FILE PHOTO: United Nations Security Council members participate in a meeting on the Middle East at U.N. head office in New york city, U.S., December 18,2018 REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
New York City (Reuters) – The United Nations Security Council began 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 revealed at a conference 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 support, the United States slashed its draft resolution on Tuesday to simply four paragraphs that would just extend a weapons ban on Tehran “until the Security Council decides otherwise,” saying it’s “vital to the upkeep of international peace and security.”
However diplomats and analysts said the draft text was still most likely to fail. To be embraced a resolution needs 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 attempt and set off a return of all U.N. sanctions on Iran utilizing an arrangement in the nuclear deal, despite the fact that Washington gave up the accord in2018 The move might put the already vulnerable nuclear accord further at threat.
It was not immediately clear how Russia, China or any other Security Council members might attempt to stop the United States from setting off a return of all U.N. sanctions on Iran, called snapback, or if – procedurally – there is any way that they can.
Diplomats warn the procedure would be difficult and untidy. They states a number of nations would argue that Washington legally might not activate a snapback of sanctions and for that reason simply wouldn’t reimpose the steps on Iran themselves.
Reporting by Michelle Nichols; editing by Grant McCool