Pompeo’s push to extend Iran arms embargo faces uphill battle at UN

Al-Monitor | Bryant Harris: The UN Security Council is not keen on extending the Iran arms embargo despite US threats to instate snapback sanctions.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on the United Nations Security Council today to extend the conventional arms embargo on Iran indefinitely, only to face several harsh rebukes from allies and adversaries alike.

While American allies in the Middle East have started to line up behind US threats to snap back multilateral sanctions on Iran should the UN refuse to extend the embargo, the Security Council nonetheless appeared unmoved by Pompeo’s arguments at today’s virtual meeting.

“From Israel to the Gulf, countries in the Middle East — who are most exposed to Iran’s predations — are speaking with a single voice: Extend the arms embargo,” said Pompeo. “The council has a responsibility to listen to them. The United States’ overwhelming preference is to work with this council to extend the arms embargo to protect human life, to protect our national security and to protect yours.”

The arms embargo is currently set to expire in October as the first sunset provision under the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Iran has said that China and Russia have both expressed interest in selling it combat aircraft once the embargo expires.

Accordingly, Beijing and Moscow have indicated that they will veto any US effort to extend the arms embargo. But it’s unclear whether Washington even has enough Security Council votes to advance its resolution in the first place.

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