Rouhani hopes US fails in attempts to extend arms embargo

Iranian President: We have great hopes that America will realize its failure and see its isolation.

Elad Benari ,

Hassan Rouhani
Hassan Rouhani

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday expressed "great hopes" that a US bid to extend an arms embargo on his country will fail, warning of consequences if the UN Security Council backs it, AFP reports.

Rouhani's remarks came after Iran's ambassador to the United Nations said the US would have to redraft its proposed resolution on the issue after being "rebuffed" by Security Council members.

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.

Last week, the US submitted a draft Security Council resolution to attend the arms embargo on Iran, but on Tuesday it circulated a revised resolution, in a bid to gain more support in the 15-member Security Council, where veto-wielding Russia and China have voiced strong opposition.

The European Union has said it will continue to enforce its own embargo against Iran after the lifting of the first UN embargo.

Under the 2015 Iran deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, Iran committed to limiting its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

The JCPOA has been on life-support since the US withdrew from it and reimposed sanctions in 2018.

Iran has since taken steps away from compliance with the agreement as it presses for the sanctions relief it was promised.

"We have great hopes that America will fail," Rouhani told a televised meeting of his cabinet on Wednesday, according to AFP.

"We have great hopes that America will realize its failure and see its isolation," the Iranian President added.

"But our stance in any case is clear. If such a resolution comes to pass... it means a blatant violation of the JCPOA," he continued, warning the "consequences will rest with the perpetrators of this act."

Iran's envoy to the UN, Majid Takht Ravanchi, said on Wednesday that the US "was forced to retreat" from its draft resolution after being "rebuffed by UNSC members" and had to propose a fresh version.

"The new draft is similar -- in its NATURE and GOAL -- to the previous. Confident that the Council will -- again -- reject this move," he tweeted.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also accused the US of "using a Security Council mechanism to destroy" the UN.

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