NEW YORK (Reuters) – The United Nations Security Council started voting on Thursday on a U.S. bid to extend an arms embargo on Iran, which is opposed by veto-powers Russia and China, and the result will be announced at a meeting on Friday, diplomats stated.
The 15- member council has been operating virtually in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic so states have 24 hours to cast a vote.
The 13- year-old arms embargo is due to expire in October under a 2015 nuclear offer among Iran, Russia, China, Germany, Britain, France and the United States that prevents Tehran from establishing nuclear weapons in return for sanctions relief.
In a quote to get more council assistance, the United States slashed its draft resolution on Tuesday to simply 4 paragraphs that would just extend a weapons restriction on Tehran “until the Security Council chooses otherwise,” stating it’s “vital to the maintenance of worldwide peace and security.”
However diplomats and analysts said the draft text was still most likely to fail. To be embraced a resolution requires a minimum of nine votes in favor and no vetoes by Russia, China, the United States, Britain or France.
If the United States is unsuccessful it has threatened to try and trigger a return of all U.N. sanctions on Iran utilizing a provision in the nuclear deal, although Washington stopped the accord in2018 The move could put the currently fragile nuclear accord even more at danger.
It was not right away clear how Russia, China or any other Security Council members may try to stop the United States from activating a return of all U.N. sanctions on Iran, referred to as snapback, or if – procedurally – there is any way that they can.
Diplomats caution the process would be difficult and untidy. They states several countries would argue that Washington legally could not activate a snapback of sanctions and for that reason just would not reimpose the measures on Iran themselves.
Reporting by Michelle Nichols; modifying by Grant McCool
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