September 13, 2018 11:37
News ID: 2838

(Persia digest) - The UN Security Council meeting on Iran chaired by President Donald Trump later this month is a good opportunity for Tehran to turn the tables on the US by holding it accountable for abandoning the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, says an Iranian expert on international relations.

"Iran should attend the Security Council meeting and, by presenting conclusive evidence, hold the US accountable for its withdrawal from the JCPOA which violated its international obligations and led to undesirable, catastrophic consequences for the region," Davoud Hermidas Bavand told Persia Digest.

He was referring to Trump's decision in May to pull the US out of the landmark nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was signed between Iran and five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany to curb Iran's nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

The US presides over the Security Council this month, and Trump himself will chair the Iran meeting on September 26. US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, has said Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who will be in New York City at the time for the 73rd annual General Assembly Session opening, will have the option of attending the meeting.

According to some reports, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may also take part in the meeting.

There are, however, some indications that the Iranian president is unlikely to attend the meeting. Critics say Rouhani's appearance before the council would lend legitimacy to Trump's allegations against Iran, while others believe he should seize the opportunity to defend Iran's position.

Read more:

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► UN rapporteur: US sanctions against Iran illegal

► Reactions to Trump’s threats against Iran

► US concerns have nothing to do with the JCPOA

Bavand, a former career diplomat, said: "Generally, the meetings of the United Nations Security Council are not presided over by a country's president. As this time, it is the US that will preside over the council. Trump wants to take advantage (of being the chairman) and push his anti-Iran agenda."

"I believe Iran should take part in the meeting and the ball would then be in the US court," he said, adding that "according to the UN Charter, when an issue related to a country's interests is raised in the Security Council, that country has the right to attend the meeting and speak up against the allegations."

Bavand maintains that it is in Iran's interest to appear at the meeting as it would give Tehran a great chance to censure the US for its violation of international obligations under the Iran nuclear deal, which was underpinned by UN Security Council Resolution 2231.

"Iran and the five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany reached an agreement that deals with international peace and security. The US withdrew from the deal against international norms, the UN Charter, and a Security Council Resolution, thus contravening its obligations," the international expert said.

He said the US has created a "new crisis and tensions" in the Middle East by scrapping the JCPOA.

Bavand then called on Rouhani to appear before the council, saying: "Not going to the Security Council meeting won't do any good."

He then evoked the memory of former Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh who, in 1951, attended a UN Security Council meeting to defend Iran’s case for nationalizing its oil from Britain.

"History shows that we should not retreat (from appearing at the Security Council), especially now that Trump is in a position to answer (for his actions)," the former diplomat said.

"So, instead of letting Trump utter unreal things about Iran, we should seize this great opportunity and tell the council that the person who is making these allegations has himself violated a key international agreement," Bavand concluded.

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