US to submit UN resolution calling for extension of arms embargo on Iran

Secretary of State says that one way or another the Trump administration will make sure the UN embargo on Iran is extended.

Elad Benari ,

Mike Pompeo
Mike Pompeo

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday the United States would put forth a United Nations Security Council resolution next week calling for an extension of the arms embargo on Iran.

Speaking to reporters and quoted by Reuters, Pompeo said that one way or another the Trump administration would make sure the UN embargo is extended and said he was confident the effort would succeed.

He offered no specifics on how he expects this to be achieved.

The US-drafted resolution needs at least nine votes in favor to force Russia and China to use their vetoes, which Moscow and Beijing have signaled they will do. Some diplomats question whether Washington can even secure those nine, however.

“We have tabled a resolution that we think accomplishes what we think needs to be accomplished,” US Iran envoy Brian Hook told the Aspen Security Forum, held virtually, on Wednesday, according to Reuters.

“The easy way is to do a rollover of the arms embargo. It’s not difficult, there’s all the reasons in the world to do it. But we will do this one way or another,” he added.

The UN Security Council’s arms embargo on Iran is due to expire in October. Pompeo recently vowed to use all means available to extend the UN arms embargo.

Iran’s UN ambassador warned recently 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.

If the United States is unsuccessful in extending the embargo, it has threatened to trigger a return of all UN sanctions on Iran under a process agreed in the 2015 nuclear deal.

Such a move would kill the deal, touted as a way to suspend Tehran’s suspected drive to develop nuclear weapons. Washington argues it can trigger the sanctions because a Security Council resolution still names it as a participant.

“For as long as Iran is allowed to enrich, we’re going to be having this discussion - how close is Iran to a nuclear breakout? ... We need to restore the UN Security Council standard of no enrichment,” Hook said.