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UN Security Council prepares to ratify nuclear accord with Iran

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United Nations: The UN Security Council is preparing to ratify the nuclear accord reached between major world powers and Iran by approving a resolution that is expected to be voted on very soon.

A draft of the resolution will be written in Washington on behalf of the P5+1 – the US, Russia, China, France and Britain, plus Germany — and of the European Union, and will be sent to the council “in the coming days,” the US ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, said Tuesday.

The resolution will endorse the accord and “take other important steps, including replacing the existing Security Council sanctions architecture with the new, binding restrictions agreed on in Vienna,” Power said in a communique.

She said she will work with her colleagues on the council to make sure that this important resolution is adopted opportunely so the pact can take effect.

Negotiations_about_Iranian_Nuclear_Program_-_the_Ministers_of_Foreign_Affairs_and_Other_Officials_of_the_P5+1_and_Ministers_of_Foreign_Affairs_of_Iran_and_EU_in_Lausanne
The president of the Security Council for July, New Zealander Gerard van Bohemen, told reporters that no date has yet been set for the vote, but gave assurances that the Security Council is ready to act.

From Vienna, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said the resolution will be approved in the coming days.

From here on the text should go forward without problems, given that all the countries with veto-power on the Security Council participated directly in the negotiations with Tehran.

The UN resolution is expected to reflect the periods agreed upon in Vienna for the progressive lifting of all the international sanctions on Iran, and at the same time will authorise economic reprisals in case Tehran fails to abide by the terms of the pact.

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About that possibility, Power said the accord establishes that sanctions would “snap back” in case Iran fails to comply.

The pact reached on Tuesday does not include raising the UN arms embargo, which will continue for another five years, while the one on ballistic missiles will continue for another eight years.

The UN has a committee charged with supervising adherence to the sanctions on Iran, which this year is presided over by Spain. (IANS/EFE)

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Iran Doubts Europe’s Efforts To Keep Nuclear Deal Alive

Meanwhile, Vice President Pence’s hard-hitting speech at Munich has triggered fears in Europe that Washington has bigger plans, says Florence Gaub of the European Union Institute for Security Studies.

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Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks during the Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany, Feb. 17, 2019. VOA

Iran says Europe’s efforts to keep the 2015 nuclear deal are failing and there is growing support among the Iranian people to restart the country’s atomic program.

“We appreciate that Europe has done a great deal politically. But it hasn’t been prepared to make an investment. It hasn’t been prepared to pay a price,” Zarif told delegates at the Munich Security Conference Sunday.

He accused the United States and Israel of seeking war with his country.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence earlier accused Europe of helping to prop up a ‘murderous’ regime in Tehran.

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Not at all a call for ‘let’s renegotiate the deal’ but rather ‘let’s remove the regime in Tehran.’ And in that sense I think this was not interpreted as anything that Europe could accept. Pixabay

“They have led the effort to create mechanisms to break up our sanctions. They call this scheme a Special Purpose Vehicle, we call it an effort to break American sanctions against Iran’s murderous revolutionary regime,” Pence told delegates Saturday.

That Special Purpose Vehicle — officially known as INSTEX — is a payments system designed to allow European companies to trade with Iran and bypass U.S. sanctions, explains sanctions lawyer Nigel Kushner of London-based firm “W Legal.”

“The aim is that it will get around the U.S. secondary sanctions by not involving U.S. dollars, not involving U.S. persons, and certainly at the moment only being involved in the procurement of trade which does not include products or services that are sanctioned by the U.S. authorities,” he said.

Europe is hoping that Iran will show patience, adds Kushner.

“I think on the Iranian side, they will play a waiting game and very much hope that next year Donald Trump might not be re-elected,” he said.

But Tehran says Europe’s offer is not good enough.

“INSTEX falls short of the commitments by the E3 [European three] to save the deal. Europe needs to be willing to get wet if it wants to swim against the dangerous tide of U.S. unilateralism,” Foreign Minister Zarif said Sunday at the Munich conference.

Meanwhile, Vice President Pence’s hard-hitting speech at Munich has triggered fears in Europe that Washington has bigger plans, says Florence Gaub of the European Union Institute for Security Studies.

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“Not at all a call for ‘let’s renegotiate the deal’ but rather ‘let’s remove the regime in Tehran.’ And in that sense I think this was not interpreted as anything that Europe could accept,” she said.

Washington, which withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal last year, has not explicitly called for regime change in Iran. (VOA)