U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on the U.N. Security Council to extend the U.N. arms embargo on Iran ahead of its expiration later this year.
The arms embargo is set to be lifted in October in accordance with the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which the Trump administration withdrew from in May 2018, reimposing sanctions lifted under it, along with enacted new financial penalties against the regime.
Calling Iran “the world’s most heinous terrorist regime” and “not a responsible democracy like Australia or India,” Pompeo said the U.N. Security Council “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.”
He went on to state on Tuesday that if the arms embargo isn’t extended, “Iran will be free to purchase Russian-made fighter jets that can strike up to a 3,000 kilometer radius, putting cities like Riyadh, New Delhi, Rome, and Warsaw in Iranian crosshairs.”
Additionally, Pompeo warned that if the embargo expires:
Iran will be free to upgrade and expand its fleet of submarines to further threaten international shipping and freedom of navigation in the Strait of Hormuz, the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea.
Iran will be free to purchase new and advanced technologies for its proxies and partners throughout the Middle East, including Hamas, Hizballah [sic] and the Houthis.
Iran will hold a sword of Damocles over the economic stability of the Middle East, endangering nations like Russia and China that rely on stable energy prices.
Iran will be free to become a rogue weapons dealer, supplying arms to fuel conflicts from Venezuela, to Syria, to the far reaches of Afghanistan.
Pompeo accused Iran of “already violating the arms embargo, even before its expiration date” on Oct. 18.
The top U.S. diplomat recalled Iran’s recent activities, including launching attacks on American bases in January in retaliation for the U.S. elimination of Iranian Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani in Iraq, in addition to attacking commercial vessels in the Gulf of Oman last year in May and June.
Additionally, Pompeo remarked that Iran is “showing no signs of slowing its destabilizing nuclear escalation” and “accumulating dangerous knowledge” in pursuing a nuclear bomb.
“Renewing the embargo will exert more pressure on Tehran to start behaving like a normal nation,” said Pompeo. “The world needs this to happen. The long-suffering Iranian people need this to happen.”
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