The United States is hopeful that the UN Security Council will renew the arms embargo on Iran that is set to expire in October, said top State Department official on April 30. During a press briefing, Brian Hook, Special Representative to Iran, said that the US can not let the arms embargo to expire, adding there is a lot of policy precedent to support renewing the embargo.
“It was a mistake to ever put this in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA). And we have drafted a resolution,” said Hook in a statement.
The top US diplomat asserted that it is “quite easy” to renew the arms embargo since there is a policy precedent and it has been voted on unanimously in the past. However, Hook emphasised that the United States is prepared to use “every diplomatic option available” if the efforts through Security Council do not come to fruition.
Referring to the history of Iranian exports, Hook said that Tehran has provided advanced, state-of-the-art ballistic missiles to Houthi rebels in Yemen which terrorise Saudi Arabia and UAE. He added that the rebels have got anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles, naval mines, and explosive boats because of Iran.
In order to get the Security Council resolution adopted, the US would need nine votes in favour and no vetoes from permanent members including Russia and China. While there are apprehensions regarding Iranian allies like Russia and China to allow the embargo extension, Hook said that the US administration is “hopeful”.
“Russia and China have great equities in a peaceful and stable Middle East, and Iran’s sectarian violence and its export of weapons is the principal driver of instability in the Middle East today,” the diplomat added.
On the possibilities of snapback, Hook said that there is a desire to try to jump right over their diplomatic efforts but their focus is on engaging in thoughtful and measured diplomacy with all the relevant parties to successfully negotiate a renewal of the UN arms embargo.