Iranian envoy: Extending UN arms embargo would be a 'big mistake'

Iran’s UN ambassador says "all options will be open" if the Trump administration tries to re-impose UN sanctions.

Elad Benari, Canada ,

United Nations
United Nations

Iran’s UN ambassador is warning that he believes a US resolution to extend an arms embargo against his country will be defeated and warned it would be “a very, very big mistake” if the Trump administration then tries to re-impose UN sanctions, The Associated Press reports.

In comments made on Thursday, Ambassador Majid Ravanchi said restoring UN sanctions will end the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and major powers and release Tehran from all its commitments.

“If that happens, Iran will not be under constraint as to what course of action it should take,” he warned in a conversation with reporters. “All options for Iran will be open.”

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.

Ravanchi spoke a day after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo threatened to seek to reimpose UN sanctions on Iran if the Security Council does not approve a resolution that would indefinitely extend the arms embargo.

“Iran will be able to purchase advanced weapons systems and become an arms dealer of choice for terrorists and rogue regimes all throughout the world,” Pompeo said. “This is unacceptable.”

Pompeo recently vowed to use all means available to extend the UN arms embargo on Iran. The United States has put forward a resolution to extend the embargo but faces opposition from veto-wielding Russia and China, which stand to win contracts with Tehran.

Ravanchi said ending the arms embargo in October “is an essential part of the agreement between Iran and its partners.”

“We believe there is no stomach for members of the Security Council to digest the draft resolution like the one the US presented,” he said. “So, it is our view that the draft resolution will be defeated.”

Ravanchi stressed that Iran will not accept “anything less than full implementation” of the provision lifting the arms embargo.

“It would be a wise idea for the United States to reconsider the presentation of the draft because it’s not going to be approved,” he warned.

The UN resolution proposed by the United States would condemn Iran over a September 2019 attack against oil facilities in regional rival Saudi Arabia.

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

The European Union’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, has argued 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.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)