Bahrain supports US efforts to renew Iranian arms embargo

US envoy meets Bahraini Foreign Minister, who expresses support for US efforts to renew the UN arms embargo on Iran.

Elad Benari ,


Bahrain and the United States on Monday pledged to counter Iranian aggression in the region as the US Special Representative for Iran, Brian Hook, held talks with the Bahraini leadership.

According to a report in the Saudi Gazette, Hook, who was in Saudi Arabia on Monday, flew to Manama later in the day and met with Bahrain’s Crown Prince Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa and Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al-Zayyani.

Following the meeting, both sides issued a joint statement, accusing Iran of seeking to undermine Bahrain’s security by fomenting sectarian tensions and providing arms to proxy groups and terrorists and called for the renewal of arms embargo on Iran.

“The United States of America and the Kingdom of Bahrain share a strong and enduring commitment to countering Iranian aggression. The Islamic Republic of Iran has sought to undermine the stability and security of Bahrain by fomenting sectarian tensions and providing arms to proxy groups and terrorists. Despite these actions, Bahrain has remained true to its values and continues to prioritize peaceful coexistence and religious freedom for all its people. The United States remains committed to Bahrain’s security and to a deep and effective partnership to counter Iranian-backed terror,” said the statement carried by the Bahraini news agency BNA.

“In recognizing the grave threat posed by Iranian arms transfers in the region, and in Bahrain specifically, the United States and Bahrain call upon the United Nations Security Council to extend the arms embargo on Iran before it expires,” it added.

“The embargo is an important tool to counter Iran’s proliferation of arms to proxies. It promotes greater regional stability and holds Iran accountable for its actions. We have seen what Iran is capable of in its attack on Saudi oil facilities in September 2019. If the international community fails to extend the embargo, the Kingdom of Bahrain and neighboring partners will suffer the consequences of a destabilizing arms race. The Security Council must uphold its responsibility to maintain international peace and security and extend the arms embargo on Iran,” the statement added.

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 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.

Iran’s UN ambassador warned last week 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 made clear recently they would not back US efforts to unilaterally trigger the reimposition of United Nations sanctions on Iran.