Briefing by Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, Moscow (Excerpts)

October 15, 2020

Weapon Program: 

  • Military


Question: How would you comment on the lifting of the arms embargo introduced against Iran?

Maria Zakharova: As you know, Russia has always advocated a scrupulous compliance with UN Security Council Resolution 2231 in all its aspects in strict conformity with the commitments envisaged by this Security Council decision and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) concerning the Iranian nuclear programme. A basic point in this context is to ensure the implementation of provisions on the enforcement and abolition of the temporary restrictions established by the resolution.

Russia has repeatedly pointed out that the requirements contained in UN Security Council Resolution 2231 are not subject to a revision. These include a special procedure for arms and military equipment deliveries to and from Iran.  As is common knowledge, the UN Security Council did not introduce any “arms embargo” against Iran in 2015. Tehran has volunteered to assume a number of restrictions, which was done solely in the interests of an early, positive culmination of the JCPOA talks. From the very start, all the parties involved were aware that these restrictions had nothing to do with settlement related to the Iranian nuclear programme. The term of the relevant provisions has expired.

For Russia, Iran is a reliable partner in many spheres of collaboration. We are convinced that the opportunities opening in connection with the expiry of the provisions of UN Security Council Resolution 2231, related to military-technical cooperation with Iran will be duly taken into consideration and promptly used on a mutually beneficial basis and for the good of the people of both countries. 

The US allegations that it has single-handedly restored all the Security Council sanctions against Iran, which were effective before the signing of the JCPOA in 2015, are not true to fact.  We have repeatedly commented on this. The UN Security Council does not share the US opinion, nor has it taken any steps to “re-launch” the former restrictions. The world has refused to be taken in by Washington’s tricks that we characterise as unlawful and even underhanded.  Regrettably, this is emerging as Washington’s signature style in international affairs.

We do hope that the US colleagues have kept a measure of reasonableness to acknowledge the reality. International agreements must be observed by all parties involved, including the United States; there should be no attempts to revise them in retrospect or to be confined to implementing only those elements that suit Washington.