Rouhani urges UN to oppose extension of arms embargo

Iran's President warns against US "conspiracy" to extend the UN arms embargo on the Islamic Republic.

Elad Benari ,

Hassan Rouhani
Hassan Rouhani

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday urged UN Security Council members, especially veto-wielding China and Russia, to oppose what he called a US "conspiracy" to extend an arms embargo on the Islamic Republic.

"We will reach a point... when, based on Resolution 2231, all arms embargoes on Iran will be lifted," said Rouhani, according to AFP.

"The Americans are already angry and upset... and are preparing a resolution and want to bring it to the Security Council," he told a televised cabinet meeting.

A ban on selling conventional weapons to Iran ends in October under a 2015 Security Council resolution that blessed the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers and from which US President Donald Trump withdrew in 2018.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently vowed to use all means available to extend the UN arms embargo on Iran.

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

Even though Trump has left the nuclear accord, his administration has argued that the US remains a participant under Resolution 2231 and can trigger UN sanctions for Iran's non-compliance with the 2015 deal.

The European Union’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, said on Tuesday that since the United States has already withdrawn from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, it can’t now use its former membership of the pact to try to impose a permanent arms embargo on the Islamic Republic.

The United Nations Security Council includes among its 15 members five veto-wielding permanent members - Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States.

Rouhani appealed to those other than the United States to oppose its bid to extend the arms embargo.

"We expect the four permanent members to stand against this conspiracy, for global interests, global stability," he was quoted as having said. "We especially expect (this from) our two friendly countries, Russia and China."