WW3: Russia and Iran set to renew historic weapons deal amid US threats

WW3: Russia and Iran set to renew historic weapons deal amid US threats

Iran’s foreign minister Javad Zarif confirmed a “20-year agreement” would probably be renewed during a visit to Moscow on Tuesday. Mr Zarif did not confirm which deal he was talking about, but analysts think it is an oil and weapons pact that was signed at the start of the millennium.

The foreign minister said a “long-term” and “strategic” deal between Iran and Russia was on the cards, Anadolu Agency reports.

Mr Zarif was joined in Moscow by Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Seyyed Abbas Araqchi, while Russian officials included President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

It marks the second time the foreign minister has visited Iran in a month.

The oil and weapons pact was agreed in 2001 between Vladimir Putin and then-Iranian President Mohammed Khatami.

It was the first time a Russian and Iranian head of state had met in 40 years, and meant Russia would continue to sell arms to Iran.

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According to AA, ties between Russia and Iran have only gotten stronger since then, while Iran’s relationship with the US has declined.

The US has also been calling for the UN to renew an arms embargo on Iran which is set to expire this October. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed Iran would be able to purchase Russian fighter jets capable of striking Rome or Warsaw if this were allowed to happen.

However, the US is facing a pushback from Iran, Russia, and China which are all arguing the embargo is not necessary.

Regarding the embargo, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said: “This chamber has a choice: Stand for international peace and security, as the United Nations’ founders intended, or let the arms embargo on the Islamic Republic of Iran expire, betraying the UN’s mission and its finest ideals, which we have all pledged to uphold.”

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The US has also threatened to impose UN sanctions on Iran if the embargo is not renewed under the terms of a 2015 nuclear deal on Iran – a deal which the US has removed itself from.

However, China’s ambassador to the UN, Zhang Jun, told a UN council: “China opposes the US push for extending the arms embargo on Iran.”

Mr Zarif said: “Do we maintain respect for the rule of law, or do we return to the law of the jungle by surrendering to the whims of an outlaw bully?”

European nations in the UN have lambasted nations on both sides of the argument, criticising Iran for loosening its commitments to the2015 nuclear deal but agreeing with Russia and China that the US does not have the power to invoke sanctions under a deal it is no longer part of, Bloomberg reports.

French Ambassador Nicolas de Rivière said France would not support the US’ “unilateral actions”, the news outlet added.

Tensions were sparked between Iran and the US in May this year after Iran delivered several tankers’ worth of petrol to Venezuela in defiance of US sanctions.

All of the tankers arrived in Venezuela safely amid warnings against US interference.

Published at Thu, 23 Jul 2020 04:32:13 +0000