- The Washington Times - Friday, August 14, 2020

The U.S. is going to do everything it can to ensure that an arms embargo on Iran, set to expire in October, will be extended, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Friday.

The Trump administration has warned that the end of the long-standing United Nations arms embargo — that was established under the 2015 Iran nuclear deal — 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 — have objected to the extension.

But Mr. Pompeo has warned that if the administration’s U.N. resolution to keep the embargo in place fails, then the White House will try to reinstitute global economic sanctions lifted as part of the Obama-era nuclear deal — even though President Trump technically withdrew the U.S. from the pact two years ago.

“It makes no sense to permit the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism to purchase and sell weapons systems,” Mr. Pompeo said during a news conference. “I mean, that’s just nuts.”

He said his team is “going to do everything that we can within our diplomatic tool set to ensure that [the] arms embargo doesn’t expire.”

“The voting will be in the next handful of hours and we are hoping that we will be successful,” Mr. Pompeo said. “When we see the results we will make the decision about how to move forward.”

In order to pass, the embargo resolution needs at least nine votes and must avoid a veto by one of the five permanent members of the council.

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