UN Security Council meets on non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
Last week, the US circulated a concept note which provided more details on the meeting. The note invites Council members to address the following issues:
• ways to better enforce existing sanctions and international obligations and norms on threats posed by WMDs;
• ways to increase the cost for regimes and non-state actors who violate international norms and obligations;
• ways to improve capacities of countries to implement their obligations under WMD-related resolutions; and
• actions member states should take to address the illicit supply of nuclear, chemical, biological and ballistic missile-related technology to dangerous actors.
United States President, Donald J. Trump told the Security Council today (26 Sept) that following its withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), “all US nuclear related sanctions will be in full force by early November,” and announced that “additional sanctions, tougher than ever before to counter the entire range of Iran’s malign conduct” will be imposed.
Trump warned that “any individual or entity that fails to comply with these sanctions will face severe consequences.”
At the same time, Trump thanked Iran, as well as Syria and Russia, for “at my very strong urging and request – substantially slowing down their attack on Idlib Province and the 3 million people who live there in order to get 35,000 targeted terrorists.”
A deal was reached last week between Russia and Turkey to create a demilitarized buffer zone protecting citizens in Syria’s Idlib region. Some 10,000 fighters in the Syrian province are classified as terrorists by the United nations.
The US President went on to accuse China of “attempting to interfere in our upcoming 2018 election, coming up in November against my administration.”
He said that Chine does not want “me or us to win because I am the first president ever to challenge China on trade. And we are wining on trade. We are wining at every level.”
China’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wang Yi, responded that “China all along has followed the principle of non-interference in other countries’ domestic affairs.”
Wang said, “we refuse to accept any unwarranted accusations against China and we call upon other countries to also observe the purposes of the UN Charter and not to interfere in other countries’ internal affairs.”
France’s President Emmanuel Macron told the Council that “the JCPOA is imperfect,” but is “a decisive step” in preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.
Macron said, “a serious crisis of confidence was opened by the re-imposition of extraterritorial sanctions by the United States, but Teheran continues abiding by its nuclear obligations.”
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Theresa May, said the JCPOA “remains the best means of preventing Iran developing a nuclear weapon and added that the UK is “committed to preserving the JCPOA as long as Iran continues to abide by its obligations in full. Iran must ensure they implement their obligations fully.”
For his part, Russia’s Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, told the Council that “the dismantlement of the JCPOA would also be counterproductive for the efforts underway to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula.”
Lavrov said “there are also serious obstacles to nuclear non-proliferation in the decision made by the United States to postpone for a long time, perhaps indefinitely, the ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and the absence of progress in implementing the NPT decision to create a weapons of mass destruction free zone in the Middle East. “
The President of Bolivia, Evo Morales, noted than Latin America has been a nuclear free zone for over half a century and said “Bolivia categorically rejects the unilateral measures imposed by the United States government against Iran. Thereby, it condemns the fact that the United States has withdrawn from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action using excused in order to continue with its policies of interference and intervention in the internal affairs of that brotherly country.”
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