TEHRAN, January 18. /TASS/. Lifting sanctions from Iran in accordance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPA) has demonstrated that the US policy to use sanctions as an instrument of pressure does not work, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hossein Jaber Ansari told a press conference on Monday.
"Lifting sanctions from Iran has demonstrated that the US policy to use sanctions as an instrument of pressure does not work," Ansari said.
Answering a question on the new sanctions imposed on Iran by the United States over a recent ballistic missile test, the spokesman said that the restrictions are "groundless both from legal and moral points of view."
Iran insists that its ballistic missile program is defensive in nature and that missiles are not capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.
Ansari also stressed that "Iran will not hold negotiations or contact the United States on any issues other than those concerning the Iranian nuclear program in the framework of JCPA."
According to Ansarim lifting of the sanctions opens for Iran the way towards membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).
"The lifting of sanctions opens for Iran the opportunity to become a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and eliminates other limitations, which the Islamic Republic has been facing in the regional foreign policy," he said.
SCO’s Charter reads that a country under sanctions of the UN Security Council cannot be the organisation’s full member. Now that international sanctions against Iran have been lifted, there are no obstacles for Iran’s full membership. The sanctions had been imposed on Iran in compliance with resolutions of the UN Security Council.
The SCO creation was proclaimed on June 15, 2001 in Shanghai (China) by the Republic of Kazakhstan, the People's Republic of China, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Tajikistan and the Republic of Uzbekistan.
At present, three countries (Afghanistan, Iran, and Mongolia) have observer-nation status, and three more countries (Belarus, Turkey and Sri Lanka) have the dialogue partner status.
The SCO member states occupy a territory of around 30 million 189 thousand square kilometres, which makes up three-fifths of the Eurasian continent, and have a population of 1.5 billion, which makes up a quarter of the planet's population.
India and Pakistan officially received full SCO memberships during the Organisation’s summit in Ufa, Russia, in July, 2015.
The SCO has established relations with the United Nations, where it is an observer at the General Assembly, with the European Union, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.
On 14 July 2015, the P5+1 group of international mediators (five permanent members of UN Security Council - US, UK, Russia, China, France - and Germany) and Iran signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on Tehran’s nuclear program. Iran will not produce weapons-grade plutonium and limit its stockpile of uranium enriched to 3.67% to 300 kilograms for the next 15 years. Tehran also agreed to modernize its nuclear facilities and use them for exclusively peaceful purposes.
Sanctions will be gradually removed from Iran. The arms embargo imposed by UN Security Council will be kept in place for five years, ban for supplying ballistic missile technologies to Iran - for eight years. Experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will monitor nuclear facilities in Iran for the next 25 years. If any points of the agreement are violated by Iran, sanctions against the country will be renewed.
On July 20, the corresponding resolution on Iran’s nuclear program agreement was adopted by UN Security Council.