June 30 (UPI) — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged the U.N. Security Council Tuesday to extend an arms embargo on Iran, warning the Middle Eastern country could otherwise become a “rogue weapons dealer.”
The council, which convened by video conference, met to discuss whether the United Nations’ arms embargo should be extended. It’s due to expire in mid-October as part of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
“This chamber has a choice: Stand for international peace and security, as the United Nations’ founders intended, or let the arms embargo on the Islamic Republic of Iran expire, betraying the U.N.’s mission and its finest ideals — which we have all pledged to uphold,” Pompeo told the council.
“Iran is not a responsible democracy like Australia or India.”
The State Department drafted a resolution to extend the embargo but Russia and China, which both have veto power, have indicated they plan to vote against it. Pompeo signaled resolution support from other nations during Tuesday’s meeting.
“Don’t just take it from the United States, listen to countries in the region. From Israel to the Gulf, countries in the Middle East — who are most exposed to Iran’s predations — are speaking with one voice: Extend the arms embargo,” he said.
“This council has a responsibility to listen to them.”
President Donald Trump pulled the United States from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in 2018, calling it “defective at its core,” and reimposed sanctions against Iran — a move that Iran retaliated against by restarting nuclear activities banned under the agreement with Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia.
China, Russia and other countries are believed to be waiting in the wings eager to sell Iran weapons barred under the embargo, a reality caused by the nuclear deal, Pompeo said in April.