Pompeo urges UN arms embargo on Iran’s “terrorist regime”

Pompeo urges UN arms embargo on Iran's

UNITED NATIONS (AP) – US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called Iran “the most horrifying terrorist regime in the world” and urged the UN Security Council on Tuesday to extend the UN arms embargo against Tehran, which expires in October, and to extort diplomacy reject. “

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif opposed calling President Donald Trump’s government “an illegal bully” waging “economic terrorism” on his land to satisfy domestic supporters and “personal aggression.”

He called on the US to compensate the Iranian people for the damage and strongly opposed any extension of the arms embargo, warning that Iran’s options will “be firm” if they are maintained and the US will assume full responsibility .

The United States has circulated a draft Security Council resolution to extend the arms embargo indefinitely, and Pompeo said the “overwhelming preference” by the United States is to work with its 15 members to adopt it.

But he indicated that if the resolution is not approved, which is likely due to Russian and Chinese opposition, the US will resort to calling for a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and the world powers to lift all UN sanctions against To impose Iran again. The Trump administration withdrew from the deal in 2018.

Pompeo spoke at a virtually open council meeting on the implementation of resolution 2231, which was passed in 2015 to endorse the nuclear deal with Iran. The arms embargo is included in the measure.

Zarif later told the council that the US was violating all provisions of the deal by withdrawing it and insisted that the arms embargo be lifted completely by the October 18 expiration date. “Any attempt to change or adjust the timetable” to lift the embargo is tantamount to undermining the entire resolution, he said.

Russian UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said Moscow is “blessing” US policy on maximum pressure through the arms embargo resolution. He called it a “maximum suffocation” policy aimed at regime change or creating “a situation where Iran literally wouldn’t be able to breathe,” adding an illusion to the death of George Floyd by a white Minnesota police officer: “This is as if you put a knee on your neck. ‘

“It is clear that the ultimate goal is to oppose Iran and bring it to radical retaliation, which will be an invitation to further sanctions,” said Nebenzia.

Chinese UN Ambassador Zhang Jun also opposed the extension of the arms embargo, saying that after the end of the nuclear deal, the US is no longer a participant and “has no right to review the so-called” snapback clause “in the resolution. to re-impose UN sanctions.

Pompeo noted that Iranian President Hasan Rouhani recently declared that “Iran will give a crushing reaction if the arms embargo on Tehran is extended”. He expressed the hope that Zarif would later say who Iran planned to “crush” and how.

Zarif did not, but the Secretary of State said to the council: “The international community in general – and the UN Security Council in particular – faces an important decision: should we uphold the rule of law or return to the law of the United States? jungle by indulging in the whims of an outlaw bully? ‘

Pompeo seized findings this month in a report by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, who said that the United Nations has determined Iran to be the source of several items in two arms transfers seized by the US and debris left behind by attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil installations and an international airport.

The report also said that some items seized by the US in November 2019 and February 2020 were “ identical or similar ” to those found after cruise missiles and drone strikes on Saudi Arabia in 2019.

Pompeo also blamed Iran for other actions, including attacking US-led coalition troops in Iraq in January using the advanced missiles, and supplying Shia militias that launched dozens of missile strikes against U.S. and coalition troops against Islamic State extremists are fighting.

When the arms embargo was lifted, he said, “Iran will be free to buy Russian-made fighter jets that can reach up to a radius of 3000 kilometers, putting Iranian sights on cities such as Riyadh, New Delhi, Rome and Warsaw.”

Pompeo said Iran would also be free to upgrade and expand its submarine fleet and purchase advanced technologies for its proxies in the Middle East, including Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Syria, and the Yemeni Houthi Shia rebels.

And it will be free “to become a rogue arms dealer providing weapons to fuel conflicts from Venezuela, Syria and the far reaches of Afghanistan,” he said.

Zarif refuted many of the report’s findings, accusing the US of “deliberately” raising issues outside the nuclear agreement, “such as Iran’s defensive capabilities and regional policy,” which are also “parroted by a handful of allies”. and customers. “

He said these issues were deliberately kept out of the deal because both sides disagreed on certain issues. He noted the unwillingness of the US to address “our grave concern about the unfathomable level of arms sales and construction in our area” and its interventions in the Middle East.

Pompeo said that he described only a fraction of “the overwhelming evidence” against Iran and told the Council that the US’s call to enforce the arms embargo is supported by countries in the Middle East, from Israel to the Gulf, which are the most are exposed to the predations of Iran. “

The Trump administration has received only lukewarm support from allies for the US draft resolution to maintain the arms embargo, and European countries are expected to make a counter-proposal that would extend at least part of the embargo by six months. It is not clear whether the US, Russia or China would support such a proposal.

Zarif said the US has no rights under resolution 2231 “nor can the enablers try to save face through so-called middle-way formulas.”

The council meeting took place a day after Iran issued an arrest warrant and asked Interpol for help detaining President Donald Trump and dozens of others who he believed carried out the U.S. drone strike that involved a top Iranian general, Qassem Soleimani earlier this year. , was killed in Baghdad. . Trump is not in danger of arrest, and Interpol later said it would not consider Iran’s request.

The charges, however, underscore the heightened tensions between Iran and the US since Trump unilaterally withdrew America from the nuclear deal with world powers in 2018 and imposed crippling U.S. sanctions against Tehran again.

The five other powers that signed the nuclear deal – Russia, China, the United Kingdom, France and Germany – continue to insist, saying that the agreement is key to continued inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency and that Iran will be prevented from nuclear weapons to chase.

European Union Ambassador Olof Skoog told the council that the nuclear deal “has removed the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran from the regional security equation in a verifiable manner” and the international community should not assume that it will be able to reinstate Iran’s nuclear program as comprehensive.

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Lee reported from Washington.

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