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article imageUS motion to extend UN embargo on Iran weapons purchases fails

By Ken Hanly     Aug 15, 2020 in Politics
On Thursday, the US brought to the UN a motion to extend the Iran arms embargo but it failed miserably. It was expected it would not pass because either China or Russia could veto it. It turned out a veto was not even necessary.
The final vote
The US had been lobbying for weeks and pushed for a consensus. It modified its resolution to make it more acceptable but to no avail. The resolution needed 13 yes votes before a veto would even be needed. However only two countries ended up voting for the motion the US and the Dominican Republic. Many European countries were annoyed at the US for pulling out of the agreement with Iran on its nuclear program. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The UN weapons embargo on Iran expires on October 18th.
There were eleven abstentions including Germany, Britain, and France and other western nations. Only Russia and China voted directly against the resolution The UK said that it abstained because their vote would not have mattered since the resolution would have been vetoed. Jonathan Allen, the UK charge d'affaires to the UN said: “It would therefore not contribute to improving security and stability in the region.".
Mike Pompeo US Secretary of Stat condemns the failed vote
Pompeo not only condemned the vote but also claimed that the US would ensure that Iran could never buy weapons again. No doubt it will use it financial and military power to persuade other countries to follow US sanctions prohibiting weapons sales to Iran even though this will lack support of the UN.
In his support
for the resolution at a press conference Pompeo had said: “The proposal we put forward is eminently reasonable. One way or another, we will do the right thing. We will ensure that the arms embargo is extended.”
After the failed vote Pompeo issued a statement lashing out at the failure of the vote to pass: “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.”
US snapback sanctions plan
Pompeo has already threatened to use a plan B should the UN resolution for extension fail. Pompeo will argue that the US is still a member of the group of countries that participated in negotiations and passed the JCPOA. However, the US withdrew from the JCPOA. The snapback sanctions effects are described in this article and include:"It would reimpose the arms embargo, ban Iran from developing ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons and reimpose targeted sanctions on dozens of individuals and entities. Countries also would be urged to inspect shipments to and from Iran and authorized to seize any banned cargo." The sanctions imposed are those that were in place before the JCPOA and in effect extends the embargo.
This plan is regarded as many as completely dishonest. Russia and China are the two countries likely to sell arms to Iran. They are unlikely to recognize the snapback sanctions as legitimate.
Barbara Slavin
director of the Future of Iran Initiative at the Atlantic Council Said of the US snapback move: “Other members of the Security Council will reject the U.S. standing to do that since the U.S. announced that it was no longer a participant to the JCPOA, even if it wants to pretend otherwise now for this purpose. So it’s going to be a colossal mess.”
More about UN US relations, UN arms embargo on Iran, JCPOA
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