The Gulf Cooperation Council, a six-nation bloc of Gulf Arab nations, on Sunday endorsed an extension of a United Nations arms embargo on Iran which is set to expire in October, The Associated Press reported.
The group said it sent a letter to the UN Security Council backing an extension of the arms embargo that’s kept Iran from purchasing foreign-made weapons like fighter jets, tanks and warships.
The GCC — comprised of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — alleged Iran had “not ceased or desisted from armed interventions in neighboring countries, directly and through organizations and movements armed and trained by Iran.”
“As such, it is inappropriate to lift the restrictions on conventional weapons’ movement to and from Iran until it abandons its destabilizing activities in the region and ceases to provide weapons to terrorist and sectarian organizations,” the GCC said.
Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi condemned the GCC letter and called it an “irresponsible” statement that serves U.S. interests, Iranian state TV reported.
Mousavi also criticized the Gulf Arab countries for being “among the largest arms buyers in the region and the world,” even amid the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently vowed to use all means available to extend the UN arms embargo. Last week he announced that the United States would put forth a United Nations Security Council resolution calling for an extension of the 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.