Beijing dismisses potential US sanctions against Russia and China over Iran as ‘illegal’

Foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian is making remarks at a press briefing on April 7. Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

BEIJING, Aug 20, 2020, TASS. Washington’s potential sanctions against Russia and China if obstacles are created for restoring US restrictions against Iran should be considered as illegal because the US has withdrawn from the Iranian nuclear deal and stripped itself of competence to put forward any demands on this issue, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said on Thursday, TASS reported.

“The United States earlier declared its withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and has no due competence for demanding sanctions,” the spokesperson told a regular briefing.

According to the diplomat, this Chinese stance “gained broad recognition among members of the international community.” “We are against one-sided measures <…> and demand the US respect the rights of other states,” Zhao Lijian said.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is heading to the UN headquarters in New York on Thursday to inform the Security Council about Washington’s decision to launch the process of reinstating anti-Iranian sanctions, which will come into force in 30 days. This move comes after a US draft resolution on extending the arms embargo against Iran did not secure enough votes at the Security Council on August 14: most countries abstained from the vote, while Russia and China voted against.

According to Pompeo, the US was ready to sanction Russia and China if they opposed its effort to “snapback” sanctions on Tehran.

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