- The Washington Times - Friday, August 14, 2020

The United Nations Security Council on Friday rejected U.S.-led efforts to extend an arms embargo on Iran that is set to expire this October.

In a statement, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the 15-member council “failed today to uphold its fundamental mission set,” by voting not to extend the weapons ban.

“It rejected a reasonable resolution to extend the 13-year old arms embargo on Iran and paved the way for the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism to buy and sell conventional weapons without specific UN restrictions in place for the first time in over a decade,” he said.

“The Security Council’s failure to act decisively in defense of international peace and security is inexcusable.”

State Department Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus echoed Mr. Pompeo sentiments in a tweet and said that the “Security Council threw 13 years of precedent out the door and abandoned countries in the region and the people of Europe.”

U.S. officials over the last several weeks urged allies to vote to extend the long-standing arms embargo — that was established under the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. The Trump administration warned that ending it would be disastrous for the Middle East and for U.S. national security because it would give Tehran sudden access to a buffet of Chinese and Russian-made weapons previously acquirable only through nefarious channels.

China and Russia — both permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and hold veto power — publicly objected to the extension leading up to the vote. It remains unclear how each nation voted.

“The United States will never abandon our friends in the region who expected more from the Security Council,” Mr. Pompeo said. “We will continue to work to ensure that the theocratic terror regime does not have the freedom to purchase and sell weapons that threaten the heart of Europe, the Middle East and beyond.”

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