Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said at a press conference on Wednesday that if the UN Security Council does not agree to extend the arms embargo against Iran, the United States will seek to “repress” multilateral sanctions on the regime.
Pompeo made the remarks before a briefing by UN Ambassador Kelly Craft and Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook to the Security Council on why the arms embargo should be extended, citing Iran’s behavior since the implementation of the nuclear deal. Iranian including a drone attack in Saudi Arabia in 2019.
“Without action, on [October]Iran will be able to buy advanced weapons systems and become the arms dealer of choice for terrorists and corrupt regimes worldwide. This is unacceptable, “Pompeo said Wednesday.
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He cited former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State John Kerry, who commented that if the United States was not satisfied with the operation of the agreement, it could unilaterally reimpose sanctions that previously applied to the Iranian regime.
“First, from President Obama,” said Pompeo. “He said: ‘If at any time the United States believes that Iran has not followed through on its commitments, no other state can block our ability to roll back those multilateral sanctions.'”
The secretary of state added: “The legal options in the Security Council are clear. Our great preference is to have a Council resolution that extends the arms embargo, but we are determined to ensure that this arms embargo continues.”
Russia’s ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, has made clear Moscow’s opposition to a new arms embargo against Iran and has dismissed as “ridiculous” the possibility that the Trump administration will attempt to use the “backtracking” provision. Nebenzia said the United States withdrew from the agreement and “has no right” to use any of its provisions.
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But Pompeo and Craft insist that the resolution makes clear that the United States reserves the right to use the “rollback” provision.
According to the State Department, Hook told the Security Council that “he should be united because of his concern with Iranian arms transfers, and that he has maintained arms restrictions against Iran since 2007. He updated members of the Security Council on the full range of Iran’s evil activity. ” including its direct attack in September 2019 against Saudi Arabia. “
In recent years, Iran has also created a dangerous environment in the Strait of Hormuz by seizing tankers in international waters; sent a drone to a US warship; used captured American sailors for propaganda; armed the Houthi rebels in Yemen; tripled its arsenal of enriched uranium and more.
Associated Press and Bradford Betz contributed to this report.