Pompeo: Failure to extend Iran arms embargo will threaten the region

US Secretary of State urges the UN Security Council to extend an arms embargo on Iran which is due to expire in October.

Elad Benari ,

Mike Pompeo
Mike Pompeo

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday urged the UN Security Council to extend an arms embargo on Iran which is due to expire in October, warning that its expiration would risk the stability of the region.

"Iran will hold a sword of Damocles over the economic stability of the Middle East, endangering nations like Russia and China that rely on stable energy prices," Pompeo told the virtual session, according to AFP.

Tuesday’s session heard a UN report that found that cruise missiles and drones from an attack last year in Saudi Arabia were of Iranian origin.

"Iran is already violating the arms embargo even before its expiration date. Imagine if Iranian activity were sanctioned -- authorized -- by this group if the restrictions are lifted," added Pompeo.

The United States is adamant about prolonging the ban on conventional arms sales to Iran.

Pompeo recently vowed to use all means available to extend the UN arms embargo. 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.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, speaking at the same meeting, said that the preservation of the 2015 nuclear deal depended on the scheduled end of the arms embargo.