- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday declared that Iran would deliver a “crushing response” if a key United Nations arms embargo on the country is extended.

The current version of the controversial arms embargo and arms export ban on Iran was adopted in 2015 in conjunction with the nuclear accord between Iran and several world powers, including the U.S., and is set to be lifted on Oct. 18.

The U.S. has urged the U.N. Security Council to extend it, but has been met with fierce opposition from China and Russia.

“If America wants to return to the deal, it should lift all the sanctions on Tehran and compensate for the reimposition of sanctions,” Mr. Rouhani said in a speech Wednesday, as quoted by Reuters.

“Iran will give a crushing response if the arms embargo on Tehran is extended,” he continued.

Under the deal, Iran agreed to limits on its nuclear program, regular inspections and a weapons embargo in exchange for easing sanctions.

Mr. Rouhani in the speech said his country’s nuclear steps “are reversible if other parties to the deal fulfill their obligations and preserve Tehran’s interests under the pact.”

President Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal in 2018 — despite European pushback — after claims Iran had repeatedly violated the limits of the deal, a move that allowed the U.S. to reinstate economic sanctions against Tehran that had been waived under the deal and add new sanctions.

The Trump administration has since threatened to launch a resurgence of all U.N. sanctions in a move to gain backing from the 15-member security council.

Iranian officials have called the U.S. efforts “illegitimate,” but officials in Washington maintain that they are hopeful to extend the embargo.

• Lauren Toms can be reached at lmeier@washingtontimes.com.

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