US revises resolution to extend UN arms embargo on Iran

Revised draft seeks to gain more support in Security Council for move to extend arms embargo which is due to expire in October.

Elad Benari ,

UN Security Council
UN Security Council

The United States on Tuesday circulated a revised resolution that would extend a UN arms embargo on Iran indefinitely, The Associated Press reports.

US Ambassador Kelly Craft said the new draft "takes council views into account and simply does what everyone knows should be done -- extend the arms embargo to prevent Iran from freely buying and selling conventional weapons."

"It is only common sense that the world's no. 1 state sponsor of terror not be given the means of unleashing even greater harm on the world," she said in a statement.

The revised draft seeks to gain more support in the 15-member Security Council where veto-wielding Russia and China have voiced strong opposition.

Council diplomats said the revised draft could be put in a final form Thursday and put to a vote Friday.

Diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity because the new resolution had not been made public, said the revised text is just four paragraphs -- compared to the original seven-page, 35-paragraph draft circulated in June.

That draft included several provisions that some diplomats objected to as going beyond the extension of the arms embargo, and have almost certainly been eliminated.

One provision in the original resolution would have authorized all UN member states to inspect cargo entering or transiting through their territory at airports, seaports and free trade zones from Iran or heading there, if the member state had "reasonable grounds to believe the cargo" contained banned items.

The UN arms embargo on Iran is set to expire in October, but US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has vowed to use all means available to extend the UN arms embargo.

Iran’s UN ambassador has warned that he believes the US resolution to extend the arms embargo will be defeated and warned it would be “a very, very big mistake” if the Trump administration then tries to re-impose UN sanctions.

Britain, France and Germany have made clear they would not back US efforts to unilaterally trigger the reimposition of United Nations sanctions on Iran.