WASHINGTON — Iran will become the “arms dealer of choice for terrorists and rogue regimes all throughout the world” if an arms embargo against the country is allowed to expire in October, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned Wednesday.
US officials on Monday introduced a resolution to the United Nations Security Council urging it to indefinitely extend the Iran arms embargo which has been in place since 2015 but is set to end later this year.
“Without action, on the 18th of that month, Iran will be able to purchase advanced weapons systems and become the arms dealer of choice for terrorist and rogue regimes all throughout the world. This is unacceptable,” Pompeo told reporters.
“Iran has been under arms restrictions by the United Nations since back in 2007. One of the greatest failures of the Iran nuclear deal is to allow these restrictions to expire without regard to how the regime behaved,” he continued.
The measure will prevent countries from directly or indirectly supplying, selling or transferring weapons to the Islamic Republic.
On Wednesday, Pompeo announced the US was also imposing sanctions on five Iranian ship captains who delivered oil to Venezuela and blasted dictator Nicolás Maduro for “mismanaging” the South American nation’s natural resources.
President Trump withdrew the US from the Iran deal — formally known as the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) — in 2018, claiming that the current agreement, which he described as “the worst deal ever,” lacked adequate mechanisms to punish and police Iran for failing to meet the terms of the deal.
Pompeo upbraided Iranian officials for failing to allow United Nations inspectors into the country, saying the actions raised “serious questions about Tehran’s efforts and what it is precisely that they are trying to hide.”
Pompeo also lashed Obama-era officials for claiming that America would be able to force a continuation of the arms embargo which needs to be approved by the 15-member council.
Russia and China have already signaled they will oppose the resolution. When asked about the potential failure of the new resolution, Pompeo sounded the alarm and described Iran as a grave threat to international security.
“This is a rogue regime and they shouldn’t have capacity to do this,” he said. “This is dangerous for the world for this to have expired. I think all but a few nations understand how important this is.”
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