UN rejects United States bid to extend Iran arms embargo



The United Nations Security Council on Friday rejected a proposal by the United States that sought indefinite extension of an arms embargo on Iran.

Amb. Dian Djani, Permanent Representative of Indonesia to the UN and President of the council for August, disclosed this while briefing newsmen on the outcome of the council’s meeting on the issue.

Djani said China and Russia, two veto power holders in the 15-member council, voted against the US-sponsored resolution, while 11 countries, including the United Kingdom, France and Germany, abstained.

“Only two countries, the United States itself and the Dominican Republic, voted in favour,” he said.

The weapons ban is due to expire in October under the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

In a statement after the meeting, China’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Amb. Zhang Jun, said the result of the voting showed that “unilateralism receives no support and bullying will fail’’.

Germany said it abstained because it was clear from the beginning that the proposal would fail due to opposition from China and Russia.

While noting that it shared concerns about the forthcoming expiration of the ban, it said more time was needed to find a common ground on the issue.

The Permanent Representative of United States to the UN, Amb. Kelly Craft, said her country would stop at nothing to extend the arms embargo.

Her Iranian counterpart, Amb. Majid Ravanchi, warned the United States against any further move for sanctions against his country.

“Imposition of any sanctions or restrictions on Iran by the Security Council will be met severely by Iran and our options are not limited.

“An the United States and any entity which may assist it or acquiesce in its illegal behaviour will bear the full responsibility,” Ravanchi said in a statement.

Also reacting, United States Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, described the Security Council’s decision as “inexcusable’’, saying it had failed in its primary responsibility of maintaining international peace and security.

“The United Nations Security Council is charged with the responsibility of maintaining international peace and security. It failed today to uphold its fundamental mission set.

“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.

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

In a statement, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin proposed a summit with the United States and other parties to the Iran nuclear deal to avoid further “confrontation and escalation” at the United Nations over Iran.

Edited By: Tayo Ikujuni/Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)

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