May 4, 2020 / 6:38 AM / a month ago

Iran says U.S. push to extend Tehran's arms embargo is 'illegitimate'

A woman walks in front of new murals of the former US embassy in Tehran, Iran November 2, 2019. Nazanin Tabatabaee/WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran dismissed as “illegitimate” efforts by the United States to extend the U.N. Security Council arms embargo on Tehran, an Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Monday.

“Iran is not seeking to exit the 2015 nuclear deal with six powers ... America’s move is illegitimate and our reaction will be proportionate,” Abbas Mousavi said in a televised weekly news conference.

The United States said on Thursday it was “hopeful” the U.N. Security Council would extend the arms embargo on Iran before it expires in October.

President Donald Trump’s administration has been taking a harder line with the United Nations over its desire to extend and strengthen the embargo on Iran.

Washington has threatened to trigger a return of all U.N. sanctions on Iran as leverage to get backing from the 15-member Security Council on extending the U.N. arms embargo on Tehran.

“The United States is not a member of the nuclear deal anymore ... Iran’s reaction to America’s illegal measures will be firm,” Mousavi said.

Trump withdrew the United States from the Iran nuclear deal in 2018 and reimposed sanctions on Tehran that have crippled its economy.

Under the deal, Iran agreed to halt its sensitive nuclear work in exchange for sanctions relief.

Iran, which denies its nuclear program is aimed at building a bomb, has gradually rolled back its commitments under the accord since the United States quit. It argues that Washington’s actions justify such a course.

Writing by Parisa Hafezi, editing by Ed Osmond

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