as snapback, even though President Donald Trump abandoned the accord in 2018. Diplomats have said the United States could do this as early as next week, but would face a tough, messy battle.

Diplomats have said such a move would put the fragile nuclear deal further at risk because Iran would lose a major incentive for limiting its nuclear activities. Iran already has breached parts of the nuclear deal in response to the U.S. withdrawal from the pact and unilateral sanctions.

Putin on Friday proposed a video summit with the United States and the remaining parties to the nuclear deal - Britain, France, China, Germany and Iran - to try to avoid further "confrontation and escalation" at the United Nations over Iran.

"The issue is urgent," Putin said in a statement, adding that the alternative was "only further escalation of tensions, increasing risk of conflict - such a scenario must be avoided."

Asked if he would take part, Trump told reporters, "I hear there's something, but I haven't been told of it yet." French President Emmanuel Macron is open to taking part in a video summit, the Elysee palace said.

The United States has argued that it can trigger a sanctions snapback because a U.N. Security Council resolution enshrining the nuclear deal named Washington as a participant. But the remaining parties to the deal are opposed to the move.

Putin said Russia, an ally of Iran in the Syrian civil war, remained fully committed to the nuclear deal and that the aim of a summit would be to outline steps aimed at avoiding "confrontation and escalation of the situation in the Security Council."

Trump has said he wants to negotiate a new deal with Iran that would prevent it from developing nuclear weapons and also curb its activities in the region and elsewhere. Trump, who has walked away from a series of international agreements, has dubbed the 2015 nuclear deal - reached under his predecessor Barack Obama - "the worst deal ever."

Diplomats have said several countries would argue that the United States legally could not activate a return of sanctions and therefore simply would not reimpose the measures on Iran themselves.

(Additional reporting by Alexandra Alper and Michel Rose; Writing by Alexander Marrow; Editing by Hugh Lawson, Alistair Bell and Will Dunham)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.